This is volume six of a projected eighteen-volume set of commentaries written by capable scholars, using the New Living Translation text throughout the series. Volume six combines three Old Testament books, Job by August H. Konkel and Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs by Tremper Longman III.
This series attempts to “provide pastors and laypeople with up-to-date evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. It’s designed to equip pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge to better understand and apply God’s Word by presenting the message of each passage as well as an overview of other issues surrounding the text.”
These three Old Testament books from the wisdom literature section will be useful for preaching and teaching. While it reflects good exegesis, the commentary does not take the reader into all the research that supports the results. For example, you will find good and useful information on the particular book’s background relating to authorship, date, audience, literary style, as well as major themes of the book. Each one of those topics has bearing on understanding, interpreting, and teaching the passages. Each book also contains a helpful and easily applicable outline of the book that can also readily help you recognize the book’s content.
Another example of the helpfulness of these commentaries is reflected in Konkel’s section, “theological concerns” from Job-the character of God, covenant, creation, evil, Satan, people, justice, and the Redeemer. All three of these OT books would be a challenge for today’s audience because they both reflect and remind us that this universe is full of mystery and incomprehensibility to the human mind. Often there are things that do not fit the normal pattern of behavior, even though there is an obvious moral order. Things happen that appear to be paradoxical and certainly not always predictable, but God is always the sovereign, be it in Job’s struggle to understand his plight or Qoholeth’s attempt to understand the difference between the earthly and heavenly perspective of things. Both Konkel and Longman have done good work that will benefit us in many ways. Each chapter and/or section has the NLT text in full, a brief but credible exegetical section, and then the commentary.
If the remaining volumes in this series support my conclusion about volume six, this will be a helpful and useful series.