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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Friday, July 24, 2009

Judges: A Practical and Theological Commentary, by James Jordan - A Brief Book Review

When we decided to cover Judges in Bible study, I knew James Jordan's commentary was the one I wanted to use as my primary aid in understanding the book. Jordan is often criticized for the unusual amount of attention he gives to typology, and in the sort of typologies he proposes to find in Scripture. Each person will have his own opinion on this, of course. But while I would agree that he sometimes proposes ideas about a text that are a bit far-fetched, I find that after some reflection on his suggestions I often eventually come around to his interpretation. To give one example, I find his suggestion that Samson was largely a righteous man in the earlier portion of his life to be correct, as over against any other commentator I've ever read on the subject. Jordan at least has the courage to question and re-examine traditional interpretations, to his credit, and it usually works out for the good. One other good trait of the book is the way Jordan applies the text to current social conditions. Writing in the '80's, Jordan's commentary on the totalitarian State is just as relevant today as it was twenty years ago. I supplemented this commentary with others, so anyone studying Judges won't want to use only Jordan's. But after having gone through Judges with it, I consider Jordan's commentary an invaluable tool to understanding the book.

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