donderdag 21 februari 2013

Review of: Jack R. Lundbom, Jeremiah 1-20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 21), Doubleday, 1999; in: Interpretation

Jack R. Lundbom, Jeremiah 1-20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 21), Doubleday, 1999.

Review in: Interpretation 2001 55: 316
Review door: Mark E. Biddle
Gevonden op:

Jeremiah 1-20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
by Jack R. Lundbom
AB 21. Doubleday, New York, 1999.
934 pp. $49.00 (cloth). ISBN 0-385-4112-X.
LUNDBOM IS A LEADING PROPONENT of rhetorical criticism, a discipline which "analyzes discourse ... asking questions about structure, style, intention, impact upon an audience, and how together these create a rhetorical situation" (pp. 69-70), and his commentary on Jeremiah focuses extensively on the book's rhetoric. A lengthy introductory treatment of the method prepares the reader for the procedure employed in the commentary proper. There, each section begins with Lundbom's translation of the passage, followed by an analysis of its "Rhetoric and Composition," "Notes" (largely text critical, grammatical, historical, and form critical in nature), and brief comments regarding its "Message and Audience." Lundbom masterfully analyzes Jeremiah's literary structures and devices.

With respect to the major issues that have occupied Jeremiah scholarship in the most recent era, Lundbom holds somewhat optimistic views. Although many students of Jeremiah have abandoned the attempt to reconstruct Baruch's scroll (Jer 36), Lundbom persists in the contention that it can be identified with some form of Jeremiah 1-20, the "First Edition" of the book (pp. 92-101). Despite Jeremiah's complex editorial history, which many scholars regard as an obstacle to any "quest for the historical Jeremiah," Lundbom confidently reconstructs details of Jeremiah's biography from scant textual evidence (see pp. 340, 353). Indeed, Lundbom's approach to the so-called "confessions" of Jeremiah closely resembles an earlier era's now largely discredited psychological interpretation.

Lundbom's positivism notwithstanding, his commentary is a treasury of scholarship, rich in grammatical and literary analysis, in interaction with the long history of Jeremiah scholarship, and in insights into the theological relevance of the prophetic message. An extensive bibliography; appendices documenting inscriptional evidence for the historicity of personal names and cataloguing the dramatis personae, and listing instances of haplography in the book; and indices of authors and scriptural references constitute valuable supplements to the commentary.


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