Perhaps no book of the Bible captures raw human emotion as much as the Psalms. This is why we turn to it at the height of bliss and the depths of despair. We identify with the psalmist to the point that we believe them to be written on our behalf. Yet there is so much more contained in this beloved collection than emotional experience. There is deep theological truth. There is a sense that something great is happening and we are a small part of it. There is a feeling of community. There is hope and comfort.
For these reasons, I was excited when I saw that Kregel was publishing this set of commentaries on the Psalms. I was even more excited when I saw the author’s name. Allen P. Ross is a respected Hebrew scholar and a perfect choice for the task. He combines a scholar’s approach with a pastor’s heart. The result is not only a brilliant commentary, but also a tool to teach others how to dig into the Psalms themselves and mine the precious ore found therein.
This volume starts with nearly 200 pages of important introductory material. We are taught the value of , the different texts of, the titles and headings of, and the history of the interpretation of the Psalms. We are also shown how to interpret biblical poetry and how to see the different literary forms and functions of the Psalms. Finally, Ross talks about the Psalms in worship, the theology of the Psalms and the exposition of the Psalms. In sum, the introductory material provides the reader with a wonderful hermeneutic to start studying this ancient wisdom. I found the material extremely helpful and am now indebted to Dr. Ross for teaching me how to study this wonderful book of the Bible.
The remaining 600 pages are dedicated to Dr. Ross’s commentary. The introduction of each Psalm begins with the author’s own English rendering of the Hebrew text followed by a section about the composition and context of the Psalm concluding in an exegetical analysis of the Psalm. We are then treated to a commentary in expository form. The author concludes with the message and application of the Psalm.
I believe this to be the best work I have seen on the Psalms and would highly recommend it for students, teachers, and pastors. Some of the language is a bit technical as this is published under the Kregel Academic and Professional label. Some assumptions are made as to the reader’s familiarity with technical terms. But do not be put off by this. There is much here to learn. I hope that many will profit from the insights found between the covers of this book.
My thanks goes out to Kregel for graciously providing this book for the purpose of review.
- Hardback: 887 pages
- Publisher: Kregel
- ISBN-13: 978-0825425622
Have you ever wondered how to make sense of those books in the Bible that give us all those laws? Have you ever wanted to know more about the life of Moses? Have you ever been frustrated by your own unbelief in God’s promises? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should read this book.
“God wants to be seen through His people.” This is the subtitle of the introduction and the theme of Straight to the Heart of Moses. As you read this book, this truth is revealed time and again. The author goes on to divide this book into sections to show how God reveals Himself through His people: God the Saviour (Exodus 1-18), God the Indweller (Exodus 19-40), God the Holy One (Leviticus), God the Faithful One (Numbers) and God the Covenant Keeper (Deuteronomy). These themes are woven into the author’s work.
I would classify this as a devotional commentary. This book by Phil Moore contains “60 Bite-sized Insights” into the books of the Bible that span the life of Moses. Sometimes the author deals with a few verses in a chapter and at other times he covers a few chapters in one big swathe. But when you finish, you have a better idea of the big picture. The chapters are short making it an excellent devotional read. The lessons are profound. The illustrations are clear driving home the point. The writing is God-centered in a way that leaves you meditating on Him for the rest of the day.
Though this might be considered by some to be “light” reading, this book gushes with pastoral sensitivity and instruction. I would recommend this book to those who get bogged down in their Bible reading at about Leviticus (that would be most of us). This year, as I read this book concurrently with my Bible, I was left hungering for more. This is not a poor reflection on the author or his book. Rather, it is the sign of a good teacher. I now want to dig deeper into this section of scripture.
I plan to buy more books in this series and if this volume is any indicator of the rest, then it will be money well spent.
This book was provided to me for review purposes by Kregel.
- Paperback: 272 Pages
- Publisher: Monarch Books (Kregel)
- ISBN-13: 978-0857210562
Imagination is a gift from God. With it we realize our creative potential. In this commentary, Michael Card informs our imagination to help us creatively think through the Gospel according to Luke. Card does not recreate the stories by adding new characters or plot twists. Rather he recreates them in our mind much the same way a historical film does with period speech and dress.In this book, Card lends to the reader his research into the grand narrative of the Gospel. As he expounds on the text, you are drawn into the sights and sounds (if you use your imagination) of Jesus’ culture. You will learn some of the Jewish and Roman customs that will bring the narrative into sharp focus. I found myself at several points imagining I was there with the disciples, stumbling over Jesus’ teachings and thinking about the content of the parables as if I was hearing them for the first time.
This commentary is devotional in nature and does not delve deeply into textual issues or theological nuances. It does not need to. Michael Card leads you, the proverbial horse, to the water and even makes the water seem appealing. But the drinking is up to you. This commentary includes the complete text of Luke from the Holman Christian Standard Bible . I highly recommend this commentary as a devotional companion as you read or study through the Gospel according to Luke.
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (January 3, 2011)
- ISBN-13: 978-0830838356
Reading commentaries has become somewhat of a pastime for me. I enjoy both depth of studying and devotional reading. When I heard that a new commentary series was in the works from Zondervan, I wondered if I had time to add yet another set in my reading queue. After having previewed a copy of Galatians by Thomas Shreiner, I am convinced that this series will be a welcome addition to my library.
The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament has blended solid academic scholarship with clear exegesis. The result is a highly useful commentary for preachers, teachers and serious students of the Word of God.
In Galatians, Shreiner deals with the text while interacting with proponents of various views. One walks away not only knowing what the text says but also where the points of contention pertaining to interpretation are located. This commentary is well documented so if the reader wants to follow up in studying any particular viewpoint, he/she can do so easily. Schreiner discusses the new perspective in a thorough and gracious way.
The commentary starts out with a general introduction. From there you dive into the text. Each pericope starts out with literary context. This helps keep your focus on the flow of the book.From there you move to a section that explains the main point of the passage. There is a graphical layout of the text that aides you in seeing the structure of the passage being discussed. There is also an exegetical outline . As you continue on to the section that explains the passage, the English translation is presented along with the Greek text for those who are familiar with the original language. At the end of the explanation of the passage, there is a theological application section that helps you answer the question: So what? In some cases there are in-depth excursuses inserted in the text.
This commentary series is comparable to the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament but is visually more appealing. The one weakness of this series is in application. For this reason, this commentary does not replace Zondervan’s NIV Application Commentary but rather it compliments it.
I highly recommend this series to any one who wants to study the biblical text in depth. For those who only wear hip-waders, pick up the aforementioned NIV Application Commentary.
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (November 2, 2010)
- ISBN-13: 978-0310243724