Item description for Exodus (WBC) (Westminster Bible Companion) by J. Gerald Janzen...
Overview Books in the Westminster Bible Companion Series assist laity in their study of the Bible as a guide to Christian faith and practice. Each volume explains the biblical book in its original historical context and explores its significance for faithful living today. These books are ideal for individual study and Bible study classes and groups.
The book of Exodus is literally a story about "going out," and as such, it touches on something all of us have in common: each of our lives is marked by different kinds of goings out and comings in. J. Gerald Janzen reads the Exodus story as both the story of a particular people and a revelation of God's concern for the liberation and redemption of all people. The lessons of Exodus are encouraging because they hold out hope for all who are oppressed by forces over which they have no control. But the lessons are sobering also, because they caution the liberated not to perpetuate the evils under which they suffered.
Books in the Westminster Bible Companion series assist laity in their study of the Bible as a guide to Christian faith and practice. Each volume explains the biblical book in its original historical context and explores its significance for faithful living today. These books are ideal for individual study and for Bible study classes and groups.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.05" Width: 6.07" Height: 0.71" Weight: 0.96 lbs.
Release Date Dec 4, 1997
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
Series Westminster Bible Companion
ISBN 0664252559 ISBN13 9780664252557
Availability 98 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 21, 2017 12:59.
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More About J. Gerald Janzen
J. Gerald Janzen is MacAllister-Petticrew Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the Old Testament.
J. Gerald Janzen currently resides in Indianapolis, in the state of Indiana. J. Gerald Janzen was born in 1932.
J. Gerald Janzen has published or released items in the following series...
International Theological Commentary
Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching
Reviews - What do customers think about Exodus (WBC) (Westminster Bible Companion)?
Preparing a place for presence Jan 17, 2004
J. Gerald Janzen was a professor of mine in Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament studies. I was fortunate to have classes with him the year before he retired. Beyond being a general Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament scholar, one of his particular studies is Exodus, and frequent references in class and conversations beyond, was the book of Exodus.
One of the things he told me about putting together a book was particularly insightful into the kind of care and attention he gives to the text. He said that he had compiled all of his notes and references, outlines and preliminary writings for the text, and then put them aside, and wrote from memory. Things he had studied had actually been forgotten from conscious remembering, and had become part of his embedded, subconscious memory of the text. He was both delighted and astonished to realise what he had forgotten that he knew during this writing.
This is a lot like Janzen. It is the nature of commentaries that there is always more that can be written, new interpretations to be developed, new facts to be considered. Any text is merely a snapshot of thinking at a particular time; a snapshot of Janzen's thinking about Exodus at any time is worthwhile.
Janzen sees Exodus as a narrative story, rather like a play in two acts, but these are simple consecutive acts. They are rather broken apart and come back round on each other. He sets it apart in this fashion:
A - Exodus 1-24: Oppression, Redemption, Covenant B - Exodus 25-31: Planning a Place for Presence A1 - Exodus 32-34: Sin, Redemption, Covenant B1 - Exodus 35-40: Preparing a Place for Presence
The people move toward a place where God and the people can be together. This will have strong themes in Christian history; indeed, the Exodus, the going-forth story has strong parallels throughout the rest of human history; as Janzen points out, a going-out story generally involves a coming-in story as a corollary; this coming-in extends beyond the end of the book of Exodus (indeed, beyond the Torah itself), but is strongly anticipated by preparations for presence.
In the introduction, Janzen talks about his religious upbringing emphasising personal, individual responsibility for sin, but that in seminary he was introduced (through the works of Aulen) to the ideas of societal structures of evil, fields-of-force and communal responsibilities in this regard. In looking through the text of Exodus, Janzen distinguishes the personal and the communal, but also shows the interdependence of each upon the other.
Like many commentaries in this series, the text is designed not necessarily for other scholars (although scholars will not find the text a poor one), but rather for the increasing number of laypersons who find it useful to use commentaries and aids in their personal and communal biblical studies.
No one commentary will ever capture the entirety of any Biblical book. Indeed, rarely will any one commentary contain the whole of even the commentator's own thinking on the text -- such is true with this text and Janzen. However, what is contained within is stimulating and engaging, and is practically essential reading for anyone concerned with Exodus.