IVP New Commentary on the Song of Songs

IVP has just released volume 19 The Song of Songs by Iain M. Duguid for their new edition of their Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series. This volume is intended to replace the fine volume by G. Lloyd Carr. While I have not read the entire volume as of yet, I can offer a few observations.   While both introductions are approximately the same length, Duguid’s volume is 15 pages shorter on the commentary side. The commentary section is divided between three divisions: Context, Comment and Meaning. Since it is a newer volume, the author does interact with Exum’s and Hess’ newer commentaries as well as older ones such as Pope and Longman. However, he did not include Dan Estes’ commentary on the Song in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series.

Duguid argues against Solomonic authorship and leans to a date after the exile as the most likely (23). His approach to the Song is a literal one plus something else. While he states that he rejects the fanciful allegorical reading, and believes the “natural” interpretation to be the correct one, he wants to “go further than this and bridge the two interpretations” (37). So throughout the volume this “bridge” is evident in his regular mentioning of Jesus Christ. His understanding of Luke 24:44-45 as the evidence that “every part of the old Testament speaks to us of the suffering of Christ and the glories that will follow” (51) allows him to construct this “bridge” with materials that are non-existent in the Song. Although he does not want to be seen as championing the allegorical approach, he wants to hold to “two broad categories, which we may call the ‘spiritual’ approach and the ‘natural’ approach” (28). This is unfortunate. While I look forward to reading the commentary section itself, I do hope Carr’s volume stays in print.

Fatal Flaws of Cahn

Below is the introduction for a book review I was asked to do for Baptist Bulletin.  It is a review on messianic Jew, Jonathan Cahn’s two books.  To read the entire review you can sign up for free access here at Baptist Bulletin site.

Descent into Exegetical Darkness

By Mark McGinniss

If there is one quality believers need desperately in today’s cultural climate, it is Biblical discernment. This astuteness is especially needed when a Messianic Jew takes an Old Testament verse or two and incorrectly exegetes those texts. Then based on his faulty hermeneutic, he writes books announcing that these ancient Old Testament texts written specifically to Israel suddenly and mysteriously predict woe and divine judgment on the United States. Such is the sad case with Jonathan Cahn’s two books.

Cahn’s new book, The Mystery of Shemitah, is an expansion of the 17th chapter of his best seller, The Harbinger (2011). Both books have a common thread. Cahn believes Isaiah 9:10 is not only a mystery that tells of Israel’s response to the Assyrian threat during the prophet’s time, but is actually a secret prophecy foretelling the events that occurred in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001 (Harbinger, 46). Cahn believes the fallen bricks mentioned in Isaiah 9:10 are the rubble of New York’s Twin Towers. This serves as the first harbinger of God’s impending judgment because of America’s sin. The terror attacks, according to Cahn’s calculation, occur in a year of Shemitah, 2001 (Shemitah, 130). Thus, the two books are interrelated: The Harbinger tells of the mystery of one Old Testament verse as applied to the U.S., and The Mystery of Shemitah gives the timing of these catastrophic events and more to come. Both books suffer from the same five fatal flaws.