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 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 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.

Dear Readers of Preaching Peace,

Thank you for using Preaching Peace. I know from your e-mails how much our work has meant to you. Your communications indicate the astounding number of times we have helped your preaching and teaching by showing people how to read the Bible and know the God of radical love from a perspective that engages the whole Christian tradition, is peacemaking in its orientation, and makes sense of our contemporary world. Our recent trip to Australia, New Zealand and the UK where we spoke to over 4,000 people was one unending litany of enlightenment and gratitude.

We are energetically moving forward with this peace message for our next fiscal year. Immediate plans include:

Speaking at Q and A sessions for the premier of Hellbound? The Movie in east coast theaters, followed by similar events on college campuses. Three new book projects related to the gospel, peacemaking and the contemporary church. New video releases of peacemaking Christian education curricula to be circulated on our website, YouTube and Facebook. Monthly Webinars for clergy and church leaders both here and around the world featuring speakers who will help them take further steps toward teaching their congregants about radical discipleship and peacemaking.

We are asking you, as readers of our lectionary commentary to make a $50 (or more) contribution. Will you help us? We will gladly receive gifts or pledges between now and Sept 30. It’s easy using the Donate Now button

Join us now to help change the thinking, the theology and the activity of both local and global Christianity. Help make this Good News a reality to folks still longing to find it. Your gifts, as always, are tax-deductible. We give thanks to God for your prayers, your encouragement and your financial gifts. Our proven record together with your good foundation of support will again produce results beyond our best dreams.

In the Peace of Jesus,
Michael Hardin

These are exciting and challenging times for Preaching Peace. They are exciting because a growing number of people like you are eager to learn more about the peace perspective by which Jesus interpreted God and lived out his faith.

We want the doors of Preaching Peace to stay open, the production of adult DVD curriculum to advance, the books to be completed for publication, seminars going on in local communities, and the commentaries to keep flowing.

With your help this will be possible. For the work we continue to do for you, for the mission to continue to reach those in the church who are longing to hear about Jesus’ vision of peace, will you please give today? Any amount will be greatly appreciated!

We give you our sincere thanks in advance and wish you the Peace of our Lord in all your endeavors.