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- Publisher: IVP
- ISBN: 978-1-78359-894-6
- Pages: 240
- Price: £14.99
Whenever a new commentary is published from the conservative viewpoint on a book of the Bible which is already well covered, there ought to be few issues of concern because there is so much literature with which to compare it.
Practically speaking, I found the book’s layout useful, with chapters divided into ‘context’, ‘comment’, and ‘theology’ sections. It can sometimes be helpful to turn straight to the theology section when one is using another commentary and simply looking for some assistance or clarification. The bibliography is helpfully placed at the start of the book along with a list of abbreviations. The book is published with footnotes on the relevant page, which is much more helpful than trawling backwards and forwards to follow up end notes. The book itself contains a useful introduction, followed by an analysis which contains a comprehensive breakdown of the different sections of the letter.
The obvious way to know more about the sturdiness of a commentary’s theology is to turn to one of those passages with which the world has issues. On this occasion it would be Ephesians 5:22-33, reported in the Daily Telegraph (2009) as being in the ‘Top 10 worst Bible passages’. Darrell Bock does nothing to seek to give a nod to the world’s view, holding to a firm, orthodox, and spiritual explanation of the text about husbands and wives. ‘Here,’ he says, ‘submission and love are paired in such a way that the wife is responsive to a husband who cares for her as Christ cared for the church’ (p.171)
I can think of no more positive recommendation than to say that although I already have several commentaries on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians on my groaning bookshelves, this is a welcome addition to their numbers.