Now Available: Job 1-21 by C. L. Seow

Job 1-21The book of Job is by all accounts an exquisite piece of literary art that has its rightful place among the most outstanding compositions in world literature. It is a work of remarkable theological richness, passion, and honesty. Yet it is also widely recognized as an immensely difficult text to understand.

C. L. Seow’s two-volume commentary — the first in the Illuminations biblical commentary series — pays close attention to the reception history of Job, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Western secular interpretations as expressed in theological, philosophical, and literary writings and in the visual and performing arts. In addition, this volume offers a primarily literary-theological interpretation of Job, a new translation, and commentary, resulting in a “history of consequences” that draws on insights from a rich tapestry of historical and contemporary interpretations.

“. . . a breath-taking example of learnedness and erudition on an astonishing number of fronts . . . masterful command of the history of interpretation of Job in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as in the modern non-confessional engagement of Job. [T]his is a commentary that will transform the way I teach Job and I think also transform my very understanding of the hermeneutics of texts.”
— Carol Newsom, Emory University

“A dazzling combination of sophisticated linguistic work and profound theological insights. Seow is an ideal commentator on what is arguably the most challenging book — linguistically and theologically — in the Hebrew Bible.”
— James Kugel, Bar-Ilan University

“Once again, as in his masterful commentary on Ecclesiastes, Seow brings to the Book of Job a rare combination of historical knowledge, linguistic expertise, patient attention to details, and a sense of existential and theological perspective that enables him to see and interpret those details in a fashion at once balanced and penetrating. The result is a commentary that is bound to become a classic in Job studies.”
— J. Gerald Janzen, Christian Theological Seminary

“The appearance of Seow’s marvelous, eclectic commentary on the Book of Job is an occasion for celebration.  It is the first critical commentary to give proper weight to reception history along with the philological and literary analysis necessary to support judicious interpretation.  Seow is not only a thorough and learned commentator; he is also a subtle one, with a keen eye and ear for ambiguity and nuance.  In addition, his lucid and elegant writing is a pleasure to read.”
— Alan Cooper, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

“This is easily the most comprehensive commentary available on the Book of Job. From detailed textual analysis to artistic and poetic interpretations, Seow provides a rich avenue into one of our most complex biblical books. The breadth of scholarship is matched by the clarity and attractiveness of presentation. This will be a standard work for a long time to come.”
— Patrick Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary

“Seow is arguably the master scholar, researcher, teacher, and interpreter of his generation. In this remarkable book, his singular capacities are fully on exhibit. . . . Mastery of the critical apparatus, attentiveness to rhetorical nuance, theological sensibility, and acuteness concerning the historical spectrum of interpretations.  He is able to trace the thickness of interpretation from the oldest translations through the vagaries of the historical process. In the midst of such erudition, his commentary on specific texts is nonetheless cast in an accessible narrative mode. This commentary has a durable quality that will serve us long and well.”
— Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

“An outstanding masterpiece of philology, exegesis, and theological interpretation.”
Thomas Krüger, Universität Zürich

“A lucid, extraordinarily erudite commentary.”
— Michael V. Fox, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“One of the very best commentaries in the last hundred years.”
— Michael Coogan,Editor of  The New Oxford Annotated Bible and The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible.

“The Illuminations series is brilliant. . . . This commentary will have tremendous influence on all future interpretations of the book of Job.”
— Tremper Longman III, Westmont College

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