- I had high hopes for this book by virtue of its title. However, Oliver bases his work on the tenets of higher criticism which disrupts the unity of the text, dates the final form of Genesis around the exile, and follows Origen who downplays an historical reading of the text. In my view, this critical approach limits the value of the book notwithstanding that critical works may have a role to play for evangelicals. (Refer Mark Ward's blog at https://blog.logos.com/2018/03/use-critical-commentary-youre-evangelical). While Oliver's book contains helpful insights its presuppositions left me feeling rather perplexed.
- I have just finished preaching a three-part series from Acts using this book. David treats the text with great respect as he seeks to recover its original meaning. Although I did not always follow the sermon outlines, they were excellent food for thought. The book's strength is its clear distillation of passages plus an understanding of the types of questions preachers ask in contrast to the Academy. A book well worth having.
- Luz not only points the way beyond the historical-critical method but also beyond Reformed exegesis. Both of these methods seek to recover the original meaning of the text. According to Luz, the author is not the stable home of meaning. Rather, he argues that a text has a history of influence where new meanings are generated in new situations. I think this book makes valuable insights, but be aware that Luz's hermeneutics will make some evangelicals a little sqeamish.
- Luz's distinctive contribution is the history of influence method. This is an additional step in the exegetical process whereby he examines the reception of the text into non-technical media, such as paintings, music and poems. This can be helpful for gaining insight into the original meaning of the text. Readers need to understand that Luz does not privilege authorial intention and so is content with multiple meanings of the text.