Joel: Prophet of the Outpouring Spirit
Joel: Prophet of the Outpouring Spirit

Joel: Prophet of the Outpouring Spirit

by Jack R. Lundbom

Pages 132
Publisher Sheffield Phoenix Press
Published 2023
ISBN-13 978-1-914490-32-3
Jack Lundbom writes the first full-length critical commentary on the book of Joel in many years, and with a refreshing approach. It contains an extensive Introduction, beginning with the book’s place in the Hebrew and Greek canons, followed by a discussion of the Hebrew and LXX texts, open and closed sections, poetry and prose, rhetoric, the World of Joel, and theology of the book.

The volume employs for the first time ancient section markers and modern rhetorical criticism to better explicate the biblical text. This represents a major advance over source and form-critical work done by earlier scholars, which divided the text largely on the basis of genre and content. Yahweh’s answers to the people’s complaints over a drought and locust plague having descended upon Judah are thus brought together into a moving dialogue instead of being treated separately.

Lundbom provides a new translation of the biblical text, with comparisons being made to other prophetic works in both language and ideas. It sees Joel as standing firmly in the tradition of the biblical prophets, while at the same time being markedly different. With date and provenance of the book nowhere indicated, the world of Joel must be pieced together from internal evidence. Lundbom proposes that Joel is probably early fifth century, written sometime before Malachi (ca. 450). It is clearly post-exilic, being intimately familiar with the Temple with Jerusalem’s walls also standing, which means it must post-date Nehemiah’s rebuilding of city.

Lundbom concludes that the book is largely the work of the prophet Joel, but with a secondary writer or writers in 2.30–3.8 [Hebrew 3.3–4.8] repeating Joel’s authentic hope for Judah and additional judgement on foreign nations.


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