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Posted October 30, 2003

Book: Interpretation: A Biblical Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Joshua
Author: Jerome F. D. Creach
John Knox Press, Louisville, KY, pp.135

Excerpt from Jacket:

Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this outstanding biblical commentary is a major contribution to the general ministry of the Word in today’s world.

This series offers a full interpretation of the biblical text, combining historical scholarship and theological purpose. It brings an understanding of what the text says into dialogue with the critical questions and problems of contemporary life and faith. Interpretation revives the neglected art of expository writing that explains the books of the Bible as the Holy Scripture of a church active at worship and work. Teachers, preachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find here an interpretation that takes serious hermeneutical responsibility for the contemporary meaning and significance of the biblical text.

The comments deal with whole portions or sections of text that are used in teaching and preaching rather than with individual verses and words. Exegetical study and hermeneutical reflection are integrated into one readable expository essay. Each volume of this series clarifies the sense of the text’s language in its literary-historical context and reflects on the meaning of the text in light of its use in the liturgy and the theology of the church. Each suggests ways in which the text addresses faith and life today.

Each biblical book is presented for its most effective use by teacher or preacher, taking into consideration its central purpose, its use in the liturgical and confessional tradition and in lectionaries, and its special significance for Christian ethics and theology.

Excerpt from Book on Joshua:

The Jealous God and Christian Faith

Joshua 24 speaks powerfully to the modern church. It may provide a model particularly for the branch of the church that conceives itself as a covenant community. When Joshua seeks to bind Israel to God in covenantal relationship, he insists that select ancestry is not sufficient; rather, children of the covenant must decide consciously and proclaim publicly that they will follow the God who claimed their mothers and fathers as devotees. The church today should approach baptism and confirmation with equal seriousness. But most importantly, this chapter urges upon the church a particular view of God. The primary characteristic of the Lord is zeal for those who would serve God, which makes God impossible to treat casually or to serve only when it seems convenient. Rather, this God requires complete devotion, and God’s requirements carry threats for those who do not meet the demands.

Table of Contents:


Joshua’s place in the Bible and the Church’s teaching
The nature and plan of this commentary
The nature of the material: Is Joshua history?
The theological context: Joshua and Deuteronomy
The Mosaic Torah
Warfare and the Ban
All Israel
Authorship and Audience
Literary structure and unity
The problem of violence: a preview
Part One: God’s gift of the land
Part Two: Dividing the land for an inheritance
Part Three: When the Lord had given rest