An impressive and comprehensive study of the book of Esther for Christian scholars.

Esther: Surviving in a Hostile World


A Bible commentary embraces literature, history, and theology to better understand the book of Esther.

“The book of Esther is… full of questions that preoccupy modern man: sexism, feminism, racism, genocide,” Arnold writes. “Is it a model for feminists and oppressed minorities….Is Esther an example to follow?” To pursue this question, he conducts extensive analyses of the book of Esther as a literary work, a historical document, a biblical text, and, most important for his primary arguments, as a “hidden message” about the nature of God’s intervention in the lives of believers. Being different in structure, tone, and subject than any other book of the Bible, Esther lends itself well to this thorough study and allows Arnold (Esther: Forerunner of Jesus Christ, 2015, etc.) to investigate biblical translations, the origin of Purim, and Esther’s place in the historical record. His introduction sets out to show how Esther is affected by drama, intrigue, irony, and especially rhythm—Arnold makes particularly fascinating points about the book’s structure, likening it to varying heartbeats that follow “a crescendo, then a decrease,” in both chapter length and the temporality of the story. In his view, while the book of Esther opens itself to feminist or even post-colonial readings, these elements merely strengthen the text’s messages for believers. “The other questions are peripheral and are only of interest insofar as they convey the author’s message,” he writes, leaving many of those ideas in the footnotes and perhaps missing opportunities to engage with secular interpretations. But for Christian scholars and teachers of the Bible, Arnold acknowledges the inherent difficulties of Esther, namely that it is too long a narrative to easily use in a sermon and that God is never directly mentioned. For that reason, Arnold’s persistent emphasis on tying each piece of analysis to a Christian understanding of the work may become quite useful, especially in his extensive commentary, which breaks down the book of Esther verse by verse, calling on previous research and other biblical texts to further dissect the story for believers.

An impressive and comprehensive study of the book of Esther for Christian scholars.

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5153-0877-5

Page Count: 236

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?



An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet