Derek Thomas

Derek Thomas

Derek Thomas is John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology at the Jackson campus of Reformed Theological Seminary. The reviews here are the "Recommended" commentaries listed in his The Essential Commentaries for a Preacher's Library 2nd edition, updated with John Tweeddale and published by First Pres Press and used with permission.

Occupation Pastor and Professor

Libraries

Reviews

Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis. 2 Vols. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1987.
Derek Thomas September 15, 2008
5 5
It is difficult to imagine a less user-friendly layout than the Word Biblical Commentary Series. The series is uneven and occasionally goes overboard in literary/source criticism. But at least one up-to-date, critical commentary on Genesis should be on our shelves, and this is about the best. Maintians a literary view of Genesis 1.
Currid, John D. Genesis. 2 Vols. EPSC. Evangelical Press, 2003.
Derek Thomas September 15, 2008
5 5
Easy to read yet biblically robust expositions that seek to bridge the gap between technical and popular commentaries. Upholds a literal, six-day creation account and provides a helpful introduction to 'seed-theology.'
Currid, John D. Exodus. 2 Vols. EPSC. Evangelical Press, 2000.
Derek Thomas September 16, 2008
5 5
In a refreshing way pays close attention to the text without getting bogged down in critical discussions. Helpful section on the Decalogue in volume 2.
Motyer, J. Alec. The Message of Exodus. BST. InterVarsity Press, 2005.
Derek Thomas September 16, 2008
5 5
A superb commentary. Scholarly, simple, and sensible. While focusing on the text his footnotes will point eager students in the right direction for further study.
Currid, John D. Leviticus. EPSC. Evangelical Press, 2005.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
Clearly and cogently presents Leviticus as a series of directories for public worship and establishes the importance of Leviticus for the NT. Especially helpful on the Holiness Code.
Wenham, Gordon J. The Book of Leviticus. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1979.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
Ambivalent regarding dating but exegesis of text is extremely useful.
Wenham, Gordon J. Numbers. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 2008.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
Overall, a good, brief exposition of the text. While his introductory discussions are solid (esp. on typology), his discussion on the transmission of the text is at points muddied.
Craigie, Peter C. The Book of Deuteronomy. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1976.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
Especially helpful on the role of the covenant in Deuteronomy.
Davis, Dale Ralph. Joshua: No Falling Words. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 2000.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
Sets the standard for how to expound and apply historical narrative.
Woudstra, Marten H. The Book of Joshua. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1981.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
It is difficult to recommend a single commentary on Joshua, and this one is not as good as it could be.
Davis, Dale Ralph. Judges: Such a Great Salvation. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 2000.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
An exemplary "theo-centric exposition" - full of anecdotes and applications. Those looking for more background information, see Block.
Duguid, Iain M. Esther And Ruth. REC. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2005.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
Look for this series to set the standard for reformed, expository commentaries.
Hubbard, Robert L. The Book of Ruth. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1989.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
A substantial commentary in size and achievement.
Baldwin, Joyce. 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary. TOTC. IVP Academic, 2008.
Derek Thomas September 17, 2008
5 5
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.
Allen, Leslie C. 1 & 2 Chronicles. TPC. Thomas Nelson, 2002.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Helpful tips for preaching.
Dillard, Raymond B. 2 Chronicles. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1987.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Masterful exegesis. His interaction with Samuel-Kings and Chronicles is thorough; however, you may be left wanting for application of the text.
Pratt, Richard L. 1 & 2 Chronicles. MOT. Mentor, 1997.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Excellent! Keeps the theology of the text central. Identifies 28-major biblical-theological motifs.
Fensham, F. Charles. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1983.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
A serious commentary; takes a traditional approach to dating, theology, etc.
Kidner, Derek. Ezra & Nehemiah. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 1981.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Succinct. Helpful appendices on historical matters.
Baldwin, Joyce. Esther. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 1984.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
A short commentary; pays close attention to literary and historical aspects.
Duguid, Iain M. Esther And Ruth. REC. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2005.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Look for this series to set the standard for reformed, expository commentaries.
Clines, David J. A. Job. 3 Vols. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 2009.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
This is the most comprehensive commentary on Job 1-20 available. Volumes 2 and 3 are still pending. Clines deserves to be read thoroughly, though there are times when he is irritatingly defensive on Christological implications in the 'big' texts in Job. For a summary, consult his commentary in the New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition, pp. 459-484.
Allen, Leslie C. Psalms 101-150. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 2002.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
This commentary has serious weaknesses in setting the psalms in a New Testament context.
Craigie, Peter C. Psalms 1-50. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 2005.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
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.
Plumer, William S. Studies in the Book of Psalms. J.B. Lippincott, 1866.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Still one of the best. Especially helpful are his 'doctrinal and practical remarks.'
Bridges, Charles. Proverbs. CCC. Crossway Books, 1846.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Bridges was a first -class scholar and pastor. Though dates, his keen exegesis and searching application show that commentaries can be both scholarly and practical.
Waltke, Bruce K. The Book of Proverbs. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 2004.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
A lifetime achievement. This historio-grammatical commentary is sure to set the standard for commentaries on Proverbs for years to come. A definitive work.
Bridges, Charles. Ecclesiastes. GEN. Banner of Truth, 1981.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Bridges was a first -class scholar and pastor. Though dates, his keen exegesis and searching application show that commentaries can be both scholarly and practical.
Longman III, Tremper. The Book of Ecclesiastes. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1997.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Takes Qohelet as 'a type of pseudonym.' Maintains two speakers 1) Qohelet (1:12-12:7) and 2) an unnamed individual (1:1-11 and 12:8-14). Interesting but too idiosyncratic.
Motyer, J. Alec. The Prophecy of Isaiah. InterVarsity Press, 1998.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
A heavier and more detailed study than his commentary in the TOTC.
Young, Edward J. Isaiah. 3 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1969.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Young has now been replaced in the NICOT series by John N. Oswalt, a sensible commentary worth consulting, but is still preferred.
Thompson, John A. The Book of Jeremiah. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1980.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Provides much more detailed exegetical and historical discussions than Ryken. The two compliment each other nicely.
Ryken, Philip Graham. Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope. PtW. Crossway Books, 2001.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
A superb commentary. Includes a helpful index of sermon illustrations.
Block, Daniel I. The Book of Ezekiel. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1997.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Technical and thorough. However, his 'Theological Implications' are proportionally brief. Though a wealth of information, a busy pastor may find Duguid a more helpful tool.
Stuart, Douglas. Ezekiel. TPC. Thomas Nelson, 2002.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Exceptionally good.
Ferguson, Sinclair B. Daniel. TPC. Thomas Nelson, 2002.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Outstanding. 6th century date.
Goldingay, John. Daniel. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1989.
Derek Thomas September 19, 2008
5 5
Despite a 2nd century date and viewing the visions as pseudonymous 'quasi-prophecy,' deals ably with the text.
Stuart, Douglas. Hosea - Jonah. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1987.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
Gomer is presented typically as a harlot because she is a member of wayward Israel not because she was immoral. Clever but not convincing! Nevertheless, a very good commentary.
Robertson, O. Palmer. The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1990.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A masterfully done commentary. Nicely weds a redemptive-historical hermeneutic with a pastor's touch.
Robertson, O. Palmer. The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1990.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A masterfully done commentary. Nicely weds a redemptive-historical hermeneutic with a pastor's touch.
Robertson, O. Palmer. The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1990.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A masterfully done commentary. Nicely weds a redemptive-historical hermeneutic with a pastor's touch.
Bock, Darrell L. Luke. 2 Vols. BECNT. Baker Academic, 1994.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
Bock is a preeminent scholar on Luke. These two gigantic commentaries are to be preferred to Marshall. There is a great deal of theological comment in these volumes which make them very useful for sermon preparation. However, Bock does not always come down on one side in issues of controversy. He is a progressive dispensationalist.
Bock, Darrell L. Luke. IVPNTC. InterVarsity Press, 1995.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A smaller version of [his BECNT work].
Bock, Darrell L. Luke. NIVAC. Zondervan, 1996.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
Yes, a third commentary on Luke! This will be the most helpful for application.
Ridderbos, Herman N. The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary. Eerdmans, 1997.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A masterful redemptive-historical commentary.
Bruce, F. F. Fee, Gordon D. ed. The Book of Acts. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1988.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A classic. Strong on history and more accessible than his Greek commentary [1990, IVP].
Moo, Douglas J. The Epistle to the Romans. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1996.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A colossal commentary (over a thousand pages!). Moo's interpretation of Romans 7 is definitely not recommended; nevertheless, his commentary has already become a standard and has more to offer than Cranfield. See his contribution on Romans in the New Bible Commentary, 21st edition for shorter treatment.
Murray, John. Romans. 2 Vols. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1965.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
Though replaced by Moo, this ranks as one of the finest Reformed commentaries ever written. Murray was a master exegete and brilliant systematician. Every shelf should have a copy of this commentary.
Schreiner, Thomas R. Romans. BECNT. Baker Academic, 1998.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
Coupled with Murray on the one hand and Moo on the other, you will gain a firm exegetical and theological grasp of a text. Note that since his commentary, Schreiner has changed his view from seeing righteousness as 'transformative' to 'forensic,' see Paul: Apostle of God's Glory in Christ (Downers Grove; IVP, 2001), p. 192.n2.
Pratt, Richard L. I & II Corinthians. HNTC. Broadman & Holman, 2000.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A nice blend of exposition, theology, and application.
Hughes, Philip Edgcumbe. Second Epistle to the Corinthians. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1962.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
Has been replaced by Paul Barnett in the NICNT series.
Pratt, Richard L. I & II Corinthians. HNTC. Broadman & Holman, 2000.
Derek Thomas September 20, 2008
5 5
A nice blend of exposition, theology, and application.
George, Timothy. Galatians. NAC. Broadman & Holman, 1994.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
A wonderful commentary written by an accomplished church historian who shows himself an able biblical scholar.
Ryken, Philip Graham. Galatians. REC. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2005.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
A model commentary: expositional, pastoral, confessional, and Christological.
Hodge, Charles. Ephesians. CCC. Crossway Books, 1994.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
Still one of the best commentaries to turn to and the most reliable guide to put into the hands of the average reader.
Lincoln, Andrew T. Ephesians. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1990.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
This is regarded as one of the best commentaries on Ephesians despite the face that Lincoln does not think Paul wrote it! For discerning readers only, then.
O'Brien, Peter T. Ephesians [Plagiarism Acknowledged]. PNTC. Eerdmans, 1999.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
A masterful work. Consult before Lincoln.
Owen, John. Hebrews. CCC. Crossway Books, 1998.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
A lifetime accomplishment. One of the finest and most exhaustive expositions ever written. The story is told that upon completion Own is said to have exclaimed, "Now my work is done; it is time to die!"
Moo, Douglas J. James: An Introduction and Commentary. TNTC. Eerdmans, 2007.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
Not as thorough as his Pillar Commentary.
Bauckham, Richard J. 2 Peter and Jude. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1983.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
Does not believe Peter wrote it!
Beale, Gregory K. The Book of Revelation. NIGTC. Eerdmans, 1998.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
A monumental and comprehensive work. Amillennial.
Hendriksen, William. More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Baker Books, 1998.
Derek Thomas September 21, 2008
5 5
Very accessible and readable. The opening section is crucial reading for interpreting apocalyptic literature. Amillennial.