DANIEL INTERPRETATION by W. SIBLEY TOWNER

4.0 of 5.0

 

The bottom line: A solid commentary focused on theological meaning and big ideas.

 

 

Daniel Interpretation excels because it persistently remains focused on what the text tells us about God, how that affects our relationship with Him, and how that understanding applied in antiquity and applies in the contemporary world.

In an apocalyptic book like Daniel where minute details and specifics can drag the interpreter into a world of confusion, this commentary brings the narratives and visions together into a concise investigation. As with all the other books in the Interpretation series, this is not a word-by-word commentary—it concentrates on major themes and central ideas.

The reason why I thoroughly enjoyed this book stems from the author’s aim stated on page four: “The real action of this commentary centers not in the task of answering questions about the historical setting, literary unity, language, and authorship of the book of Daniel but in the chapter-by-chapter discussion and theological assessment of the text itself … [this task] is taken to be an absolutely essential support for the work of teachers and preachers in the church.”

The commentary follows the standard format of an introduction followed by a sequential chapter-by-chapter analysis. At the start of each chapter the author provides a brief introduction that describes, “Where we’re going.” At the end of each chapter is a theological assessment that describes, “Where we’ve been.” In my mind, this book’s greatest value lies in the theological assessments. They tie everything together and point directly to the central theme(s) behind the narrative that propel the text forward.

Daniel Interpretation is part of the Interpretation commentary series, and I have now read more than a dozen selections in this volume. Generally speaking I am a big fan of the series and I expect anyone involved in preaching, teaching, Bible study or Christian education will find many valuable pearls of practical wisdom in this book.

 

Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

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