in Westminster Bible Companion

by Ronald E. Clements

5 Rank Score: 5.12 from 1 reviews, 0 featured collections, and 1 user libraries
Pages 211 pages
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
Published 1996
ISBN-13 9780664252724


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Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996. Pp. x + 211, Paperback, $17.00, ISBN 0664252729. Steven S. Tuell Randolph-Macon College Ashland, VA 23005 The Westminster Bible Companion series is “intended to help the laity of the church read the Bible more clearly and intelligently” (p. ix). This purpose is ably addressed by Ronald Clements in his commentary on Ezekiel, which is well-written, cogent, non-technical, and addressed at every point to the concerns of Christian laity. Of particular value is Clements’s treatment of the historical and social background to Jerusalem’s rebellion and fall. He succeeds admirably in helping the average reader to picture the circumstances out of which the book of Ezekiel emerged. Indeed, it is in terms of Ezekiel’s historical context that Clements understands the prophet’s message: as a combination of priestly steadfastness and prophetic creativity (p. 186), voiced in response to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Clements’s historical perspective emphasizes the interrelationship between Ezekiel’s message and that of his contemporary Jeremiah, often reading the two books in tandem. Nonetheless, Ezekiel emerges as a unique bridge between the first and second temple, and a forerunner of themes that would energize emergent Judaism and Christianity. The commentary opens with a general introduction, dealing with matters of authorship, date, setting, and composition in a thorough, noncontroversial manner. As regards composition, Clements opts for a compromise position midway between those who see Ezekiel as the sole author and those who assign the text to multiple stages of redaction. He proposes that the book of Ezekiel is analogous to “a great person's collected papers--including notes and diary entries--that have been edited after their author’s death” (p. 6). One might argue that this collection analogy does not quite explain Ezekiel’s uniformity of style and theme, which suggest that the book is a written composition rather than a collection. [Full Review]