The Message of the Song of Songs
Publisher InterVarsity Press
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Favorite Commentaries for Personal Study by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Ultimate Commentary Collection - OT Expositional by John Glynn
- Commentaries I Would Not Do Without by R. Hansen
I have become a collector of commentaries ever since my seminary days in the 1990s. As such, I am only going to recommend the best overall commentary for each book of the Bible on this site. For Song of Songs, for the preacher/teacher, I lean toward Gledhill. Scholars and the like read Song of Songs in various ways and so it is not a bad idea to find a few different commentaries on this biblical book, but Gledhill's penchant for poetry and ability to draw out relevant application points make it my choice as the one commentary to add if you only had one on Song of Songs. (I am also a big fan of the not well known "A Song for Lovers," by Craig Glickman - paperback, 1976 edition)
If you get the message wrong, it stands to reason the rest will be a total exercise in futility. Bought it. Regret it.
The Bible Speaks Today is a popular-level commentary set, and one whose volumes have made regular appearances in this series. Tremper Longman calls Gledhill’s volume “a model popular commentary” and commends it as “well written, easy to read, yet profound. Also, Gledhill has an excellent literary sense; he neither simply adopts traditional readings nor gives in to the excesses of contemporary psychological readings of the text." [Full Review]
A very insightful commentary. The grasp of poetry is second to none, and totally appropriate to the theme of love. This book is also profound and practical. Highly recommended.
Quite decent as far as commentaries go. Gledhill was fabulous when it came to reading and interpreting poetry. I don't think I've ever read a commentary where the author quoted so much poetry himself. Fully appropriate when commenting on the Greatest Song (that is, the "Song of Songs") itself. In his efforts to have the text "speak today," I did find Gledhill to often move beyond the text in directions that I just wasn't comprehending. I often thought, "wow, this is really practical, but I'm not sure how we got here. I actually saw the text taking us in a different direction."
Tom Gledhill's commentary on the Song of Songs is accessible to any reader, but the fact that it is accessible does not mean that it is simplistic. In fact, in places it is truly profound and insightful. Gledhill sees the book for what it is - a poetic exploration of human love that points beyond itself to the Creator and Redeemer. Very highly recommended. [Full Review]