Series: The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL)2 Samuel
, by Antony F. Campbell, S.J., is Volume VIII of The Forms of the Old Testament Literature, a series that aims to present a form-critical analysis of every book in the Hebrew Bible. Fundamentally exegetical, the FOTL volumes examine the structure, genre, setting
, and intention
of each textual unit in question. They also study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, attempt to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and expose the exegetical process so as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation of the Old Testament texts.
Beginning where he left off in his volume on 1 Samuel, Campbell unpacks the wealth of insight inherent in 2 Samuel by paying close attention to the literary structure of the book. Following a comprehensive introduction, the commentary carefully analyzes the major sections of 2 Samuel and each passage within them. In the process, Campbell reveals the diversity of views that existed in Israel's traditions, and he highlights the primacy of theology over history in Israel's thinking.
"This volume in the FOTL commentary series shows an imaginative and well-informed push beyond form criticism into newer, more dynamic methods of interpretation. Antony Campbell is a master of this narrative material and is able to exhibit the deep artistic character of the text, making for a most welcome and fresh read. His commentary is informed on critical data but lingers with that data only in order to see the artistic force of the text itself."
David M. Gunn
"In Antony Campbell the reader has a sure guide to 2 Samuel. He writes with the assurance of a scholar who knows the terrain through and through. Distinctive is his charting of a middle way between recent literary approaches to the book's final form and the concern of modern historical-critical scholarship to account for the earlier stages of the text's composition. Distinctive also is his insistent eliciting of questions from the narrative and his resolute refusal to offer easy answers. Campbell writes with clarity and skillfully draws his reader through a wide range of issues, from form to meaning. At the heart of this biblical book, which contains some of the finest narrative in the Bible, he discerns an exposition of human power and a challenge to grow wise in the ways of God. Complementing Campbell's fine commentary on 1 Samuel, this volume adds further weight to a distinguished series."
"A fine work that deserves, and will doubtless receive, much appreciative attention. Arguably, the best available commentary on 2 Samuel as ancient literature that still speaks to the contemporary situation."