Song of solomon Two commentaries both incorporate measures of the sublime and the ridiculous. In terms of weight, first mention goes to Marvin H. Pope’s Song of Songs (Doubleday). It is a marvel to reflect on what has happened to the originally simple format of the Anchor Bible series. In this latest offering a Yale professor takes 743 pages to try to show that the Song is rooted in the fertility religion of the ancient Near East with its sacred marriage rites. Everything from women’s liberation to Indian love poetry is covered with an extensive bibliography and copious notes. As a work of scholarship, Pope’s volume will rank high, though its eccentricities will keep it from becoming a standard work. For those who are not satisfied that Solomon was originally an ancient fertility worshiper. Joseph C. Dillow’s Solomon on Sex (Nelson) gives the option of seeing him as a modern American businessman. Troubled by all the sexual temptations of modern youth, Solomon holds out until marriage only to find that the battle continues. Keeping her husband away from such temptations is the job of Shulamith (Solomon’s wife), and this she does by turning herself into what we might call a “total woman.” Everything you ever wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask is covered in this book.

PSALMS The three-volume Psalms (Cambridge) by J. W. Rogerson and J. W. McKay, part of the Cambridge Bible Commentary, offers much help to the average Bible student despite its brevity. While thoroughly conversant with critical studies of the Psalms, both authors are also convinced that the Psalter remains for the Christian today a valuable book of worship and devotion. More of a how-to book, dealing with twelve selected psalms, is Stuart Briscoe’s ...

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