Posts Tagged ‘Commentary’

Book Review: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles

Book Review: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles

Author: Eugene H. Merrill

Publisher: Kregel Academic

ISBN: 9780825425592

Kregel Exegetical Library: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles

A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles, written by Eugene H. Merrill is another fine addition in the Exegetical Library Commentary Series by Kregel Academic. I am one of those who rarely does deep study in the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles, not that I do not read from there, but most often the Chronicles is a supporting player to my studies from the books of Samuel and the Kings. It is for this reason I really do not have a strong comparison commentary for 1 & 2 Chronicles and must base my review solely on the merits of this work with a slight nod toward previous commentaries in this Exegetical Series.

One thing I’ve come to appreciate about Kregel’s commentaries is the wonderful charts and tables that are a strong feature in every commentary I’ve reviewed in this series. This work from Eugene Merrill is no exception. It too features a very helpful assortment of charts and tables. Similarly, I really like that the Kregel includes an index of all the charts and special features found within the commentary for easy navigation, for example, there are excurses featured throughout the book and each is notated by page for quick reference, notations of hymns and praises found in the Chronicles are also indexed as are other theological discourses. This, in my opinion, makes this a very handy resource for quick research.

Merrill has included a fairly substantial bibliography at the end of the commentary. I was/am especially impressed with the source material he has referenced for backgrounds and history. I feel my wallet will become substantially lighter after having encountered this list of references, several titles of which really caught my attention.

As I reported earlier in my review, I do not have any comparison to the Chronicles commentary specifically, but I am pleased with the writing style of Merrill and found it understandable and not overly academic or terribly full of Hebrew language, which I would have difficulty understanding since I have no schooling in the language and have to rely on my word study resources and the explanations of the author.

I continue to recommend the Exegetical Commentary Series by Kregel as it represents a solid, Evangelically objective approach to the Scriptures. I’ve come to trust the series and will continue to recommend it to friends and colleagues.

Book Review: A Commentary on Exodus

Book Review: A Commentary on Exodus

Author: Duane A. Garrett

Publisher: Kregel ISBN: 9780825425516

A Commentary on Exodus

The commentaries published by the Kregel Exegetical Library continue to impress me. The Commentary on Exodus by Duane A. Garrett is another strong volume in the Old Testament Series.

One of the many things that I particularly like about this series is there are no compromises where scholastic excellence is involved. The volumes in this commentary series are the pinnacle of academic excellence in my opinion. This can be an intimidating attribute for some, but I would say there is no reason for intimidation. In addition to academic excellence, the commentary is among the most readable that I have experienced. I am not a language or textual criticism expert and I still find the writing conversational and understandable. The marriage of readability and scholasticism is what moves me to rank this series so highly.

Duane Garrett has done an exceptional job with research and exposition of the Exodus narrative. Beginning with an incredibly comprehensive introduction addressing geography, archeology, Egyptian dynasties, socio-political circumstance, textual criticism and so much more, Garrett lays a solid foundation from which he works the major themes in his Commentary on Exodus.

No matter what commentary or commentaries you may have in your  library for this key book from the Old Testament Scriptures, Kregel’s Commentary on Exodus by Duane Garrett is a worthy addition and compliment to your collection.

Book Review: Brazos Theological Commentary—Luke

Book Review: Brazos Theological Commentary—Luke

Author: David Lyle Jeffrey

Publisher: BrazosPress ISBN: 9781587431418

Luke: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

There is much to like in this Bible commentary from Brazos Press on the Gospel of Luke written by David Lyle Jeffrey. Depending on the reader’s perspective and expectation, Bible commentaries can be very “hit or miss” when it comes to reviews. I think it helps (it helps me) to have an understanding that there is no definitive or “one size fits all” commentary. While I expected this volume to be a solid work of interpretation, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of deep theology calling on the wisdom of the ancient church as well as the melding of some of the most brilliant contemporary theologians expressed in such conversational prose.

The premise of the Brazos Theological Commentary is to “read and interpret Scripture creedally for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other orthodox Christians did for their times and places.” This premise makes this series unique in that it does not attempt to be completely exegetical or expository in nature, nor is it purely the playground for the seminarian and/or academic. I have already used the word “conversational” to describe the writing style, but I think a more accurate assessment might be to say that the book reads as though I were listening to a lecture. I read a lot of theological works and I did not find this the least bit intimidating to read or “stuffy” in my ability to understand.

The book is well documented with footnotes and bibliography. As I have mentioned, for a smallish book, as far as commentaries go, Jeffrey has included a staggering amount of references spanning all two-thousand years of the Church history. A reader who is unfamiliar with the writings of the church fathers and other influential persons in the shaping of the Church, will be treated to a feast of introductions… Ambrose, Augustine, Athanasius, Bonaventure, Calvin, Chrysostom, John Calvin, Clement and Cyril of Alexandria, Eusebius, Jerome, Josephus, Martin Luther, Origen, Philo, Aquinas, and John Wesley are just a few of the notable names the reader will learn from and this listing includes none of the many, many contemporary scholars.

 I think Brazos has produced a winner with this commentary on the Gospel of Luke. I do not believe that it is a “one only” resource for the deep study of this gospel, but it might be a great place to start and with its impressive resource list, it might be the gateway to very rich studies. I highly recommend.

Check out a sample from Brazos here

Book Review: James (ZECNT) Exegetical Commentary

Book Review: James (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell

A few weeks ago I was privileged to join a group of reviewers for a new commentary series titled The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT). The *copy I received was dedicated to the text from the New Testament Book of James. The intent of this commentary series is as follows (from the Zondervan website):

Designed for the pastor and Bible teacher, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament examines the biblical text in its original environment. Notable evangelical scholars carefully attend to grammatical detail, literary context, rhetorical flow, theological nuance, and historical setting in their interpretation. Critical scholarship informs each step, but does not dominate the commentary, allowing readers to concentrate on the biblical author’s message as it unfolds. While primarily designed for those with a basic knowledge of biblical Greek, all who strive to understand and teach the New Testament will find this series beneficial.

My first impressions of this commentary are very good. I have enjoyed it for several reasons. First, let me clarify that I do not have a background in the ancient Greek languages. The majority of my Greek studies include several helps from my reference library and software tools (both personally owned and online resources). The reason for my clarification is the commentary specifically mentions that it was “primarily designed for those with a basic knowledge of biblical Greek.” Perhaps my resources and reference tools qualify me as a person who has a basic knowledge of the biblical Greek, but I do not place myself in that category. Nonetheless, I have found the commentary very accessible and readable even with my limited knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of the ancient languages. That said, I believe the authors, editor, and publisher have done a commendable job in creating a commentary that works equally well for scholar and “non-academic” Bible student.

Another aspect of this commentary that particularly enjoyed was the graphical layout of the translation. Each unit of thought from the text is broken down into commentator’s translation. I found this helpful on several levels; first, it was helpful in understanding the contextual flow of the passage. Second, I found the translation of the commentator a useful tool in cross-referencing other passages providing me an example for analysis and diagramming passages for my own inductive studies. A third aspect of the commentary I appreciated was the relevant and thoughtful suggestion for application of the ancient text to contemporary society. Regardless of whether or not I agree with the suggested application or examples, I found the explanation and application very thought provoking; which in my opinion is a win and a desired objective achieved for the goals of the commentators. These items are certainly not my exhaustive thoughts on what I liked or disliked about the commentary, but serve to highlight some of the elements that rise to the top from my perspective.

Final Thoughts

I do not think any Bible student should be relegated to a single commentary or study Bible. I say this to qualify my comment that this is not a one-commentary-does-it-all reference tool… and none should be (in my opinion). This is; however, one of the better supplemental commentaries that I have owned or used to date. I love that it is concise, I love the outline and graphical layout, I love the thought provocation from the application portion of the commentary, and I especially love the reference tools. The commentary is extensively footnoted (at least this volume 16 James is), and the Bibliography is detailed upfront and readable making it easy to continue the study and research should the student want to dig deeper or add additional reference and resource works to their personal library. The indices at the end of the commentary are helpful in their own rights; there is a scripture index, subject index, and an author index. In summary, I find this latest commentary series a quality addition to the bulging field of commentaries. I believe Zondervan has successfully bridged the gap between academia and non academia with this series without “dumbing down” the content. My verdict is “two thumbs up.”


Additional Review Links can be found here

*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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