This coming Sunday, July 17, 2016, we will begin a new sermon series on the book of Ecclesiastes. In many ways, this series is the second part of a trilogy. Our first series as a church replant was on the book of Acts, where we learned what it means to be the church. Our third series will be on Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, where we’ll learn what it means to be a Christian. Falling in between these two is a series on Ecclesiastes, which provides a brutally honest look at life in a fallen world, and which can, therefore, teach us what it means to be human–including all the pain, frustration, and disappointment that comes along with it. In preparation for the series, we’ll be posting 5 introductory articles on the website this week, one each day, explaining some of the background issues surrounding the book that there isn’t time to cover on a Sunday morning. The schedule of what’s coming up:
Monday: Bibliography (a working list of the resources I’ll be using in my study of the book)
Tuesday: Author & Date (Who wrote the book and when?)
Wednesday: Genre (What type of book is it?)
Thursday: Provenance & Destination (From where & to whom was the book written?)
Friday: Purpose & Theme (Why was the book written?)
A list of resources that I am using to study and preach Ecclesiastes are listed below (with links wherever possible) if you want to study Ecclesiastes further yourself or just check my work. Resources marked with ** should be readable and accessible for most people (i.e., you don’t need a seminary degree or an ability to read Hebrew to benefit from them).
A couple of necessary disclaimers: First, the links to books are usually to Amazon, but if you want to buy a copy, you should probably search around to ensure you’re getting the best price or your preferred format. Secondly, and more importantly, while I have found all of the following resources to be helpful, I don’t agree with everything in them. As you should with anything you read, approach them with discernment and ‘examine the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so’ (Acts 17:11).
**Akin, Daniel L. and Jonathan Akin. Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes. Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary. Nashville, TN: Holman Reference, 2016.
Bartholomew, Craig G. Ecclesiastes. Baker Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.
Bollhagen, James. Ecclesiastes. Concordia Commentary. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2011.
**Eaton, Michael A. Ecclesiastes: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983.
Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes: Foundations for Expository Sermons. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010.
**Kidner, Derek. The Meaning of Ecclesiastes: A Time to Mourn, and a Time to Dance. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1976.
Longman III, Tremper. The Book of Ecclesiastes. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998.
**Provan, Iain. Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001.
**Ryken, Philip Graham. Ecclesiastes: Why Everything Matters. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2010.
**Wright, Robert J., ed. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
**Allender, Dan B. and Tremper Longman III. Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007.
Custis, Miles. The End of the Matter: Understanding the Epilogue of Ecclesiastes. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012.
Ellul, Jacques. Reason for Being: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes. Translated by Joyce M. Hanks. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1990.
Webb, Barry G. Five Festal Garments: Christian Reflections on the Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther. New Studies in Biblical Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.
Bartholomew, Craig. “Qoheleth in the Canon?! Current Trends in the Interpretation of Ecclesiastes.” Themelios 24, no. 3 (June 1999): 4–20.
Clemens, David M. “The Law of Sin and Death: Ecclesiastes and Genesis 1-3.” Themelios 19, no. 3 (May 1994): 5–8.
Davis, Barry C. “Ecclesiastes 12:1-8–Death, an Impetus for Life.” Bibliotheca Sacra 148, no. 591 (July 1991): 298–318.
DeRouchie, Jason S. “Shepherding Wind and One Wise Shepherd: Grasping for Breath in Ecclesiastes.”Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 15, no. 3 (2011): 4–25.
Gault, Brian P. “A Reexamination of “Eternity” in Ecclesiastes 3:11.” Bibliotheca Sacra 165, no. 657 (January 2008): 39–57.
Johnson, John E. “The Special Relevance of Ecclesiastes for Contemporary Culture.” Bibliotheca Sacra 169, no. 674 (April 2012): 159–171.
Longman III, Tremper. “Challenging the Idols of the Twenty-First Century: The Message of the Book of Ecclesiastes.” Stone-Campbell Journal 12, no. 2 (September 2009): 207–216.
McCabe, Robert V. “The Message of Ecclesiastes.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 1 (1996): 85–112.
Ortlund, Eric. “Laboring in Hopeless Hope: Encouragement for Christians from Ecclesiastes.” Themelios 39, no. 2 (July 2014): 281–289.
Ortlund, Eric. “The Gospel in the Book of Ecclesiastes.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 56, no. 4 (December 2013): 697–706.
**Packer, James I. “The Joy of Ecclesiastes: How a Wizened Sage Tamed My Youthful Cynicism.” Christianity Today 59, no. 7 (September 2015): 56–59.
Parsons, Greg W. “Guidelines for Understanding and Proclaiming the Book of Ecclesiastes, Part 1.” Bibliotheca Sacra 160, no. 638 (April 2003): 159–173.
Parsons, Greg W. “Guidelines for Understanding and Proclaiming the Book of Ecclesiastes, Part 2.” Bibliotheca Sacra 160, no. 639 (July 2003): 283–304.
Shead, Andrew G. “Reading Ecclesiastes ‘Epilogically.’” Tyndale Bulletin 48, no. 1 (May 1997): 67–91.
Tinker, Melvin. “Evil, Evangelism, and Ecclesiastes.” Themelios 28, no. 2 (2003): 4–15.
Lasor, William Sanford, David Allan Hubbard, and Frederic William Bush. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.
Longman III, Tremper and Peter Enns, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.