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Judges: a commentary by Susan Niditch

Judges: a commentary (2008)

by Susan Niditch

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331513,352 (4)None
Susan Niditch's commentary on the book of Judges pays careful attention to the literary and narrative techniques of the text and yields fresh readings of the book's difficult passages: stories of violence, ethnic conflict, and gender issues. Niditch aptly and richly conveys the theological impact and enduring significance of these stories. The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.… (more)
Recently added bydivlib, UBS2017, Tac12, hthomas, style-dud, asreid
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    Judges by Robert G. Boling (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: The Book of Judges is one of the most complex and intriguing in the Hebrew Bible. No commentary can cover all aspects of it. Susan Niditch is very interested in its relation to oral tradition. Robert G. Boling devoted great attention to text and sources. The two complement each other well.… (more)

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Many of the books of the Bible come from multiple sources, but none, perhaps, are such rich tapestries as the books of Judges and Samuel. This fact, and the fact that the textual traditions of both books are complex, impose a tremendous task on the translator and commentator. And it is a task Susan Niditch handles with aplomb.

The tales of the Judges clearly originated in large part as folktales (in the case of Samson, probably exclusively as folktales), and Niditch, who has a background in folklore as well as in Biblical studies, is able to use that fact to see deeply into the stories in a way that few other commentators have.

That alone would probably justify the purchase of this volume, but there is more. Niditch gives a very full and detailed textual commentary, including not only places where the versions might cause us to modify the text but places where the Greek and the Old Latin offer interpretations of the text. This gives us a useful perspective on the early church's understanding of Judges.

The translation prepared by Niditch is a little peculiar, given to inversions of word order and rather stiff renderings in order to bring us a little closer to the Hebrew. It is not a version for casual reading, and should not be understood as such. But once that it understood, it is a clear and useful version. You won't want to abandon your New Revised Standard Version -- but you'll want Niditch's translation to tell you more about what you are reading. ( )
  waltzmn | Sep 6, 2013 |
Nevertheless, in spite of these critiques, this volume is a welcome addition to Judges study, primarily due to its emphasis on the interplay between orality and textuality in the biblical literature. Though this approach is currently in vogue in scholarly circles, most work has been done at the theoretical and methodological level. Nititch's application of her orality/ textuality method to a complete book of the Bible is an insightful contribution.
added by Christa_Josh | editWestminster Theological Journal, R. Andrew Compton (Mar 1, 2011)
For its economy of presentation of technical notes, the volume is useful for the reader adequately prepared with Hebrew. However, it should be used alongside a more substantial commentary on Judges, such as that by Block (NAC, 1999).
added by Christa_Josh | editJournal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Michael Heiser (Sep 1, 2008)
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As a student of biblical literature who is deeply influenced by studied of oral-traditional literatures and folklore, I have always sought to explore the writings of the ancient Israelites in terms of "text," "texture," and "context."
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