In this outstanding edition from the Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOT), J. Gordon McConville offers a theological interpretation of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy in the context of the biblical canon. He gives due attention to historical issues where these bear on what can be known about the settings in which the text emerged. His dominant method is one that approaches Deuteronomy as a finished work.
McConville argues that in the context of the ancient world Deuteronomy should be understood as the radical blueprint for the life of a people, at the same time both spiritual and political, and profoundly different from every other social, political and religious program. The book incorporates the tension between an open-minded vision of a perfectly ordered society under God and practical provisions for dealing with the frailty and imperfections of real people. Hence, it is capable of informing our thinking about the organization of societies while maintaining a vision of the kingdom of God.
“However, the comparison with the prophets suggests that Deuteronomy should be seen, in the context of the ancient world, as a radical blueprint for the life of a people, at the same time spiritual and political, and running counter to every other social-political-religious programme. It is the aim of the commentary to explain in what sense this is so.” (Page 21)
“The essential aspect of this love is loyalty, as the appearance of love language in political treaties shows. However, there is an emotive side to the love between God and humans too.” (Pages 146–147)
“Deuteronomy deserves its misnomer ‘second law’. The most celebrated difference between Deuteronomy and the laws in Exodus concerns the law of the place of worship, on which Deuteronomy apparently requires a single place (Deut. 12:5), while Exodus had allowed a plurality (Exod. 20:24).” (Page 19)
“In the metaphor of a circumcision of the heart (10:16; 30:6) it has an express echo in Jer. 4:4, and in general comes close to the strong prophetic rejection of ritual actions that have no genuine corresponding devotion to God (e.g. Is. 1:10–17; Amos 5:21–24). In Deut. 30:1–10, in fact, the emphasis on obedience from the heart together with the need for the grace of God in restoring the covenantal relationship puts Deuteronomy close to the new-covenant theology of Jer. 31:31–34.” (Pages 20–21)
“I suggest in contrast that the book of ancient Israel’s constitution could by its nature produce the idea of canon (here with Kline 1972). The Torah taught by Moses takes on an authority equal to that of the words of Yahweh given at Sinai.” (Page 40)
The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOT) aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts, and it shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers. Written by an international team of scholars and edited by David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, these commentaries are intended to serve the needs of those who preach from the Old Testament, as well as scholars and all serious students of the Bible.
In the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.