Item description for Commentary-Ecclesiastes & Song Of Songs (NIV App Comm) by Iain Provan...
Overview Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, which is part of the NIV Application Commentary Series, helps readers learn how the message of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs can have the same powerful impact today that they did when they were first written.
Publishers Description The NIV Application Commentary Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs. Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs have always presented particular challenges to their readers, especially if those readers are seeking to understand them as part of Christian Scripture. Ecclesiastes regularly challenges the reader as to grammar and syntax. The interpretation even of words which occur frequently in the book is often unclear and a matter of dispute, partly because there is frequent word-play in the course of the argument. The argument is itself complex and sometimes puzzling and has often provoked the charge of inconsistency or outright self-contradiction. When considered in the larger context of the OT, Ecclesiastes stands out as an unusual book, whose connection with the main stream of biblical tradition seems tenuous. We find ourselves apparently reading about the meaninglessness of life and the certainty of death in a universe in which God is certainly present but is distant and somewhat uninvolved. When considered in the context of the NT, the dissonance between Ecclesiastes and its scriptural context seems even greater; for if there is one thing that we do not find in this book, it is the joy of resurrection. Perhaps this is one reason why Ecclesiastes is seldom read or preached on in modern churches. The Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon) has been read, historically, by Christians, in two primary ways---as a text which concerns the love and sexual intimacy of human beings and as a text which uses the language of human love and intimacy to speak of something else---the relationship between Christ and the church. Christians have often felt that they must choose between these options---that a text about human love and sexual intimacy could not be at the same time a spiritual text. It is one of the challenges of reading the Song to explore how far this is necessarily true and how far Christian readers have been influenced in their reading more by Platonism and Gnosticism than by biblical thinking about the nature of the human being and of human sexuality. Another challenge is to discover whether the Song is really one 'song' at all, or simply a haphazard collection of shorter poems cast together because of their common theme of love; and still another is to gain clarity on what, precisely, is the connection between the Song and Solomon.This commentary sets out to wrestle honestly with all the challenges of reading these biblical books---the challenges of reading the texts in themselves, and the challenges of reading them as intrinsic parts of Christian Scripture. Using the standard structure of the NIVAC series, it explores their 'original meaning, ' the 'bridging contexts' that enable their journey to the present, and their 'contemporary significance.' In the course of the exploration, these books are seen to be deeply relevant in what they have to say both to the contemporary church and the contemporary culture.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.54" Width: 6.46" Height: 1.2" Weight: 1.55 lbs.
Release Date Apr 9, 2001
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
Series NIV Application Commentary
ISBN 031021372X ISBN13 9780310213727 UPC 025986213725
Availability 0 units.
More About Iain Provan
Iain Provan, Ph.D. (1986) in Old Testament, University of Cambridge, is Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). His publications have focused on Old Testament historiography, narrative and theology, with particular attention to the books of Kings, Lamentations and Song of Songs/Ecclesiastes. Mark J. Boda, Ph.D. (1996) in Old Testament, University of Cambridge, is Professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College and Professor in the Faculty of Theology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. His publications have focused on the study of the Old Testament with emphasis on the Penitential Prayer and theological traditions, Persian period prophecy and historiography, and Old Testament Theology.
Reviews - What do customers think about Commentary-Ecclesiastes & Song Of Songs (NIV App Comm)?
Very Good Jul 9, 2008
I give this four stars because I am not yet finished with it (currently in Ecclesiastes 3). If the material maintains the same course it could easily attain the next star. I like it because of its exegetical and homiletical value. I think it is thorough, perhaps a bit wordy, but that is something I like (at least as he has done so).
As a preacher all I need is a seed sown and I can build the rest.
Clear thinking on some confusing books May 10, 2008
Iain Provan is one of the most balanced and thoughful OT scholars alive today, and this commentary is just another example of his outstanding thoughfulness. His comments on Ecclesiastes help the reader see a unity and logical flow to a book that almost defies logical flow. What was very interesting was his take on the meaning of the word, "hebel" (sometimes translated as "vanity" or "meaningless"). Provan suggests an alternate translation of "fleeting" that makes better sense of the book as a whole. Life is not without meaning, according to the writer of Ecclesiastes. It is fleeting, and thus the activities that are designed to "use life rather than live life" create a sense of futility.
In the Song of Songs, Provan opts for a three person drama- the Shulammite woman, the king who takes her into his harem and her devoted lover from the country. Again, this interpretational grid helps unravel some of the confusion of the text, such as "How could a book devoted to sexual intimacy in marriage exalt a king with so many concubines?"
Provan's exegesis is first-rate, his theological reflections are penetrating and how he bridges contexts are worth their weight in gold for the person who is using this commentary to help prepare lessons or sermons on either of these books. Provan is at once readable and profound and you will find that purchasing this commentary will be money very well spent!!
Excellent commentary Apr 20, 2007
Dr Provan's exegesis is very insightful and penetrating. He avoids cliches in discussing Ecclesiastes and gets down to the heart of interpretation. One of the best commentaries on Ecclesisastes I have read.