Item description for Jonah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Phillip Cary...
Overview Pastors and leaders of the classical church--such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley--interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Modern interpreters of the Bible questioned this premise. But in recent decades, a critical mass of theologians and biblical scholars has begun to reassert the priority of a theological reading of Scripture. The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places. In the sixth volume in the series, Phillip Cary presents a theological exegesis of Jonah.
Publishers Description Pastors and leaders of the classical church--such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley--interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Modern interpreters of the Bible questioned this premise. But in recent decades, a critical mass of theologians and biblical scholars has begun to reassert the priority of a theological reading of Scripture. The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places. In the sixth volume in the series, Phillip Cary presents a theological exegesis of Jonah.
Citations And Professional Reviews Jonah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Phillip Cary has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 02/24/2009 page 48
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Studio: Brazos Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.22" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.79" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2008
Publisher Brazos Press
Series Brazos Theological Commentary
ISBN 1587431378 ISBN13 9781587431371
Availability 0 units.
More About Phillip Cary
Phillip Cary is Professor of Philosophy at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, where he is also Scholar-in-Residence at the Templeton Honors College.
Phillip Cary was born in 1958 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Eastern College in St.David's Pennsylvania Eastern College, St. David'.
Reviews - What do customers think about Jonah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible)?
>a Commentary; Must read; Why didn't I see that? Cary rocks! Mar 19, 2010
Phillip Cary writes great insights with crisp wit. His Jonah is fun to read! His "big picture" perspective expands the character Jonah through Exile eyes and Second Temple sensibilities. He recounts the Jews' angst over losing the Davidic dynasty, and modern readers sympathize with their demolished worldview foundations. Wow! That preaches today--whether you're emergent or not. Needless to say, Cary completes Jonah with God's NT fulfillment of this perceived impossibility via Messiah, kingdom and a greater salvation than Jonah ever wanted. You'll love the "sign of Jonah" excursus. Every page is useful. My new favorite Brazos book--so much more than a commentary! The best $22 you'll spend on your library. Not one boring page. This Jonah is solidly exegeted, user-friendly and freshly provocative for teachers and preachers to engage today's thinkers with the Living Word that never stales.
A Wonderful Find Sep 28, 2009
I went looking for a good set of commentaries for my study on the book of Jonah, and not finding very many in series I normally use I purchased Cary's commentary in the Brazos Theological Commentary series. The overall view of the series caught my attention as being a little unique compared with many of the other, older and "standard" evangelical commentaries which always concern themselves with textual and critical issues as part of their exegetical burden. My interest was piqued by the broadly theological and specifically present-day orientation of this series. According to the preface, this series is dedicated to a dogmatic theological approach to the Scriptures, but with deliberate attention being paid to our reading.
Cary's volume on Jonah is a wonderful accomplishment. Cary pays careful attention to the broad and foundational theological issues at play throughout the Old Testament that find expression in Jonah's life, as well as the surprising identification of Jesus with Jonah. Where most are interested in whether the story and the fish are real, Cary wants to make sure we understand Jonah's life with God in ways that reveal Christ and our walk with him.
As a pastor, I appreciate that at almost every turn Cary has something thoughtful or provocative to say about Jonah and God. My own view of Jonah has become much deeper as I have worked through this commentary, and I would highly recommend it to anyone preparing for the book. It will take you past the "standard Jonah series" to something that will make the book fresh and alive.
If you are looking for a commentary to tackle the historical-textual issue of whether Jonah's story is real or fictional, another commentary will suit you better. But since there are so many that deal with those issues, Carey's commentary was a breath of fresh air to me. This volume has inspired me to purchase others in the series.
I think you'll enjoy this book Feb 11, 2009
Perhaps the great pleasure, when it is possible, in encountering secondary discourse on a primary text is hearing the opinion of someone else (learned, insightful, a good conversationalist) on something you both have read. Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. Hmm, I'd thought of that, but you put it much better. Hmm, if this is true, then X must be true also; wow, that really opens up new vistas of thought. Etc.
Biblical commentaries rarely give me pleasure. They, and the exegetical milieu which produces them, helped to drive me from seminary back into literary studies, where I found a little bit more secondary discourse to my liking. I don't ask for much, just interesting things said in interesting ways. Generally the best that can be said of commentaries along those lines is that they say things in ways. In particular, they suffer from the blight that plagues most of the humanities and social sciences: a belief that science and the human heart are incompatible. They say abstract things in abstract ways, make theological points in a precise but voiceless prose. We could be reading a manual for how to disassemble the Bible like a machine and reassemble it into a systematic theology or an analysis of the relevant ancient culture. In preparing for a sermon or Sunday school class, I found that I had to sift through a lot of irrelevant commentary chaff to find a couple grains of meaning relevant to a rural audience, or my own heart. I know that these generalities are unfair, that there are notable exceptions, but it's an impression that built up over years.
You might not think that a series called Brazos Theological Commentaries sounds promising in this regard, but the series is raiding the best writers and thinkers of other disciplines (theology, philosophy, literature) to write Biblical commentaries. I found my way to it by wondering what Stanley Hauerwas was doing these days. Best known for his recent trilogy on Augustine, Phillip Cary is becoming one of my favourite writers in any medium. My dad gave me his commentary on Jonah for Christmas. I read it with delight.
Cary says interesting things about Jonah. His premise is that, well, Christians should read the Old Testament to find Christ and the Church in it--that's called typological or figural reading--so we ought to read the Old Testament to find Israel in it, and that will teach us what Christ and the Church are like. He calls this an Israelogical reading. What this means is that Cary wants to know and explain what it would have been like for an ancient Israelite to read Jonah and identify with him personally, from his head to his heart, from his calling to his sins. Historical background is of course important to this project. Cary also has excellent points to make about literary structure, how different elements in Jonah echo and rework other elements. But foremost is this sense of immediacy. How would an Israelite see himself or herself in the text? And from that we can extrapolate our own immediacy: how ought we to see ourselves in this text?
He says these things in interesting ways. The prose of this book is so clear and insightful, at the same time, as to be user-friendly, intimate, and welcoming. Unusually for commentaries, he uses both first- and second-person pronouns, "we" and "you," as if it were instead a conversation (of course, about something important). I will give you an example of this, from the first page of the introduction: "Jonah is a ridiculous excuse for a prophet--the holy man as screwup--and we are just like him. Why Jesus would want to identify with him is a deep mystery, as deep as his love for the rest of us." There are large theological concepts under the surface here--Grace, Original Sin, Incarnation/Kenosis--but it is much easier to preach, teach, and especially to feel the appropriate wonder using these lines than those concepts. My favorite line about literary structure is: "The important differences [between the two halves of Jonah] to notice, I will suggest, have to do with all the things that do not go as well in the second half of the book as the first." Look at all those one-syllable words while Cary is expositing a major structural claim--jargon-free, memorable, yet holding up under all the weight of a scholar's thought. If I were teaching a Sunday school class on Jonah and thought up that sentence to explain how its structure works, I would be pleased and everyone would understand.
Cary had it easy, I would think. He's writing about an interesting and short story. He can take it sentence by sentence and squeeze a great deal of the juice out of it. I finished this book thinking that I knew the book of Jonah pretty well, that a commentary had explained it to me about as thoroughly as one can. It's formally satisfying. I can't imagine what writing a commentary on, say, the Psalms would be like. But this is what a commentary on Jonah should be like. And it's what more commentaries should be like.