Five Festal Garments: Christian Reflections on Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and EstherBy: Barry G. Webb
The Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther. These five Old Testament books, traditionally known simply as The Scrolls, are among the most neglected parts of the Christian Bible. Each raises particular difficulties with regard to how it relates to the rest of Scripture, and the manner in which it should be understood and used as the Word of God for us today. In Judaism, these books were adopted as lectionary readings for five of the major festivals - but no comparable solution has emerged in Christianity. Barry Webb explores Christian interpretation of these problematic writings. Each book is allowed to set its own agenda, and is then examined in relation to the wider Old Testament context and to the New Testament gospel with its basic structure of promise and fulfilment. In this way, Dr Webb offers fresh and illuminating perspectives on these 'festival garments' of love, kindness, suffering, vexation and deliverance.