Book Review: Song of Solomon Revealed

Song Of Solomon Revealed, by Owen Sypher

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Bostick Communications in exchange for an honest review.]

For a variety of reasons, the Song of Solomon happens to be one of books of the Bible that I have written a great deal about [1] from a variety of perspectives, most of them dealing with the practical applications of the book, and the lamentable tendency of many people to entirely skip the literal and practical surface meaning of the book to go straight into spiritualized allegories [2], in violation of sound principles of biblical exegesis.  This is a book that, unfortunately, does precisely that, focusing on the allegorical understanding of the Song of Solomon as talking about the Church of God, doing a solid job at providing a large amount of scriptural references from hints or allusions, all cited individually from the KJV [3], largely ignoring the allegorical meaning of Israel as the young woman in the story in favor of a Protestant and specifically Pentecostal view of the church, and nearly entirely neglecting the meaning of the book with regards to personal morality as well as the biography of Solomon himself.  If you are looking for a well-written and well-researched, but obviously partial understanding of the full layers of the Song of Solomon and are willing to do independent research to fill in what this book neglects, this book has some value, and was clearly the result of serious study and effort, and is certainly a notable example of a thoughtful debut effort.

The contents of this book fit a very consistent pattern, after some introductory material, the book is divided into the eight chapters, which are first given in the King James Version and then are given a verse-by-verse commentary with a great deal of scriptural references and personal commentary, some of which are supported by scriptural backup and some of which, like the following, depend on the author’s supposed credibility as a Bible interpreter:  “Purple is the color of Jesus, because you have to mix red and blue together to get purple.  Purple is Jesus [sic] color in the Bible because Jesus understood both the natures:  the nature of God, his father (blue), and man’s nature (red), which he got from Mary (111-112).”  This may be true, but it may be spitballing.  Who’s to say?  When the author is quoting word studies from the Hebrew, the sources are plain and easily accessible for checking.

There is a good deal to like about this book–it is straightforward and makes its stand openly on examining the allegorical meaning of the Song of Solomon, something it does unapologetically.  As a debut effort, it shows considerable mastery of structure and organization, it focuses on its themes and it shows considerable focus.  This is an author that one would want to read more of, and read materials that are shorter and less redundant.  Perhaps with a bit of practice the author can be less of a one-track thinker and appreciate the layered nature of the Hebrew scriptures.  I’m not sure that I would like to get to know the author, as he seems like he’d be someone who was quite certain that he understood the Song of Solomon better than anyone else and didn’t need to look at the life of Solomon himself, the author of the song.  The other particularly interesting aspect of this book is the fact that this is the second straight book I have read from this publisher that was actually a pretty normal biblical commentary [4], and this from a press famous for its really odd books.  Is Outskirts trying to go mainstream?

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/the-false-dilemma-concerning-the-song-of-solomon/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/many-daughters-have-done-well-but-you-excel-them-all/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/book-review-the-passion-principles/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/and-if-she-is-a-door-we-will-enclose-her-with-boards-of-cedar/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/is-mohammed-in-the-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/do-not-stir-up-nor-awaken-love-until-it-pleases/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/on-the-difference-between-greek-thought-and-hebrew-thought/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/it-is-not-good-that-man-should-be-alone-an-antidote-to-pre-celibacy-counseling/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/pardes/

[3] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/book-review-if-the-foundations-be-destroyed/

[4] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/book-review-stories-of-the-old-testament/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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9 Responses to Book Review: Song of Solomon Revealed

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