Book Review: The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms

Book Review: The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms

By: Brian L. Webster and David R. Beach Publisher: Zondervan Press ISBN: 9780310286899

The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms is an extremely handy little “companion” guide to study and reading of the Psalms. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first received this review copy although I had a few preconceptions. I have a few commentaries and number of study tools in my library for study of the Psalms, so I think I was surprised to find that this Essential Bible Companion did not fall into any category of my other study resources. This was a pleasant surprise for me.

In general, I found the Bible Companion very accessible. The layout and format of the information is very logical and provides a reasonable amount of background to properly educate the reader to the theme, type or style of psalm, authorship, background (where applicable), structure, and special notes about the psalm. All of this data is included on a single page, so it is not overwhelming and it does not go into exhaustive detail, but proves to be more than sufficient in helping to develop a more comprehensive picture of the psalm presented. There is also a sidebar reflection for each psalm to help facilitate deeper meditation and personal application.

I also found the book to be very handsome graphically and aesthetically. There are photographs, tables, sidebars, columns, and rows that are helpful in leading the eye without being cluttered. The book doesn’t feel overly academic or intimidating, but I found the content accurate, up-to-date, and theologically orthodox.

The book is divided into three sections; Part 1—Introduction, Part 2—Quick Reference Charts, and Part 3—The Psalms. As valuable as the summary information for each psalm is (in Part 3), the Introduction sections and the Quick Reference Charts provide a goldmine of information and finger-tip resource guide for many other applications. As I mentioned earlier, I have quite a few comprehensive study tools in my library, but the Quick Reference Guide in the Companion to the Psalms is one of the easiest and most accessible pieces of information in my library. In the span of four pages the authors have grouped the psalms by type, common element, and indexed by verse. I cannot say enough how valuable this resource alone is.

This is a great addition to any library and is another welcome resource from the Zondervan Publishing Group.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishing to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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