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Ecclesiastes is an Old Testament book with a long history of diverse and contradictory interpretations. Even basic questions—who wrote the book, when, and for what purpose—perennially plague scholars. The book’s theological message is likewise elusive, hidden in riddles and convoluted trains of thought that twist and turn back upon themselves.

In this expert commentary on Ecclesiastes, the newest addition to the Two Horizons Commentary series, Peter Enns neither disregards nor attempts to resolve the book’s many theological tensions and ambiguities. Rather, he shows how these form the backdrop against which the author struggles to show readers the proper path forward in their journeys of faith—remaining true to the tradition to “fear God and keep the commands” despite the apparent futility of human existence.

Two features distinguish the Two Horizons Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection. Exegesis since the Reformation era and especially in the past two hundred years emphasized careful attention to philology, grammar, syntax, and concerns of a historical nature. More recently, commentary has expanded to include social-scientific, political, or canonical questions and more. Without slighting the significance of those sorts of questions, scholars in the Two Horizons Commentary locate their primary interests on theological readings of texts, past and present. The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus. Two Horizons Commentary is written primarily for students, pastors, and other Christian leaders seeking to engage in theological interpretation of Scripture.

Author Bio

Peter Enns is an American Old Testament scholar and was professor of Old Testament and biblical hermeneutics at Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS), Philadelphia until 2008. He has a BA from Messiah College (1982), an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary (1989), and MA (1993) and PhD (1994) from Harvard University where he also served as a Teaching Fellow from 1990–1994. Enns was the editor of the Westminster Theological Journal from 2000–2005. WTS suspended Enns following the end of the Spring semester, 2008 due to the theological issues raised in his book Inspiration and Incarnation. Enns decided to leave WTS after 14 years and did so on mutually agreeable terms with the WTS administration.