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The Message of Ecclesiastes (Bible Speaks Today), by Derek Kidner
Fee Download The Message of Ecclesiastes (Bible Speaks Today), by Derek Kidner
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What is life about? In the end, does it all amount to a wisp of vapor, a puff of wind, a mere breath—nothing you can get your hands on–the nearest thing to zero? So says the Preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes. But is this the whole message of Ecclesiastes? With imagination and clarity, Derek Kidner introduces this Old Testament book which speaks so powerfully to our generation. His love of Hebrew poetry and his understanding of biblical mind shine through in his careful passage-by-passage exposition. The full biblical text is included.
- Sales Rank: #88032 in Books
- Published on: 1984-09-13
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 8.25″ h x .40″ w x 5.50″ l, .32 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 110 pages
About the Author
The works of Derek Kidner (MA, Christ’s College, Cambridge) are full of the marks of both professor and pastor with his evenhanded scholarship as well as his devotional insight. These qualities have made his commentaries in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series and The Bible Speaks Today series some of the most beloved and popular of recent decades. Kidner had a long career in both the church and the academy in England. He studied at Cambridge University and then served in the ministry for several years before becoming a senior tutor at Oak Hill Theological College. Kidner began his writing career while serving as warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge from 1964 to 1978, publishing his ninth and final book, The Message of Jeremiah, in 1987.
Most helpful customer reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful.
By Steven Cowden
Wisdom literature is where Kidner excels (see his “Wisdom of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes” as well as his commentary on Proverbs). I have used his commentaries on Psalms and Proverbs for personal reading for 25 years and am still filled and never disappointed. As a previous reviewer has observed, Kidner has a way of capturing the essence of the meaning of a passage and distilling it into a very brief and satisfying statement. A few words from Kidner are usually worth a few pages from some others.
This volume on Ecclesiastes shares this same lucid, penetrating and practical style. He adds very useful insight about the flow of thought (often difficult to discern on the surface) which enables one to readily assimilate what Solomon is actually trying to convey. Kidner’s introduction is extremely helpful on the themes of Ecclesiastes. I especially like how he points out the “Facts to Face About God” which underly the ultimate worldview and message of Ecclesiastes and should control our interpretation.
One caveat: Kidner does not seem to view Solomon as the actual author (see his comments on 1:1 where he is purposefully, yet disappointingly, vague). However, Kidner is absolutely committed to the inspiration and authority of Ecclesiastes as scripture by whatever process he views it as coming into being. For Kidner, pinning down the human authorship of Ecclesiastes appears to be secondary to understanding God’s message.
I have over a thousand commentaries on the OT in my personal library – 39 on Ecclesiastes. I consult them extensively for personal reading as well as for preaching and teaching. Kidner remains one of my favorite authors and this volume on Ecclesiastes only confirms this evaluation.
Note: A previous reviewer used this forum to complain about unmet expectations and/or bad service (apparently from a used book dealer). I wish folks would realize that there is a place on Amazon for expressing these kinds of frustrations (rating a seller). This forum is about rating the quality of a book – usually its content.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
I really want to like this commentary
I really want to like this commentary, but there’s something unapproachable to it.
I’ll firstly state that I am not a Biblical scholar nor do I have the knowledge and insight that I know Mr. Kidner has. I will also state that just because I didn’t prefer this commentary doesn’t mean I have any harsh feelings towards Mr. Kidner so please keep any comments on my review civil as I have done so in my review.
I gave this commentary 3 stars because perhaps my gripes with the commentary are more about personal taste than it is with the content. For any one looking to buy it, I will emphasize that it is still very much readable for the lay person, but depending on your preference you might get bogged down in, what I feel is, his personal style.
From his commentary on Ecclesiastes, I see hidden gems, key elements that are helpful in understanding this book. Deep and insightful as they are though, they are just that, hidden.
Between the quality of the print (which for some is just a direct photocopy of the original making the footnotes miserable to read. Not Kidner’s fault, I know) and Kidner’s wordiness, the knowledge that he wishes to share (which there is plenty) gets lost. There is a lot of what seems to be at times unnecessary, fluffy exposition that like a man searching for words that can’t seem to find the right things to say to give full meaning to what he is trying to communicate like a man searching for water in the desert and much like I’m doing right now…the original reason for writing the sentence is unknown. A lot of folks like this commentary, and they have great reason to like it. However for me, I get waylaid by Kidner’s personal writing style which is always profound but never entirely clear and never concise.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful.
Kidner at His Incisive Best
Kidner’s commentary is like a slim slab of gold. While not a detailed exegetical commentary, Kidner’s compact, concise, insightful, arresting style makes this one of the most useful and accessible commentaries on this often misunderstood book. He can say in a single paragraph what it takes most people a page to say. On the joy motif expressed in 2:24-26 he remarks: “In themselves and rightly used, the basic things of life are sweet and good. What spoils them is our hunger to get more out of them than they can give.” Kidner’s writing is to the commentary literature what poetry is to prose.
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