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These five Old Testament books, traditionally known simply as “the Scrolls,” are among the most neglected parts of the Christian Bible. In Judaism, the Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther were eventually adopted as lectionary readings for five of the major festivals. In Christian tradition, however, no consensus has emerged about their proper use. Each book presents particular difficulties with regard to how it relates to the rest of Scripture, and how it should be understood as the Word of God for us today.
Barry Webb offers a Christian interpretation of these problematic writings. He allows each book to set its own agenda, and then examines each in relation to the wider Old Testament and to the New Testament gospel with its basic structure of promise and fulfillment. In this way, Webb presents fresh and illuminating perspectives on these five “festal garments” of love, kindness, suffering, vexation, and deliverance.
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This volume will not only help thinking Christians understand their Bibles better, and therefore the God of the Bible, but (I cheerfully predict) it will form the substance of not a few sermons delivered by preachers who will for the first time dare expound the Five Scrolls.
—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
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Barry G. Webb is senior research fellow in Old Testament at Moore Theological College in New South Wales, Australia. He also serves as assistant editor of Reformed Theological Review. He has written several books, including The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Judges and The Book of the Judges: An Integrated Reading.