The most thought provoking book of the Bible.
First off, The Anchor Bible itself requires a bit of an introduction:
This is from the Wikipedia:
The Anchor Bible Commentary Series, created under the guidance of William Foxwell Albright (1891–1971), comprises a translation and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Intertestamental Books (the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Deuterocanon/the Protestant Apocrypha; not the books called by Catholics and Orthodox “Apocrypha,” which are widely called by Protestants “Pseudepigrapha”). For each biblical book, the series includes an original translation (with annotations, including alternative translations) of ancient texts, using modern knowledge of the ancient languages; overviews of the historical, critical, and literary evolution of the text; an outline of major themes and topics; a verse-by-verse commentary; treatment of competing scholarly theories; historical background; and photographs, illustrations, and maps of artifacts and places associated with biblical figures and sites. Lengthy or complex biblical books are covered in more than one volume.
About 90+% of the work is taken up by the commentary and explanations of the various interpretations. It’s perhaps some very dry reading but the text really comes alive with all the various interpretations and options.
I found it very rewarding in that many of the references to things like the Gilgamesh epic, the Ugarit texts etc., I have some familiarity with. This past reading really helped understand this volumn.
LIII – “He prefers death rather than submission to injustice”
LXVII – “Job’s journey from despair to faith is the way each mortal must go”
60 – “It s no occasion for anger when a man crazy with storms of sorrow speaks against his better judgement.”
I read this over several months, picking it up as time permitted and found it very rewarding..soul satisfying.