Of the Major Prophets, Jeremiah is perhaps the least straightforward. It is variously comprised of stories about the prophet Jeremiah, exchanges between Jeremiah and Yahweh, and messages directly from Yahweh—meaning a consciousness of form is essential to the understanding of its content. At times it is written in poetry, resembling Isaiah, while at other times it is written in prose, more similar to Ezekiel. And it is without doubt the darkest and most threatening of the Major Prophets, inviting comparisons to Amos and Hosea.
John Goldingay, a widely respected biblical scholar who has written extensively on the entire Old Testament, navigates these complexities in the same spirit as other volumes of the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series—rooted in Jeremiah’s historical context but with an eye always trained on its meaning and use as Christian Scripture. After a thorough introduction that explores matters of background, composition, and theology, Goldingay provides an original translation and verse-by-verse commentary of all fifty-two chapters, making this an authoritative and indispensable reference for scholars and pastors as they engage with Jeremiah from a contemporary Christian standpoint.
Table of Contents
Introduction I. Background II. Unity of Composition III. Authorship and Date IV. Place of Origin, Occasion, and Destination V. Canonicity VI. The Hebrew Text VII. Theology VIII. Main Themes and Their Implications IX. Analysis of Contents Text and Commentary Prologue: An Introduction to the Scroll (1:1–19) I. Part One: Confrontation, Exhortation, Warning (2:1–6:36) II. Part Two: Twenty More Years (7:1–24:10) An Interim Conclusion (25:1–38) III. Part Three: The Die Cast and the Possibility of Restoration (26:1–36:32) IV. Part Four: The Calamity and the Aftermath (37:1–45:5) V. Part Five: Messages about Other Peoples (46:1–51:64) Epilogue (52:1–34)
John Goldingay is David Allan Hubbard Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. For many years he also served as priest-in-charge of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California. Now living back in England, where he was born and raised, he is the author of numerous commentaries and books, including Reading Jesus's Bible: How the New Testament Helps Us Understand the Old Testament and an original translation of the Old Testament entitled The First Testament.
“Drawing from a well of interpretation two millennia deep, Goldingay provides to beginning students as well as experts a coherent, accessible commentary on Jeremiah as a book of Scripture. His discussions of the diction and structure, poetry and rhetoric of the Hebrew text enable readers to join him in investigating Jeremiah with empathetic historical imagination.” — Pamela J. Scalise Fuller Theological Seminary
“With a refreshing approach to the commentary genre, Goldingay outstandingly leads his audience to navigate the depth, complexity, and ambiguity of the Jeremiah scroll. Using lucid, reader-friendly, and empowering rhetoric, he has eloquently demonstrated the power of imagination with fresh angles of perception. Readers are invited to engage in pursuing this complex book with pointers and directives provided by the author.” — Barbara M. Leung Lai Tyndale University
“In this landmark commentary on Jeremiah, John Goldingay succeeds in mingling the best of textual and critical scholarship with freshness of insight and theological relevance. His mastery of the arts of biblical interpretation and his knowledge of critical scholarship are unparalleled, yet he frees the reader from entanglement in arcane jargon. He has a unique knack for conveying complex matters in ways that are fresh and compelling. Above all, the prophet Jeremiah is not allowed to become a creature of literary process but emerges as one who has had an experience of God and who has bequeathed an immense theological legacy in the book that bears his name. This commentary is an immensely valuable resource for all serious readers of the Old Testament.” — J. Gordon McConville University of Gloucestershire
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