Over the past two months I gave teachings at The Grove on the book of Ruth. I like to share what books and commentaries helped me and might help someone else someday in the future.
The Gospel of Ruth is written by Carolyn Curtis James and was recommended to me by a pastor friend who found it eye opening. I have to say it was my favorite resource for seeing the narrative in the book and feeling the story in its original context. Curtis James has done an excellent job in this book and it could be read by anyone. She smart enough to make it interesting and still make it readable. Of all the books I picked up on Ruth I would suggest this one to everyone.
Here’s what I really liked:
- She gave a female perspective on the text. The world of biblical scholarship seems to be male dominant, so it’s so fresh to find a female voice.
- She sees Ruth as strong, not as a women who needs rescuing. To an extent she sees Naomi this way also. This challenges a lot of the commentaries that are written on Ruth.
- She points the whole story towards Jesus. While it is a story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, the real point of the narrative is the line of David, which leads to Jesus.
- She tackles challenging texts head on. There are parts of the story, because it takes place in an ancient culture, that are uncomfortable for modern readers. Curtis-James doesn’t just dismiss these, but takes them on and deals with their existence in the biblical narrative.