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In this outstanding commentary 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.