1 and 2 Samuel
Pages 320 pages
Publisher IVP Academic
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Essential Commentaries for a Preacher's Library - OT by Derek Thomas
- Building a Commentary Library - Old Testament by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation
A shorter commentary but an excellent introduction to the book of Samuel.
An excellent introductory level volume on 1 & 2 Samuel. The author has the knack of making the books and her thoughts accessible but still offering fine insight. The introduction sets the Samuel books nicely into the broader history of the Biblical history of Israel. The explanation of the Deuteronomistic history was very useful. Much of the commentary was in depth and covered the passages both in insightful overviews and verse but verse, though there were times where the brevity of the volume showed and the commentary covered paragraphs instead of verses at a time. It is a credit to the author that I wished that she had an extra hundred pages to go deeper into every passage. In general the more important passages had the deeper commentary. When an unexpected question came up in Sunday School, I used Dr. Baldwin's explanation of how the Scriptures used certain story telling conventions to highlight important concepts inside history narratives. Since the question was on Genesis 1 & 2, I knew that what I had learned from her commentary was very useful indeed.
Because of the limitations of the TOTC series, Baldwin’s commentary is quite brief, but still very helpful within that limitation. Keith Mathison says, “The commentary on the books of Samuel is a great example of Baldwin’s high quality work. A very good introductory-intermediate level commentary.” [Full Review]
Joyce Baldwin's TOTC is excellent for such a brief commentary. This series is usually pretty lightweight in terms of page length. This particular volume is worse than usual, since the whole of both I-II Samuel is a pretty hefty length of text. The Hosea commentary in this series is longer than this, and that's for a book less than 1/4 the length of Samuel. But Baldwin is very good, particularly in historical awareness and theological reflection, and she selects what's especially important to emphasize. I found that I got far more out of Baldwin than I did Anderson/Klein (WBC), Gordon (Library of Biblical Interpretation), and McCarter (AB) combined. She does deal with some critical issues in the introduction (e.g. responding to Wellhausen and Noth), but the commentary itself largely just explains the text. [Full Review]
This is a brief commentary, but other commentaries, e.g. the two by Klein and Anderson in the Word Biblical Commentary Series, are heavily into text and literary criticism and have very little to help busy preachers.
It is almost impossible to go wrong with any of the Tyndale commentaries. Baldwin contributed several commentaries to this series, including those on Esther, Daniel, and the post-exilic prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The commentary on the books of Samuel is a great example of Baldwin's high quality work. A very good introductory-intermediate level commentary. [Full Review]
Helpful exegetical commentary with some attention given to theological issues. Evangelical. [Full Review]