The Book of Zechariah – The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, by Mark J. Boda. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016, 911 pp.
This massive work is a very insightful and comprehensive translation and commentary of one of the more difficult biblical books. The author, a Christian of faith and Bible scholar, quotes extensively from the world of academic Bible scholarship, while maintaining that Zechariah “should be treated as a single book” (p.28), against the prevalent view that chapters 1-8 and 9-14 comprise two distinct units. Although there is a lack of material from the traditional Jewish commentators, this book would serve as an excellent companion volume to anyone studying or teaching Zechariah.
Eight Questions of Faith: Biblical Challenges That Guide and Ground Our Lives, by Niles Elliot Goldstein. Jewish Publication Society, 2015, 168 pp.
This book was written by the author as he went through a self-described midlife crisis and embarked on a journey of self-rediscovery, ultimately divorcing his wife, leaving his position as a pulpit rabbi and moving out of New York. Meditations and analysis of various Biblical passages form the basis of the process of seeking answers to life’s “Big Questions.” A deeply personal memoir/textual study focused on the search for meaning and inner growth.
The Samaritans – A Profile, by Reinhard Pummer. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016, 362 pp.
A very comprehensive work covering anything you would want to know about the Samaritans, the foreign people brought by the Assyrians to settle the depopulated areas of Israel, who subsequently worshiped both God and their old gods (2 Kings 17). Here you can learn about their history, sects, archaeological findings, exegesis, practices and current situation (only 800 are left). In addition to the Biblical view, this book explains the modern scholarly approach to their origin (a division within the Israelites from the second century BCE) and the Samaritan’s own tradition (the Israelites deviated from them and followed the priest Eli in the time of the Judges).