Edited by John H. Walton
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan 2009
Reviewed by Clifford B. Kvidahl
*This is the first in what will probably be more than a few reviews*
Understanding the culture, language, geography, and the history of the Ancient Near East is no easy task. Furthermore, trying to place the Old Testament writings into the broader literary context of its day takes much skill and discipline. Thankfully there are men like John Walton who have spent many years doing such a thing, and the fruit of that labor can be easily seen in Zondervan’s recent publication of ZIBBCOT.
This review will be an ongoing review, taking form as I work my way through key passages and sections of the Pentateuch. This first review will focus mostly on presentation and overview of the commentary itself.
Having been familiar with ZIBBCOT’s older brother, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary New Testament (ZIBBCNT), I had high expectations for ZIBBCOT. As one who found ZIBBCNT to be useful and informative, my was anticipation was high that ZIBBCOT would likewise fail to disappoint. Because of the rich history, culture, and religious background of the OT ZIBBCOT would be an indispensable tool for layman and scholar alike in their interpretation of the OT text.
At first glance I was blown away with all of the detailed charts, colorful pictures, and ancient texts that help to illuminate the text of the OT in a way that I have never been able to see before. The reader will find such visual aides an enormous benefit in his or her personal study of the text.
So, to conclude this initial review, I am very impressed with the quality and detailed work that Zondervan has put into the ZIBBCOT. On the basis of the visual aides alone I would whole heartedly and without hesitation recommend that one pick up this set from Zondervan, they will not be disappointed one bit.