The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.
Each volume consists of four parts:
-- an introduction that addresses the key issues raised by the writing; the literary genre, structure, and character of the writing; the occasional and situational context of the writing, including its wider social and historical context; and the theological and ethical significance of the writing within these several contexts
-- a commentary on the text, organized by literary units, covering literary analysis, exegetical analysis, and theological and ethical analysis
-- an annotated bibliography
-- a brief subject index
In this volume on Deuteronomy, Brueggemann shows the significance of the Book of Deuteronomy to the shape and substance of Israel's faith in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy gave classic articulation to the main themes characteristic of Judaism, and, derivatively, of Christianity. Brueggemann emphasizes that Deuteronomy is an expression of covenant theology, whereby YHWH and Israel are pledged to exclusive loyalty and fidelity to each other; YHWH is to assure the well-being of Israel, and Israel is to live in trust and obedience to YHWH. In examining the relationship of Israel to God, Brueggemann makes suggestions on how such covenant fidelity might be lived out by believers today.
"Brueggemann's commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy provides an accessible exegetical and theological understanding of a crucial biblical text. The introduction presents Deuteronomy as an expression of the radical Yahwistic alternative to the political rhetoric and ideology of the Israelite monarchy in the eighth and seventh centuries. Each section consists of an introduction, exegesis, and theological and ethical analysis of the essential elements that form the core of Deuteronomy's message to the Israelite community. The choice between 'covenant' and 'idol' that forms the crux of the text's message is further interpreted in light of the concern for covenant faithfulness as expressed in the rest of the OT and in the proclamation of the NT. Brueggemann explores how this same choice is reflected in the political and ideological voices that address the community of faith today. This commentary introduces the Book of Deuteronomy to theological students, pastors and teachers and points to the relevance of its message for those who seek to bring the alternative biblical message into the current cultural conversation."--Beverly White Cushman, Calvin College, in Religious Studies Review, Volume 29 Number 3, July 2003.