Psalms 1–50 (2nd ed.)
Publisher Thomas Nelson
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Recommended OT Commentaries by Denver Seminary Journal
- Ultimate Commentary Collection: OT Technical by John Glynn
- Favorite Advanced OT Commentaries by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Essential OT Commentaries for a Preacher's Library by Derek W. H. Thomas
- Old Testament Advanced Commentaries by Moore Theological College Journal: Societas
- Building an OT Commentary Library by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kostenberger & Patterson)
The original volume is quite dated, hence it was updated by Tate who wrote volume 2. But the multi-author 3 volume set, is, as noted by several reviewers, unbalanced. I personally think Allen's third volume is stronger than this one. But I still find this volume quite useful, and a bit less difficult to manage than other volumes in the series.
This appears to be a classic case of a multi-volume set displaying uneven quality. Craigie’s volume is said to be the strongest and had he written the others this would probably be a top recommendation. (Unfortunately he died after the publication of volume 1.) Allen’s is regarded by most as the next strongest of the three. All of them are rather technical, making them a better choice for pastor or scholar than a general reader. [Full Review]
The WBC on Psalms is in three volumes. Volume 1 on Psalms 1-50 is by Peter Craigie. It's recently been updated by Marvin Tate, who did the second volume on 51-100, but you can still get the original by Craigie. I haven't looked at the updated version yet, but I imagine it strengthened the weaknesses in Craigie's volume in ways that the series' later volumes tended to improve upon. Craigie tends to be more theological than the authors of volumes 2 and 3 in this set and is my favorite of the three. He is also strong on comparative linguistics, especially Ugaritic, and practices a moderate form criticism. He doesn't draw enough connections with the New Testament for my preferences. Craigie's work is also the most dated, though the update by Tate should remedy that. With that update, its current form is very recent. It starts with a strong text-critical section and concludes with a summary of the basic meaning, with detailed commentary on each verse in between. There's some contemporary significance in the last section. The original versions had much less of that, but the revised version has a lot more. One distracting feature of some Psalms commentaries is over-speculation about which ritual settings each psalm might have originated in, and these volumes focus more on what scholars can say with some confidence. This is one of the few recent, complete, in-depth commentaryieson this book. The longest book in the Bible doesn't draw many full-length commentaries very often. Craigie stands within the evangelical tradition, somewhat broadly construed. He takes views that I'm not willing to endorse in terms of historicity (though I'm not sure I'd deny most of those statements either), but he's more conservative than you'll find in any other recent academic commentary on the Psalms (unless you count VanGemeren's EBC revision). [Full Review]
These volumes are uneven in quality and orthodoxy. Craigie does not accept the imprecations in the psalms as inspired: "These psalms are not the oracles of God." p. 41. See War Psalms of the Prince of Peace, below, for a good treatment of the imprecations of the Psalms. These three volumes from the Word Biblical Commentary are included because of the great deal of modern research in psalm genre this century. A modern commentary is, therefore, essential. But little sermonic help will be found in these volumes.
Not my favorite commentaries, but these WBC volumes are generally conservative commentaries that seriously engage the history, theology, and scholarship of the Psalms. Wilcock (BST, 2001, 2 vols.) is interesting for canonical considerations but is not technical enough for my concerns.
A clearly written Evangelical combination of comparative Ugaritic studies and theological insights with practical application. [Full Review]