While the volume does offer an excellent commentary on the book of Habakkuk, it offers quite a bit more, resulting in a reasonably large volume dedicated to one small (three-chapter) biblical book. (1)
This book has many strengths. It covers the material in a well-informed and scholarly manner, drawing on major works on the book of Habakkuk, the Minor Prophets, biblical theology, and lament literature. Topics are well explained, and the language is readily available for lay readers. (2)
Mathews notes also “two points of concern” (3). The first has to do with a lack of transparency she perceives in the headings adopted in the text and reflected in the table of contents (3). The second “probably says more about sensitivity resulting from my own area of scholarship, biblical performance criticism” (3) and especially takes issue with Thomas’s description that Habbakuk “cannot act. He cannot move. He can only cry out to God” (188, qtd. on 3).
Even with these concerns, Mathews concludes enthusiastically,
I hope it will be evident from this review that I found Thomas’s book on Habakkuk insightful and thought-provoking, and I found myself in lively engagement with it. I would recommend it to others! (4)
For additional discussion, see Mathews’s full review in RBL.
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