Jonathon Lookadoo guides readers through the early Christian apocalypse known as the Shepherd of Hermas, providing a clear overview of the numerous literary, historical, and theological insights that this text contains for those researching early Christianity.
Dividing his exploration into two sections, Lookadoo first introduces the Shepherd by providing an overview of the text to those with limited familiarity, while also focusing on critical issues such as authorship, date, and the Shepherd’s complex manuscript tradition and reception history. He then moves to examine the interpretation of particular passages in detail, and by close exploration of theological and literary features he is able to contextualize the Shepherd alongside contemporary contexts. This volume covers the important thematic issues in the Shepherd, and also provides a fresh perspective that arises from a thoroughly textual focus; in so doing, Lookadoo enables readers to engage both with the Shepherd itself and the scholarship that surrounds the text.
[Jonathon Lookadoo's] handbook is specifically designed to help the new (or even moderately seasoned) reader of the Shepherd to come to grips with the whole of the text ... Lookadoo is to be commended for this organized look at the Shepherd of Hermas. Particularly for those unfamiliar with this writing, the section-by-section overview provided by chapter one will be useful for quickly coming to terms with the whole of the writing. * Niedergall Blog * For many, the Shepherd of Hermas represents a riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in a mystery. Jonathon Lookadoo's skillful exposition peels away the layers of inexplicability, allowing others to enjoy the fruit of his scholarly labor. Using the rod of contextualization and the staff of exegetical analysis, Lookadoo shepherds the reader toward an enriched understanding of Hermas' imagery and theology. * Paul Hartog, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, USA * Well versed in the broader field of studies devoted to the so-called Apostolic Fathers, Jonathon Lookadoo offers here a highly competent overview of the many problems posed by this quirky early Christian text, astutely advancing the conversation in several directions. Extremely useful for anyone approaching the Shepherd of Hermas." * Dan Batovici, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium * Jonathon Lookadoo has created a perfect companion to the study of the Shepherd of Hermas. As the sole book-length introduction to the Shepherd, it appears at a timely moment when the work is enjoying a renaissance in scholarly study. Lookadoo's survey of the several areas central to research of the Shepherd is an excellent guide for newcomers to the text, even as it offers experts fresh interpretive insights. I heartily recommend this book. * Harry O. Meier, Vancouver School of Theology, Canada * Jonathon Lookadoo has written a comprehensive and judicious study tool for the Shepherd that deals thoroughly with the academic questions, but is also comprehensible to students and general readers. He takes on some of the most difficult interpretive and theological questions of this complicated text, in a clear and straightforward manner. * Carolyn Osiek, Professor of New Testament Emerita, Brite Divinity School, USA * Jonathon Lookadoo has given himself the double task of both writing a guide for prospective students to find their way in this long text that is the Shepherd of Hermas, and at the same time advancing research on the work by sharing his insights on a fine selection of topics that have a special place within the text. It may not be the most obvious combination, but the result works and might even become a model for others to follow. Introducing students to a work or an author involves more than surveying introductory questions; in the end, the best introduction might well be to see an expert at work. * Joseph Verheyden, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium *