Ruth: From Bitter To Sweet by John Currid, published by EP Books, is part of the Welwyn Commentary Series. For a book that has 141 pages this book is packed with valuable observations and insights. The book begins by tracing the key themes from the book: the cost of disobedience, God’s sovereignty, faithful living, and redemption.
The book is broken down into five acts, which are broken into 13 chapters or scenes. Currid provide excellent insights into each scene with explanations of the text, going in depth when necessary without sacrificing clarity and usefulness. When he takes us into the Hebrew, Currid does it in a way that is interesting and useful for understanding the text. Further, not only does he offer explanations of the text, each chapter (scene) concludes with Points To Ponder. This section gives practical applications that will be particularly useful for teachers and preachers of Ruth and those who are looking for some devotional thoughts for their own lives.
One of my complaints about many other commentaries is how they turn every character and action in the book as a symbol for Christ and his work. I do not believe Ruth should be interpreted as an allegory for Christ nor do I believe the original audience would have considered this book as an allegory for the coming Messiah. I appreciate how Currid avoids making every scene into an allegory, yet still make useful applications for Christians today. Consider the following excerpt:
“So, is Boaz a type of Christ? Probably not. I am very hesitant in drawing such a conclusion because Scripture itself never makes the connection between the two figures. A clear type is found, for example, in Romans 5:14, which says, ‘Adam…was a type of the one who was to come.’ We never see anything in the Bible that ties Jesus to Boaz in a similar way. Thus, I am skeptical and believe we need to be careful in making Boaz some type of Christ-figure. He does, however, exhibit some Christlike behavior. He demonstrates compassion and kindness, and performs his redemptive duty well.” (page 126)
Currid does an excellent job making applications to our lives today while remaining true to the meaning of the original text. I have never read any of Currid’s other commentaries nor the Welwyn Commentaries, but based on this work, I look forward to purchasing Currid’s other works and other Welwyn Commentaries. I enthusiastically recommend this book to any Bible teacher or preacher as well as anyone who wants to grasp a deeper meaning of the book of Ruth.
*This book was provided to me free of charge from Cross Focused Media in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.