For Dr. Joel Barker, Professor of Biblical Studies at Heritage College & Seminary, the book of Joel is filled with wisdom and truth for the church today. In his new commentary on the book of Joel – recently released as a part of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series – Dr. Barker says that he has tried to develop a resource that will help pastors and Bible teachers share these important truths with Christians today.
“Joel reminds the reader that when crisis comes, it is important to cry out to God and hold to his grace and mercy,” explains Barker. “Joel demonstrates that although God cannot be tamed, he can certainly be trusted.”
Edited by Dr. Daniel I. Block, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series is dedicated to tracing the argument of Old Testament books as a whole, with careful attention to the different authors’ rhetorical strategies – showing the value of not only what the author says but how the message is being communicated. Barker explains that his commentary on the book of Joel provides readers with some consideration of this book in a broader, biblical-theological context while making connections across the canon.
“The aim is to show how Joel contributes to our understanding of Scripture’s pictures of lament in the face of disaster, God’s power over creation, and hope for those who put their trust in God,” says Barker.
Barker says that the commentary will also provide pastors and Bible teachers with a clear structural breakdown, setting good parameters for organizing the book into preachable passages. In doing so, his hope is that all will be able to see how the argument of the book builds cumulatively.
“My goal is to bring to life the literary artistry of the book revealed through its captivating imagery as it bears witness to the glory of God,” says Barker.
Throughout the book of Joel, he says that there are valuable themes for those in the local church today to learn from. For example, Barker highlights the value in teaching through Joel as a reminder of the great gift of God’s Spirit. He says that as the author pivots from despair to deliverance, he anticipates a future in which God will graciously pour out his Spirit on everyone who calls on his name. He explains that this future that Joel foresaw finds its initial fulfillment in the church’s Spirit-fuelled beginning as Peter quoted in his Pentecost sermon in Acts.
“Joel is important to teach and preach because it is God-breathed Scripture and, though venturing into the Minor Prophets is a scary proposition for many, there is so much rich treasure to be found,” says Barker.
To learn more about this new commentary, visit https://bit.ly/ZondervanExegeticalCommentaryOT