Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Posts Tagged ‘John Goldingay

Daniel (WBC) – John Goldingay

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0849902290I recently finished reading this commentary for my PhD seminar on the prophetic literature. The commentary is technical in the sense that the reader should know biblical Hebrew (and maybe Aramaic) while reading it, but he/she can still engage the work without it as well. The Word Biblical Commentary series breaks up each section (or, chapter) into four parts: Form, Setting, Comments, Explanation. One strength of Goldingay’s commentary lies in the “explanation” section, even though it is somewhat redundant in following the “comments.” There, he thinks through the text theologically and expounds on the material in light of God’s unfolding revelation. The problem is that this is Goldingay’s only strength. Sure, one might gain insights from Goldingay on Daniel’s language, how other non-canonical writers were influenced by Daniel, or even Daniel’s use of the OT, but observations like these are few and far between. Goldingay, rather, thinks that chapters 1-6 are allegorical “historiography” (and thus not actual history), that Daniel was not an historical person, and that the book should be dated during the Maccabean era (c. 168 BC) instead of during the time of the Israelite exile (605-538 BC, as the book itself attests). This dating leads Goldingay to interpret Daniel through the lens of secondary Jewish literature rather than in the context of the Bible, which I believe to be a serious flaw. Furthermore, the meaning of the text is lost in oodles of material on the book’s form, some of which is helpful, to be sure, but liberal to say the least.

In the end, I wouldn’t recommend this commentary for pastors since it lacks that sort of quality. Perhaps students of the OT or of intertestamental literature may benefit, but the commentary is lacking theologically, and Goldingay particularly avoids interaction with conservative approaches. It’s also dated (1989). I haven’t read Steinmann or Lucas yet, but at this point I’m still partial to Baldwin, which is also dated and very short.

Written by Josh Philpot

October 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm

How to write a lot!

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Wow! I haven’t posted anything in…how many weeks? 11 it is! I’ve been pouring over a good bit of material in 1 Peter and Daniel, which took over my summer and now consumes most of my time during the week. However, I’ve written a number of posts that are saved and waiting to be edited. Perhaps they will appear this semester (oh, the suspense…).

But until 9/17, the day I present my exegesis of 1 Peter 2:4-10 in my first PhD seminar, I will probably (well, definitely) not post anything. After that presentation I’ll get back to it. In the meantime, I commend this short post to you by Charles Halton on how to make writing part of your daily scholarly life (Jim Hamilton is excellent at doing this). Halton also links to an interview with John Goldingay that I found interesting. I’m currently reading through Goldingay’s commentary on Daniel (WBC), which I hope to write a review for this semester. In my opinion, Goldingay is excellent on theology but totally unconvincing on historical issues surrounding Daniel. Enjoy the Halton post!

Written by Josh Philpot

September 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm

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