Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Find the BEST Old Testament Commentaries

Last week Baker Academic sent me a free copy of this really useful book. (Thanks, Baker!) I've already fulfilled my obligation to them by blogging about it here, at the Wheaton Blog, but it's such a nifty book that I just had to tell you about it as well. (For my full review, check out the other site).

If you've ever had trouble knowing which commentaries will be worth owning, or even where to start research for a sermon or paper or Bible Study, this is the book for you. It's one book that will save you both time and money. At under $12, you actually can't afford not to own it. Longman is a well-respected Evangelical scholar with decades of experience teaching and writing commentaries. Consider him your own personal tutor when it comes to choosing commentaries.

So how does this book work? Longman lists at least a dozen commentaries on each book of the Old Testament, grouped by book. He evaluates each one in a few sentences, telling you what's unique, what's done well, and what's not. Each entry is coded to show the intended audience (L=laypeople; M=ministers and seminary students; S=scholars). Then he gives it a rating between one and five stars to help you find the best commentaries at a glance.

This book came at a good time. For my current dissertation chapter I needed to quickly check the best commentaries on Psalms to see what they said about a tricky passage. I flipped to the section on Psalms in Longman's book and within about 2 minutes I knew which commentaries to grab from the reference section and which to avoid. My only regret is that I didn't know about this book years ago. It will stay within arm's reach at my desk from here on out. And later this fall, when the New Testament counterpart by D. A. Carson is released, it will be in good company.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard of this new resource, Carmen - thanks for blogging about it. I'm sending MIke a copy of your post for his reference. So many great new resources out there since we were in seminary!