Wednesday 20 May 2009

Mary Evans on 1 and 2 Samuel

Mary Evans – teacher, friend and former colleague of mine at London School of Theology – has blessed us not with one commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel, but with two commentaries on 1 and 2 Samuel…

Mary J. Evans, 1 and 2 Samuel, New International Biblical Commentary (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2000).

Hendrickson make available the Table of Contents, the Introduction, and the comments on chapters 1-2.

Mary J. Evans, The Message of Samuel: Personalities, Potential, Politics and Power, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester: IVP, 2004).

IVP USA make available the Preface, the Introduction, and comments on chapters 1-4.

Mary sees ‘power’ as a concept that links the various stories in the books of Samuel. She writes:

‘Even though on the surface the narrative seems to be interested in those who are powerful, I would suggest that the writers imply that true power, which belongs only to God, lies outside of that human obsession. Human power is presented, in general, as a corrupting influence. We see this with Saul, with Joab, and even with David, all of whom are presented as men of great potential who are entrusted with great responsibilities but who, in different ways, are unable to cope with the trust laid upon them’ (1 and 2 Samuel, 9).

Mary has explored this theme across Scripture more generally in the following essay:

‘The Powerless Leader: A Biblical Ideal or a Contradiction in Terms?’, in Michael Parsons and David J. Cohen (eds.), On Eagles’ Wings: An Exploration of Strength in the Midst of Weakness (Cambridge: Lutterworth, 2008), 78-92.

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