1 & 2 Samuel (Belief: Theological Commentary On The Bible Series)
"The episodes in 1 and 2 Samuel are striking in their depiction of human characters-priests, soldiers, kings, prophets, and royal advisers-but also significant in how they narrate the central character of this history, the God of Israel. History, in these...
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"The episodes in 1 and 2 Samuel are striking in their depiction of human characters-priests, soldiers, kings, prophets, and royal advisers-but also significant in how they narrate the central character of this history, the God of Israel. History, in these books, is not simply an accounting of royal intrigue, military battles, and socio-economic struggle but the stage upon which God reveals God's very self. First and Second Samuel relay some of the most memorable vignettes in all Scripture-the call of Samuel, David's battle with Goliath, and David's seizure of Bathsheeba as his wife-and discover in them the hand of God."
-from the introduction
First and Second Samuel describe the beginnings of monarchy in ancient Israel and introduce us to intriguing characters: Samuel-prophet, priest, and judge; Saul-the tragic figure who becomes Israel's first king; and David-Saul's celebrated successor and Israel's key leader whose influence endured for generations. But as Jensen makes clear in his splendid commentary, there is another figure who is a central character: God. Throughout his theologically rich treatment of these biblical books, Jensen explores what makes these texts important for us. He suggests that we read 1 and 2 Samuel because they reveal the complexities of the human person; the ambiguities of our social arrangements as nations; and God's agency in a conflicted world. Jensen notes that as we are shaped by and grapple with the biblical stories, we are invited to find our own stories within them. "What keeps us coming back to faith," he says, "is its stories: stories that tell the truth about the human condition, our shared corporate life, and the life God gives to the world."
David H. Jensen (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is Professor of Constructive Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He has published several articles in the area of interreligious dialogue, and in his first book, In the Company of Others: A Dialogical Christology (Pilgrim Press, 2001), Jensen sets forth a christology that encourages dialogue among Christians and people of other faith traditions. His latest books include Graced Vulnerability: A Theology of Childhood (Pilgrim Press, 2005); Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work ( Westminster John Knox, 2006), and The Lord and Giver of Life: Perspectives in Constructive Pneumatology (Westminster John Knox, 2008) for which he was the editor. He is currently writing two book manuscripts. One is a short introduction to Christian hope and the other a theology of human sexuality