More Information
ISBN: 9781783681914
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 7
Publication Date: 31/07/2016
Pages: 134
Series: Asia Bible Commentary Series
Language: English


A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary


The book of Lamentations cannot be truly appreciated without knowing suffering and the agony that follows tragic experiences. In this commentary Dr. Federico Villanueva relates the experience of his fellow country men and women in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda to the experience of the Jewish people after the destruction of Judah and the city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. By drawing these parallels the author hopes that together we will read Lamentations in collective solidarity with a suffering people.

Author Bios

Federico G. Villanueva

FEDERICO G. VILLANUEVA holds a PhD from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. He was formerly the Publications Secretary of the Asia Theological Association and General Editor of the Asia Bible Commentary Series. Dr Villanueva currently teaches part-time in several institutions in the Philippines, as well as serving as the Scholar Care Coordinator and Regional Commissioning Editor in Asia for Langham Partnership.


When terrible natural disasters such as the Asian Tsunami and the fierce winds and storm surge of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan internationally) happen, the inevitable question arises: “Where was God?” Federico G. Villanueva takes us through an engaged reading of the poetry of the book of Lamentations against the specific context of Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation and anguished “Why” question. Villanueva’s sensitive interpretation succeeds in demonstrating that to read Lamentations “in a detached, objective, uninvolved manner is to be like the ‘friends’ and ‘lovers’ of Lady Zion who showed her no comfort when she most needed it.”

Helen R. Graham, MM, PhD
Institute of Formation and Religious Studies,
and Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila, Philippines

This simply written study on lament, though scholarly, is deeply devotional and warmly applied to the inexplicably tragic destruction of lives and property particularly wrought by the world’s worst typhoon, Haiyan (Yolanda), that swept the central section of the Philippines. As brought out in the book, God’s dealings can be puzzlingly mysterious – but “his compassions never fail.”

Rodrigo Tano, PhD
First Area Dean, AGST–Philippines
Senior Professor, Alliance Graduate School

Upon seeing all the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda, our five-year-old daughter asked a theological question which we were not able to answer: “Why did God allow the storm to happen?” This commentary on the book of Lamentations affirmed the validity of our very human grief in the midst of losses, but at the same time, it pointed out biblical resources to draw upon to strengthen us in our journey of faith. I find it a very rich reflection to help us deepen our Christian faith in our own Asian context.

Charlie E. Labarda, MD
Survivor of Typhoon Yolanda
Founding Chair, BUHAT Tacloban

Table of Contents

  1. Commentary
    1. Series Preface
    2. Author’s Preface
    3. Acknowledgments
    4. List of Abbreviations
    5. Introduction
    6. Lamentations 1
    7. Lamentations 2
    8. Lamentations 3
    9. Lamentations 4
    10. Lamentations 5
    11. Bibliography
  2. Topics
    1. Lament as a Pouring Out of Grievance to God
    2. The Imprecatory Prayer as Pagsusumbong sa Diyos
    3. Communal Lament and the Asian Context

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