In this commentary James McKeown approaches the book of Ruth as part of the whole canon of Scripture, exploring not only the content of the book itself but also its relationship to other biblical books. He shows in particular how Ruth overflows with allusions to Genesis. The themes of “blessing,” “seed,” and “land” are common to both books, and studying Genesis and Ruth together provides profound insights into the providential working of God to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In addition to his exegetical commentary on the text of Ruth, McKeown provides useful background material on how the book has been interpreted throughout history, including Jewish interpretation, and he focuses on Ruth’s theology and its application. His discussion also touches on such related topics as universalism, feminist studies, and the missiological significance of the book of Ruth.
McKeown’s insightful commentary will enable students, pastors, and laypeople to better understand the ancient book of Ruth so that they can better apply its message and wisdom today.
James McKeown teaches Old Testament and Hebrew atUnion Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Review of Biblical Literature "Concisely covers the text of Ruth and its historical, sociological, and theological motifs. . . . A helpful resource."
Reviews in Religion & Theology "An excellent commentary, which will be of great value to clergy, students, and church leaders, but would also be useful for scholars."
Vox Reformata "Succinct and a pleasure to read. . . . McKeown's discussion of the canonical connections between Ruth and other books of the OT is masterful, as is his analysis of the theology of the book of Ruth and its implications for understanding the book."
Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament "Brilliant combination of detailed exegesis alongside skilled theological exposition. Both the individual context of Ruth and the broader context of the Old Testament canon are brought to bear in a volume that is sure to be treasured by both scholars and lay readers alike."
Daniel Block — Wheaton College "The distinctive character of the Two Horizons series shines brightly here. Whereas most commentaries focus on the first horizon (explaining the details of the text), McKeown devotes fully one half of his exposition to conversations about the theological implications of motifs and concepts raised by the narrative of Ruth. His discussions of the relationship of this book to the rest of the Scriptures (both Old and New Testament) and his reflections on its enduring theology are without equal. This commentary should be required reading for all who study and teach or preach the message of the book of Ruth."
Intelmin.org "Part of the Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary Series, McKeown's contribution to the study of the book of Ruth is top notch. . . . McKeown does a marvelous job of providing the reader with an accessible commentary that is scholarly yet very readable and that focuses on helping those who take the time to read his effort with valuable comments and understanding of the text. This is a commentary that both seasoned theologians and brand new believers will find quite useful."
The Bible Today "A good supplement to Old Testament study."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society "McKeown's parting words on Ruth ('a breath of fresh air,' p. 140) apply very well to his own commentary. It is worth the reading and worthy of a place in the theological library even of those who count themselves outside of the circle of Christian leaders for whom the commentary was primarily conceived."
Horizons in Biblical Theology "This commentary is a valuable addition to the resources for the study of Ruth. It is well written and should be quite useful to its intended audiences."
Trinity Journal "James McKeown's commentary on Ruth is distinctive and highly successful. . . . For an explanation of the key details as well as a synthesis of the book's story and message in the context of the biblical canon and Christian theology, this is an excellent commentary. I found it to be challenging and insightful."
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