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Lamentations, Song of Songs

Believers Church Bible Commentary
Lamentations, Song of Songs

By authors: Wilma Ann Bailey, Christina Bucher
Product Code: 9932
ISBN: 9780836199321
Pages: 304
Binding Information: Paperback / softback
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 inches

Publication Date: 2/9/2015

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Lamentations, Song of Songs by Wilma Ann Bailey and Christina Bucher covers the full emotional register of biblical literature: from the anguished sorrow songs of ancient Israel to the passionate, lyric poems of lovers. Wilma Bailey plumbs the interpretive depths of Lamentations, including questions about authorship, images of God, and depiction of a community’s response to exile and its development of an identity in the wake of catastrophe. Christina Bucher then offers multiple perspectives on the Song of Songs and its imagery, characters, and allegorical and literal interpretations by readers and communities across the centuries. Both scholars build sturdy theological scaffolding to help lay readers, pastors, and scholars understand and apply the wisdom contained by these Hebrew writings of desire and exile, love and lament.

Volume 27 in the BCBC series

About Believers Church Bible Commentary Series

Accessible to lay readers, useful in preaching and pastoral care, helpful for Bible study groups and Sunday school teachers, and academically sound, the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series foregrounds an Anabaptist reading of Scripture. Published for all who seek more fully to understand the original message of Scripture and its meaning for today, the series is based on the conviction that God is still speaking to all who will listen, and that the Holy Spirit makes the Word a living and authoritative guide for all who want to know and do God’s will.

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Pronunciation Guide
Series Foreword

Lamentations, by Wilma Ann Bailey

Preface to Lamentations
Introduction to Lamentations
Sorrow Songs
Historical and Theological Background
The God of Lamentations
Date and Purpose
The Grief Process

There Is No Comforter for Zion, 1:1-22
*The Source of Evil
*How to Prevent Evil from Happening
+Lamentations and Anabaptists
+Opportunities to Grieve in the Church Year

The Lord Has Become Like an Enemy, 2:1-22
*God’s Anger
*Prophetic Blame
*Concern about the Perception of Others
*Suffering of the Innocent
+Waves of Grief
+Wrestling with the Origins of Evil
+Limits to God’s Responsibility

The Lord Will Not Reject Forever, 3:1-66
*Acrostics and Repetition
*Lament Metaphors
+Liturgical Use of Lamentations
+Searching Oneself

War Changes Behavior and Social Structures, 4:1-22
*Children and the Poor
+Serving Those Affected by War
+How Communities Bring Healing to Those Affected by Mass Traumas

Restore Us to Yourself, 5:1-22
*Inequities and the Poor
+Women in War
+Reading on Two Levels
+Remembering and Forgetting
+Healing and Hope

Outline of Lamentations
Essays for Lamentations
Capture and Destruction of Jerusalem
Communal Lament
Elephantine Papyri
The Elite
Evil Spirits
Hebrew Poetry
Zion Theology

Maps of Palestine for Lamentations
Map of the Ancient Near East for Lamentations
Bibliography for Lamentations
Selected Resources for Lamentations

The Author of the Commentary on Lamentations

Song of Songs, by Christina A. Bucher

Preface to Song of Songs

Introduction to Song of Songs

Major Themes of the Song of Songs
Expressions of Admiration for the Beloved
The Beloved’s Presence and Absence, the Lover’s Desire
Seeking and Finding the Beloved
Opposition to the Lovers
Celebration of Human Sexuality
The Awesome Power of Love

Lyric Love Poetry or Drama?
Who Are the Characters in the Poems?
One Poem, or Many?
Did Solomon Write the Song of Songs?
Setting of the Poems
Imagery of the Poems
Song of Songs in the Context of the Christian Canon
The Song of Songs in the Life of the Church

In Celebration of Love, 1:1-8

*Kisses and Kissing
*Wine and Anointing Oils
*Vines and Vineyards
+ Embodiment
+God’s Kiss
+Following Jesus

Poems of Admiration and Desire, 1:9–2:7
*Salvation Imagery: The Land Bursts into Bloom
+Flowers and Spirituality
+Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree

An Invitation to Love, 2:8-17
*Fig Trees and Vines
*Doves and Turtledoves
*The Voice of the Beloved
+New Beginnings
+Taking Refuge in Jesus

Seeking and Finding the Beloved, 3:1-11
*Where is God?
+The Absence of God

A First Description of Her Beauty, 4:1–5:1
+The Garden of God’s Love

Seeking the Beloved (Again), 5:2–6:3
*Imagery of Well-Being
*The Beauty of God and of Creation
+Seeking God
+Divine Beauty

Overwhelmed by Love, 6:4–7:13
*Tirzah and Jerusalem
+Sexual Desire and Sexual Ethics
+The Lure of God’s Love

Love Is Strong as Death, 8:1-14
*Divine Passion
+The Overwhelming Power of God’s Love

Outline of Song of Songs

Essays for Song of Songs
Allegorical and Figural Interpretation
Allegorical Interpretation
Figural Interpretation
Authorship and Date
Daughters of Jerusalem
Descriptive Inventories
Dramatic Interpretations
Erotic Imperative
Figures of Speech
Rose of Sharon
History of Interpretation
Early and Medieval Period
Reformation Period
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
King Fiction
Love and Desire
Nuptial Imagery in the New Testament
Maps of Palestine for Song of Songs
Map of the Ancient Near East for Song of Songs
Bibliography for Song of Songs
Selected Resources for Song of Songs

The Author of the Commentary on Song of Songs

Index of Ancient Sources for Lamentations and Song of Songs

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Review by: Kathleen O'Connor, professor emerita of the Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary - February 9, 2015

“Wilma Ann Bailey and Christina Bucher plunge readers into questions about human life in its tragic and joyous dimensions. I recommend this work for believers, for those seeking for God, and for those who love biblical literature.”

Review by: Keith Graber Miller, professor of Bible, religion, and philosophy, Goshen College - February 9, 2015

“Both erudite and earthy, this commentary is the one I’ll be drawing on for future sermons and lectures. Bailey and Bucher build bridges for us between spirituality and sexuality in ways that are honest, expansive, and grounded.”

Review by: Tod Linafelt, professor of biblical literature, Georgetown University - February 9, 2015

“You must read this very fine commentary. The authors are alert to the texture and details and layers of meaning in the poetry, as well as to the complicated reverberations of the books in later contexts. I can think of no better guides to a fruitful interpretive engagement with these two brief but unforgettable biblical books.”

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