Monday, January 12, 2015

"A Commentary on Exodus" by Duane Garrett: A Review

Every pastor is constantly on the lookout for high quality commentaries to help them in their preaching and studying of Scripture. Recently I was given a copy of Dr. Duane Garrett's new commentary on one of my favorite Old Testament books, Exodus. The book is simply titled A Commentary on Exodus (Kregel, 2013).

Dr. Garrett was a professor of mine at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he teaches, among other classes, Hebrew. As such I had high expectations on the commentary. Kregel could not have chosen a better scholar to pen a commentary on the second book of Moses.

Each section includes a discussion on the translation and structure of the text followed by a commentary of each verse. The final section regards what the author calls a "Theological Summary of Key Points." This, I find, is a helpful balance of what most readers need in a scholarly commentary.

With that said, one will need to be familiar with the original languages and "scholarly talk." Some commentaries are written for those who have no background in Hebrew or Greek while others spend  more time with the original text realizing that untrained Christians will not be able to follow as easily. This commentary fits within the latter category. The book is well-footnoted and Dr. Garrett's ability to handle Hebrew is evident on every page.

In addition to Garrett's commentary on the text, there is a helpful introduction to Exodus. Those familiar with modern scholarship will not be surprised the amount of space Garrett dedicates to introducing Exodus. Scholars have called into question Mosaic authorship, the date of Exodus, etc. much of which stems from the Documentary Hypothesis. Then there are historic questions, when did the events in Exodus take place, who was the Pharaoh of Joseph and Moses, etc. Garrett handles all of this.

In the end, I would recommend this book to students of Scripture in general and to preachers in particular. Its a great resource to have in your library. The liberation of Israel in Exodus is the cross/resurrection of the New Testament. Therefore, we cannot ignore this text. Garrett offers us a helpful guide to understanding this second book of God's Word.

This book was given to me courtesy of Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review
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