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Ruth
Andre LaCocque (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004),
+ bibliography and indices

At last, a commentary that is as satisfying as it is useful! Had LaCocque applied his acumen to the Epistle to the Romans, one might have said that his commentary would do for the 21st century what Barth’s did for his generation. The Introduction (32 pages) is worth the price by itself, LaCocque’s commentary and Conclusion make this an indispensable tool for any pastoral library. Published as part of the Continental Commenary series, LaCocque has produced a commentary that will remain the standard on the interpretation of Ruth for a long time to come.

What makes this a real commentary is that the author recognizes the real to bring together the two horizons, those of the text and that of the reader(s). Historical-critical research is placed into a cauldron with post modern studies, feminist readings and a dose of deconstruction, the end result is that this ancient Hebrew text speaks with authority today. For LaCocque “Ruth is a subversive document” as well “as a feminine book from beginning to end.” While Ruth may be classified as a ‘novella’, it is more than novelistic, it is a book which demonstrates the value of reinterpreting Torah in the light of ‘hesed.’ Ruth speaks to the problems of ‘foreigners’ (at a time when a recent CNN.com poll showed a majority of church going Americans desiring to limit the rights of American Muslims). Ruth “consists in rediscovering that the essence of Torah is love.” “Ruth the Moabite, the deviant par excellence, reverses the norm. She turns things on their head: uth becomes the prototype of the Hasid (this is an Israelite moved by hesed). Suddenly, Deut. 23:3 is rewritten while neutralizing its dimension of self-sufficient exclusivism. The most important aspect of the First Testament is its constant rewriting.”

While LaCocque only hints at the similiarities between Jesus’ reading of Torah and that found in the book of Ruth, readers of preachingpeace.org will recognize this rewriting of Torah from Dr. Bartlett’s studies on Second Isaiah. It is precisely this rewriting of Torah under the continuing inspiration of Wisdom that effects so much of what is positive in the message of Torah. LaCocque’s Ruth is to be commended.

Books by Michael Hardin

All of Michael's books are Available on Amazon.
*Print and kindle where available.

Reading the Bible With René Girard

A Wonderful Tool!

“Michael Hardin's website, PreachingPeace.org, strikes me as a wonderful tool for preachers who need more scriptural, historical and exegetical information as they prepare their sermons. It is well written, easy to use, and very well informed both in terms of traditional scholarship and of the ‘mimetic theory.’ Using PreachingPeace.org, with its breadth of reflection and its wealth of documentation, speakers will be able to enliven their presentations by presenting contemporary examples in a new light.” // René Girard

A Vital Resource!

“Rene Girard has been a godsend to many, as he has helped–as Karl Barth and John Yoder help–many to rediscover the strange new world of the Bible. Indeed, part of that rediscovery involves the surprise that the Gospel frees us from the violence that grips our lives. This web site wonderfully provides resources for the kind of discussion we so desperately need if we are not to lose hold of the nonviolence of the Gospel.” // Stanley Hauerwas

A FRESH UNDERSTANDING

A Fresh Understanding

Your site and other Girardian insights have helped rejuvenate my understanding of Jesus, the Gospel and preaching…in my 37th year of priesthood. Thank you! - Larry Estey

AN AMAZING RESOURCE

An Amazing Resource

What better resource is there for we who’s calling it is to “proclaim the fullness of peace in messiah Jesus” than having a weekly opportunity to overhear what is really new about God’s good news to the peoples of planet earth? - Grayson Lucky

ENCOURAGING

Encouraging

As someone who has worked a lot recently with "Jewish Christian dialogue," I was especially pleased to see how user-friendly it was, and how encouraging of open and probing discussion–an important step, I think, in the process of peacemaking. - Sandor Goodhart President, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

LIFE CHANGING

Life Changing

I wanted to write you a note and tell you thanks for the work you are doing via the Preaching Peace website. For years now I have read your lectionary commentaries and have found them extremely helpful, if not life-altering. -Rev. Dr. John Mann, Scotland

A BIG HELP

A Big Help

Thank you for your site. It’s been a big help to me for a couple of years now as I seek to communicate the radical discipleship commitment of peacemaking in a graceful way to the congregation I pastor. - (The Rev.) Charles Booker-Hirsch Pastor, Northside Presbyterian Church

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