Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JBTM 12:2 (Fall 2015) p. 57
A Commentary on Exodus. By Duane A. Garrett. Kregel Exegetical Library. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2014. 741 pages. Hardcover, $39.99.
This evangelical, exegetical, and expositional commentary explicates the beloved book of Exodus. Garrett serves as John R. Sampey Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His commentaries include Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs in NAC (B&H, 1993), Hosea, Joel in NAC (B&H, 1997), Song of Songs in WBC (Nelson, 2004), and Job in EEC (Logos, forthcoming). The other published volumes in the Kregel Exegetical Library include Robert Chisholm’s Commentary on Judges and Ruth (2013) and Allen Ross’s three-volume A Commentary on the Psalms (2011, 2013, 2015).
Each section of the book consists of an original translation, structural analysis, running commentary, and theological summary. The appendix isolates the eight poems of Exodus (5:21; 6:2–8; 15:1–18, 25–26; 19:3–6; 24:15–18; 29:42–46; 34:6–7). Some of these textual units are rarely classified by scholars as poetry, distinguishing Garrett’s study as a unique contribution. The commentary foregoes indexes, but contains a seventeen-page bibliography.
The Documentary Hypothesis finds no friend in Garrett. The theory possesses “only a shell of intellectual coherence,” is “not based on any ancient Near Eastern analogies,” is “fraught with contradictory conclusions and a general lack of clarity,” and constitutes “a dubious enterprise . . . of doubtful heuristic value” (17–18). Moreover, a preoccupation with the Documentary Hypothesis “leads to commentaries that have more to say about the supposed sources of Exodus than they do about the canonical text” (19). The theory is “entirely based on a mistranslation of the text” of 6:3 (250).
Following a fifty-seven page discussion of the reality and date of the exodus, Garrett concludes, “I do not think it is wise or right to suppose that we can correct what seems to be a deficiency in the Bible and fix a date for the exodus, describe fully the historical setting, or name the pharaoh of the exodus. At the same time, I see nothing that causes me to distrust the biblical account” (103). For him, the radiocarbon dating o...
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