Book Review: Job 38-42 by David Clines (WBC 18B)

THIS COMMENTARY is volume 18B of the Word Biblical Commentary series.  It is the third in a sequence looking at Job, and focuses on the dialogue between Job and Yahweh himself.  I have not had the chance to look at the first two, so am unable to comment on those.

Firstly I should say that reviewing a commentary is slightly different from reviewing other types of book.  You won’t read them from front to back (certainly not with a technical commentary such as this), and people will have differing preferences as to the types of commentaries they read.

WBC commentaries are not everyone’s cup of tea, although I like to use them.  They are copiously detailed and have some heavily academic elements.  However, they are divided into sections which allow the reader to select the approach they find most helpful. Clines’ commentary uses the standard WBC framework, and for each section it gives first a bibliography, then the author’s translation, then notes (on the translation), then a section on  Form/Structure/Setting, then a detailed comment section which digs into the text in detail and considers its meaning.  It sums up with an explanation section, which is a handy overview to what has gone before and is probably the most accessible.

Despite being a scholarly volume, from what I have read it does not seem dry – Clines has a helpful, accessible tone.  It’s also good if you love digging into the biblical text and get irritated when less detailed commentaries fail to satisfy your curiosity.

As a thorough, in-depth commentary I’m not sure you could beat it – it contains an awe-inspiring if slightly daunting bibliography section, indexes of authors mentioned as well as word-related indexes.

If you really want to get to grips with this part of Job, want to know what scholars say about it and enjoy digging deep, you may well want to check this out.

I review for BookSneeze®

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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