- This book has become somewhat dated, even in the time since it was published. It deals with the beliefs of people in the NAR, and doesn’t address any of the behaviour, although the authors are clearly concerned about this. It also doesn’t really examine the various networks that make up the NAR, and so therefore misses some of the nuances. It effectively predated the Passion “Translation” which is (I believe) one of the big issues of the moment with the NAR so although I found it helpful, I also found it of limited usefulness.
- I'm currently working through Kings with this commentary alongside in my daily devotions. I'm really finding it helpful, and Leithart's focus on theological implications rather than detailed verse-by-verse commentary is great when using it for this purpose. Contains some great insights and it has helped me to see more of the "big picture" of what is going on in these books.
- I've been preaching through Daniel and found this a great help in keeping me focused on the meaning of the text, and in helping to hone my preaching to keep me faithful to the text without going off onto applications that are, at best, peripheral to the message of Daniel.
- I got this book thinking it would be helpful as a way of learning more about the general cultural background of the Gospels. It doesn't actually do that. What it does do very well, however, is to collate material from Jewish and Patristic sources on specific aspects of passages in the Gospels. It is not an easy book to read, as it is a collection of ancient texts. It is, however, an excellent and valuable reference work to use as an exegetical tool when doing work in the Gospels, and that is what I will certainly be using it for in future. It is divided into sections dealing with specific passages in the Gospels. This book is probably not a work for exegetical beginners: you do need some outline understanding of what the various ancient sources are (Mishna, Tosefta, Talmuds, Josephus & Philo, Dead Sea Scrolls, Church Fathers, etc) otherwise they will just look like random texts with no context. Darrell Bock does, however, introduce each of the main sources in the Introduction to the book. My one criticism of this work is that it wasn't always apparent to me why the author had chosen a particular reading to illuminate his point, but this could be a problem with my understanding rather than his writing! In summary - a valuable exegetical resource, but not an easy read.
- I agree that this is not an easy read. I had i for a class in Seminary I was so challenged by that I dropped out of it. I needed a Jesus for beginners really and not ashamed to admit it. I kept the hardcover though. Maybe someone might want it from me in the future or I can refer to it later in my understanding and studies I thought.,