About This Blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"A Commentary on the Psalms: 42-89" (Allen P. Ross)

TITLE: A Commentary on the Psalms: 42-89 (Kregel Exegetical Library)
AUTHOR: Allen P. Ross
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2013, (848 pages).

The Psalms remain one of the most beautiful writings in the world, widely revered by the three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. It covers from worship to songs; prayers to laments; and for individuals as well as for communities. As part of the Kregel Exegetical Library series, the book is written by scholars who are not only well versed in the original Hebrew language, they are also eminent professors having spent many years in studying the Holy Scriptures, the Ancient Near East, and the historical background of the Old Testament. With a culture so ancient, one of the best ways to study and understand the book of psalms is to employ the best exegetical tools and knowledge that we have now, put them together in their original contexts, and then build a bridge to the modern era so that readers will be able to learn and benefit from the gift of Scripture. Allen P. Ross is well qualified to do just that.

Due to the immense amount of material in Psalms and the exegetical space needed to do a comprehensive study, this book is just Book 2 in a series of three books. Book 1 describes Psalms 1 to 41. Book 2 covers Psalms 42 to 89, while Book 3 is a commentary on Psalms 90-150. Each chapter begins with an apt title and a brief introduction to set the tone. It is then followed by personal translation of the text, with footnotes to distill words pregnant with meaning. The "composition and context" section gives the contextual information needed to shed the light on the ancient psalm. This is no easy task. The "exegetical analysis" section is precisely what readers will be paying for. That is not all. The subsequent exposition builds upon this exegesis and we get a homiletical product at the end of it all. At the end, there is a "Message and Application" to help us along, to reinforce the underlying belief that the Psalms are highly relevant for today.

I have studied Hebrew using Dr Ross's excellent material and this commentary is a great testimony of how a great language teacher puts the raw work of exegesis through the intellectual rigour of scholarship, coupled with a keen understanding of Biblical Hebrew, in order to produce a convincing work that compels readers and hearers to want more. Preachers and teachers will find this commentary series extremely useful for teaching and preaching. A word of caution. As the book is an excellent resource, it must remain just a resource and not a replacement for our own exegetical work and preaching preparations. For even the best books on God's Word have limitations. They are not the Word of God. They are not the perfect teacher. There is only one Perfect Teacher, and that is the Holy Spirit.

Rating: 5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

No comments:

Post a Comment