There have yet to included a commentary in the list of reviews for our website, so this makes the first.
Foremost, the reader should know that the “commentary” by Currid is quaint. The exposition weighs in at 140 pages, it is written very easy to understand (mostly with a narrative nature), and most all of the nitty-gritty details Currid has placed into the (short) notes section at the back of his exegesis.
Given this review is written over a digital format, that could all sound as if I’m being negative of Currid’s study and his publication. That is not so – my place is not to bash anyone’s work but rather to let my readers know what is available and who it is best suited for.
Because the text is written as if Currid is sitting with you over a cup of coffee and chatting about the book of Ruth, passage by passage, I would not suggest this be a commentary to support a final decision on a term paper. It appears as if Currid has wrestled with most of the textual and theological issues before he wrote his manuscript for the Welwyn series. What he presents in this book, and may very well be the norm for the entire series, is an excellent resource (or what I would call a handbook) for understanding the book of Ruth. Currid walks passage by passage through the book, dividing the her in places that she naturally divides. Also helpful to this book is that he encourages his reader to read along with him in the book of Ruth (each commentary section begins with an exhortation to crack open your Bible and read the passage).
Most importantly, I would encourage both pastors, laypeople, and scholars to pick up this commentary because it does a great job of keeping the main things the plain things, and the plain things the main things. Currid ignores getting lost in any grammatical messes or the love story [aside from when discussing the conversation between Ruth & Boaz or the threshing floor interaction] and he focuses on the book of Ruth’s place in the grand-narrative of Scripture. The text is not just a model for love and relationships, the text is a piece in God’s story (the book of Ruth paves the way for King David following the horrid days in which Israel was with not king, all doing as they saw fit [Judges 21:25]). If you are looking for a launching pad into the book of Ruth, I’d pick up this book.
Back Cover Reads:
“John Currid fills a long-standing gap in the Welwyn series for a stand-alone treatment of Ruth and present us with a book that bridges the three thousand years since Ruth’s day and drives hom for modern readers its message of redemption in the promised Messiah … This is a clear, sound and Christ-centered commentary for all ages, whether for personal or group study.” — Gordon J. Keddie
“This is an ideal companion for anyone wishing to work through the book of Ruth. The leading motifs are well captured, and there are a host of very suitable illustrations from history. It is a simple and lucid presentation which will satisfy a wide readership. Dr. Currid is loath to push too hard the issue of Boaz as a type of Christ, but there is much of Christ in this commentary. Ruth is the Cinderella story that happened, and Dr. Currid is a master storyteller who is also an historian and theologian. This will charm, instruct, and inspire all who use it to help them better grasp the Word of God.” — Peter Barnes
Get Currid’s book from the publisher, EP Books.
Get Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet from Amazon.
*This book was free from EP Books in conjunction with crossfocusedreviews.comwith my promise to post an unbiased review.