I have looked at a couple of the books written by Goldingay in the For Everyone commentary series and this is easily one of the best ones. While the author does a good job making all of the books of the Bible understandable to the average person, this is one of the most insightful and least formulaic that he has written.
In Job for Everyone, John Goldingay regularly uses both personal experiences and familiar anecdotes to help his readers understand and see the significance of the topics that he explores. This installment is no different. What does seem different is that he doesn’t rely nearly so heavily on these experiences as he has in the past. Often these anecdotes made me think more of a Sunday morning sermon that a commentary. While Goldingay still maintains an easy, narrative voice, he delves far deeper into traditional analysis than he has prior to this book. This balance that he strikes makes this book engaging to readers of various levels.
My one qualm with reading commentaries for a review, verses a novel or non-fiction book, is that they are usually formulaic and repetitive in nature. It makes me harken back to seminary when we were required to read highly technical commentaries that were well over 1,000 pages long. Yikes, I still get shivers. The early versions of this commentary series had a bit of predictability to them, although nothing on par with the tediousness most commentaries. In this version however, I found myself sitting back and truly enjoying the feedback on each section. I felt more like I was attending a lecture with a relatable teacher rather than reading an encyclopedia cover-to-cover.
When I recommend this commentary series, as a whole, it is for its understandability, relatability, and approachability. With this volume however, it is for all those things and a depth and quality of writing that made this both an enjoyable read and an applicable source for study.
Trent Nicholson, Ph.D., D.Min.
Desert Bible Institute, President
Dr. Nicholson reviews academic, Christian living, and fiction books for a variety of publishers in an array of formats. He is never paid for any of his reviews. He writes these strictly as a courtesy to his students at Desert Bible Institute and for any other readers that might find his insights valuable. For more reviews or information, visit Dr. Nicholson’s blog at drtnicholson.wordpress.com.
The book for this review was provided free of charge by Westminster John Knox Press through NetGalley.com. This book was provided without the expectation or requirement of a positive response. Thank you to both the publisher and NetGalley.com for the opportunity to both read your advanced copy and to provide this unpaid evaluation. All opinions in this review reflect the views of the author and not DBI, NetGalley.com, or the publisher.