It has really only been in the last few years that I have dipped into the world of commentaries and used them in my devotional reading. Up until then I found myself using only daily reading notes or a study bible. However, I have found investing in a good commentary helps me to read the bible for all it's worth (to coin the phrase from Fee & Stuart's book!). Nonetheless, it is often difficult to know what kind of commentary to buy. I am fortunate, not only to have learned what's good and not so good from my time at Bible college, but I have a preacher for a husband and a Pastor who always highlights good commentaries that he is using in his preaching series. So, here is one such commentary that is biblically and theologically faithful.
Duguid's commentary has challenged many assumptions I had about these two biblical women. Further, I have found that Iain Duguid also provides an excellent exegetical treatment of the text; he is theologically faithful to God's sovereignty in salvation history, focusing on Christ through the lens of redemptive history; and he is intensely practical as he applies God's Word to our contemporary setting.
If that is not enough to whet your appetite, here's an excerpt from the book's preface:
The books of Esther and Ruth are not really stories about their respective "heroines." Rather, thy are part of the Bible's larger story about God and his dealings with his people, and with the world. This is true even though the Book of Esther does not so much as mention the name of God. As in everyday life, God's intervention is everywhere visible in the Book of Esther, even though his presence is concealed. The essential conflict between the two kingdoms - the empire of Ahasuerus and the kingdom of God - plays itself out in the lives of flawed and unexpected individuals, as God delivers his people once again from the threat of extinction.Over the weeks ahead I hope to share with you some of what I've been learning and hopefully, applying, from this portion of God's Word. In the meantime, if you are wondering which commentaries might be worth investing in, here are two links to some recommendations.
Meanwhile. in the Book of Ruth, the Great Redeemer shows his love and compassion to the embittered Naomi as well as to her foreign daughter-in-law, Ruth. His grace brings home the disobedient prodigal daughter with empty hands, so that he can astonish her with unexpected fullness. In both stories, the grace of God to the undeserving and the outcasts is prominently on display. Both stories thus constantly point to Christ as the one in whom that grace will fully and finally come to aliens and strangers, redeeming rebellious sinners and making them into God's new people.
Desiring God Recommendations
Andreas Kostenberger Recommendations