Stimulating study of the career and ministry of the prophet Elisha in parallel to Jesus Christ.

Elisha Forerunner of Jesus Christ

BIBLE COMMENTARY ON 2 KINGS 2-9

A thorough, textually grounded study of the Old Testament prophet Elisha and the ways he foreshadowed Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

Arnold’s (Elijah Between Judgment and Grace, 2015, etc.) latest book—originally published in French as Elisée précurseur de Jésus-Christ. Commentaire de 2 Rois 2-9 (2002) and here translated by Ludwig—is a meticulously detailed study of the prophet Elisha in the second book of Kings, with the specific thesis that he was an identifiable precursor to Jesus Christ. At first glance, this seems like a tall order, since, among other things, Elisha is portrayed as not merely a prophet but also a publicly esteemed councilor to kings and armies—a worker of miracles, yes, but very much an accepted figure of the establishment rather than a renegade rabbi preaching in the hinterlands of Nazareth before being put to an ignominious death by the Roman authorities. Yet Arnold argues for their similarities. “To read the ministry of this prophet [Elisha] in the light of the gospel is a source of great blessing,” Arnold writes. “Once you have started, you can hardly stop.” True to his word, Arnold proceeds to enumerate the many affinities between the two men: both worked many miracles, both seemed in possession of supernatural amounts of knowledge, each was anointed in his ministry by a fellow charismatic prophet figure (Elijah in the case of Elisha; John the Baptist in the case of Jesus), each appeared to need no step-by-step instruction from God, etc. But the greatest strength of Arnold’s book is his lively and accessible verse-by-verse analysis of Elisha’s ministry itself. Arnold’s commentary on 2 Kings is superb, drawing on an array of exegetical writing and sparkling with his own insights. Students of biblical studies will find this utterly fascinating reading.

Stimulating study of the career and ministry of the prophet Elisha in parallel to Jesus Christ.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5084-2942-5

Page Count: 238

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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An impressive monograph by two scholars well-positioned to examine the impact of religion on secular life.

BIBLE NATION

THE UNITED STATES OF HOBBY LOBBY

Two biblical scholars combine to dig into the actions and words of the billionaire Green family, founders of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores.

Moss (New Testament/Univ. of Notre Dame) and Baden (Hebrew Bible/Yale Divinity School), co-authors of Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness (2015), focus on the lawsuit filed by the Greens that reached the Supreme Court in 2014. The Greens, who have long been major funders of evangelical Christian initiatives, believed they possessed the right as business owners to ignore federal law requiring employers to cover the costs of contraceptives for employees. In a 5-4 decision, the justices sided with the Greens. The authors explain how the family arrived at their view of the prosperity gospel: due to their literal interpretations of the Bible and their generosity to evangelical Christian causes, God rewarded them with widespread business success. Patriarch David Green claimed that the legal battle occurred because the family could not abide abandoning religious beliefs to obey a provision of the federal government’s Affordable Care Act, signed by President Barack Obama. The authors began their deep dive into the Green empire after becoming aware of the vast sums the family was spending to inject religion into school curricula, to collect rare biblical manuscripts, and to open a massive Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., which is currently under construction. Moss and Baden portray the Green family members and their key executives as sincere evangelicals and benevolent employers. Throughout the book, however, they also show the Greens as naïve or disingenuous. To be sure, the family’s proselytizing is not neutral. Rather, they are promoting a historically inaccurate saga of the U.S. as an exclusionary Christian nation meant to marry church and state.

An impressive monograph by two scholars well-positioned to examine the impact of religion on secular life.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-691-17735-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Longwinded though affecting tribute to resilience and solidarity.

HURRICANE SEASON

A COACH, HIS TEAM, AND THEIR TRIUMPH IN THE TIME OF KATRINA

Even a Category 5 hurricane can’t stop a revered coach and his championship high-school football team.

Popular historian Thompson (Driving with the Devil, 2006, etc.) begins in the locker room of New Orleans’ John Curtis Christian School on August 26, 2005. It was the night of the “jamboree” scrimmage that opened the season, and members of the Patriots were hoping to win another state championship for their school. Nationally recognized coach J.T. Curtis, also the school’s headmaster and son of its founder, knew that his hardworking, enthusiastic squad couldn’t compare to last year’s lineup. Many key players had graduated to college ball, and he needed to mentally and physically condition a young, unproven team with efficient, college-level practices consisting of “equal parts Broadway musical and football drills.” The 2005-6 Patriots included an anxious new starting quarterback, a Harvard hopeful, a spiritual heavyweight and a star linebacker whose religion forbade him to play on Friday nights. John Curtis School favored community building and happiness over flashy exteriors, and Coach Curtis reflected those values in his broadminded teaching style and paternal approach to his players’ personal lives. Hurricane Katrina confronted him and his team with the ultimate challenge. Returning to the drowned city, J.T. found the school in miraculously good shape and set out to reunite his squad and get them on the field again. Some players were tempted to join teams in other school districts, and Hurricane Rita tested them once again, but the devoted coach kept on plugging. Thompson deftly profiles a generous selection of players and families torn apart by the disaster and considers the contagious obsession for football shared by participants and fans alike. In a somewhat meandering fashion, he delivers a fully realized interpretative portrait of a coach and a sports organization willing to sacrifice all in the name of football.

Longwinded though affecting tribute to resilience and solidarity.

Pub Date: July 31, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4165-4070-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007

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