Subscribe now

WCS Ruth – From Bitter to Sweet

By John Currid
January 2014 | Review by Geoff Cox
  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-788-1
  • Pages: 144
  • Price: 8.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

Ruth — from bitter to sweet
John Currid
EP Books
144 pages, £8.99
ISBN: 978-0-85234-788-1
Star Rating : 3

This is a Welwyn Commentary on the Book of Ruth. It includes material for further thought and reflection at the end of each chapter. This extra material means that the book could easily form the basis for group Bible studies.

  There is a mixture of background information, explanation of the translation of important words and spiritual application throughout the commentary. It is not academic, but it is a worthwhile read, especially devotionally. In the commentary the author traces God’s sovereign plan to bring Christ into the world and how Ruth plays a significant part in these plans.

  He is honest about the weaknesses and strengths of the characters, neither whitewashing their faults nor being over-harsh with their weaknesses.

  Of particular merit is his defence of the propriety of Naomi instructing Ruth to go to the threshing floor and lie down beside Boaz. This is worth having, as so many today accuse Naomi of encouraging Ruth in immoral behaviour. It is worth quoting his comment in full:

The view that the scene at the threshing floor is a sexual encounter appears to be a commonly held position today. My belief is that this perspective reveals more about our day and age than it does about the time of Boaz and Ruth.

‘We live in a sex-sated culture in the West, and so we look back on this story with suspicion and scepticism. We read our own mores back into the story. But, in reality, there is nothing in the account that warrants such doubts or reading into the story what is not there.

‘The irony is that one of the major themes of the book of Ruth is the integrity, honour and uprightness of Boaz and Ruth. They are characters for us to emulate. They are honest, diligent and forthright, and they keep their word’.

It was disappointing that the author passes very briefly over periods of peace in the Judges, whereas the times of trouble received extended coverage. During the period of the judges there were 289 years of peace and 111 years of oppression (and even they were not all violent). The other slight drawback was his use of unusual and less well known words, for example apodictic, volitional and inclusio.

Whilst by no means the last word in commentaries on the Book of Ruth, this is certainly a valuable addition and worthwhile read.

Geoff Cox







Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…