“Judges, in the history of its interpretation, has been well served by astute literary and historical commentary, but to these Laura Smit adds robust theological engagement. She is not afraid to go where the text leads–to a God of election, a God who involves us in warfare, a God who demands sacrifice, a God who requires countercultural fidelity. This is a challenging reading of a challenging book and will encourage all Christian readers to reexamine their own theological commitments. In addition, Stephen Fowl offers a nuanced reading of Ruth, pondering Gentile inclusion in the people of God and reflecting wisely on the multiple challenges of theological interpretation. Together these two different voices model something of the variety of ways that theological reading can engage the scriptural text.”

Richard S. Briggs, lecturer in Old Testament and director of biblical studies, Cranmer Hall, St. John’s College, Durham University


“Smit’s treatment of Judges combines traditional literary analysis with the doctrinal sensibilities of a seasoned theologian. In framing the book of Judges as a failed attempt to “reverse the Fall” (p. 16), Smit perceptively connects the rebellion of a generation of God’s people to humanity’s perpetual failure to fulfill its priestly vocation. This paradigm provides a fruitful avenue for contemporary application; Smit poignantly observes that “we are not invited to read the book of Judges from a perspective of distance or superiority; we are invited to see it as our own frightening story” (p. 10). The result is a convicting exploration of Judges that perceptively considers its literary, canonical, and theological contexts.”

Michelle E. Knight, assistant professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Bulletin for Biblical Research 31, no. 1 (2021): 77–79.

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Judges (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible)

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