Item description for Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs (People's Bible Commentary) by Roland C. Ehlke...
Overview Christ-centered Bible truths unfold as you read this complete series of commentaries designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment. These trustworthy commentaries help you comprehend what you've read in Scripture as well as apply it to your life. These commentaries offer: *Easy-to-read commentary that follows the text (in New International Version (NIV)) so you learn as you read *Scripture and commentary on the same page *Bible text highlighted in bold *Explanation of complicated passages *Important facts are identified to expand understanding of Bible times and help apply passages to life today *Maps and charts This series is an excellent companion text for Bible study leaders and for individual use.
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Studio: Concordia Publishing House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.98" Width: 5.68" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.64 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher Concordia Publishing House
Series Peoples Bible Commentary
ISBN 0758604297 ISBN13 9780758604293
Reviews - What do customers think about Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs (People's Bible Commentary)?
Perfect for the lay Christian Sep 28, 2006
Roland Cap Ehlke is an ordained minister in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church (WELS) and authors this volume in the People's Bible Commentary Series. The series is not intended for pastors, but is rather aimed toward lay people who want to know more about the various books of the Bible, but do not have the educational background to tackle some of the theologically thicker books on their pastor's bookshelf. To that end, the books in this Series strive to offer the lay reader what he is looking for. Specifically, the books in this series intend to 1) offer the historical/cultural background of the text, 2) explain what difficult texts actually mean, 3) give life applications, and 4) show the centrality of Jesus in all of the Scriptures--both Old and New Testament. These books are written from a Lutheran background and thus assume the inerrancy of Scripture.
Ehlke's contribution to this series is an excellent one as Ecclesiastes and (especially) Song of Songs are difficult texts to make sense of let alone apply them to your life or find the Christ-centered message within. The author rises to the challenge presented by these Biblical books and achieves the aims of the Commentary Series. Arguing for Solomon's authorship throughout, Ehlke provides helpful historical and cultural background. His knowledge of the Ancient Near East geography, customs, and culture (including the widespread use of Aramaic during Solomon's time) made the Biblical text more accessible.
He also does an admirable job in explaining what the text actually means. This is so for Ecclesiastes where Ehlke points out the twofold division of the book and the competing worldviews they represent (chapters 1-6 and 7-10) and where he points the reader toward clues concerning which worldview he is speaking from (e.g. "under the sun" indicates a world-centered, faithless standpoint). This is even more true of Song of Songs, where Ehlke eloquently demonstrates that the Song is a series of love-poems between great King Solomon and a simple peasant-girl. Moreover the Song is a unified whole, taking the reader through courtship, to marriage, to a period of stagnation in their love, to a renewed feeling of love for one another. While the Song of Songs employs many idioms and figures of speech that quite simply baffle the modern Western reader, Ehlke (seemingly) effortlessly explains the idiom/metaphor/etc. and incorporates it into the unified whole of the book.
Ehlke also fulfills the goal of the series by applying Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs to the life of the Christian reader. As wisdom literature, it is not difficult for one to point out life lessons, and Ehlke finds no shortage of sage advice to highlight for the reader. He successfully shows how Ecclesiastes is Solomon's autobiographical experience: that he attempted to find meaning in life without God (through pleasure, accomplishments, worldly wisdom, etc.) yet fell into despair at the prospect of meaningless death and knowing that the cycle of life will continue without ever missing him. Yet Solomon discovered in his old age that faithful belief in God gives the blessing of meaning, renewed perspective, and happiness. Song of Songs seems to be more difficult for Ehlke when it comes to providing life lessons. Two themes that appear over and over are the importance of chastity and the knowledge that Jesus (like the Lover) will guide, protect, and lift up his Church (the Beloved).
The Christ-centered nature is also clear in the book, but this is where the author seems to fall short of the Series' goals. While parallels are drawn between the text of Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes, it appears to come last in terms of importance. This author walks away wishing Ehlke would have drawn more connections to our Savior.
Finally, something should be said about Ehlke's writing style. Whereas the purpose of this series is to inform the lay reader, Ehlke's writing style fits perfectly. He is conversational, easy to read, and engaging. He keeps the main theme of the text in mind throughout and shows how the particular sections relate to material both before and after it; he provides many illustrations and anecdotes, and his sentences are short (unlike mine). In all, a pastor or serious theologian probably won't take much away from this commentary, but it is perfect for the lay Christian. Recommended.