Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

God Behind the Seen: Expositions of the Books of Ruth and Esther

Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

God Behind the Seen: Expositions of the Books of Ruth and Esther

Article excerpt

God behind the Seen: Expositions of the Books of Ruth and Esther. By A. Boyd Luter and Barry C. Davis. Expositor's Guide to the Historical Books. Grand Rapids: Baker 1995, 377 pp., $16.99 paper.

It is appropriate that the only OT books bearing a woman's name in the title should be the subject of joint expository studies. The format of each study, Ruth by Luter and Esther by Davis, is similar, but there are differences in their approaches. The preface acknowledges that Luter follows a pastoral approach while Davis' commentary provides more technical details. However, neither deals extensively with higher-critical issues.

Both writers see God's providential care of his people underlying the events that unfold in each book. Both writers employ a writing style that reflects the informal culture of the 1990s rather than the more formal, scholarly style associated with traditional commentaries. Two examples will suffice: ". . . scrambled eggs between his or her ears" (p. 29); "Get your popcorn and soda ready. Sit back and enjoy the true life adventures of Esther and Mordecai" (p. 103).

Both commentaries offer helpful and thought-provoking applications of numerous passages. Both call attention to chiastic patterns in the structures of Ruth and Esther.

For this reviewer Davis' commentary was more satisfying, as it was a more indepth study. …

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