MattQuintana

MattQuintana

Reviews

Beale, G. K.; Campbell, David. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary. Eerdmans, 2015.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
Greg Beale's Revelation commentary in the NIGTC series is unmatched in terms of its depth and comprehensiveness. However, at over 1,300 pages, it is far beyond the capacity of many pastors, and its technicality scares many away. Enter this "shorter" commentary. Now, at nearly 600 pages, this work is still not small, but it is far and away more accessible and easy to use (not to mention that is also much cheaper!). The exhaustive and impressive exegetical work of the original volume is included, though it is summarized and consolidated, repackaged in a format that is much easier to digest. There are no footnotes or technical excursuses, and after a short introduction, the commentary proceeds section by section through the entire book.

One helpful feature of the work is that each unit contains a one sentence summary/main idea statement. These are found at the beginning of large sections, spanning several chapters, as well as at the start of smaller units, consisting of a handful of verses. Additionally, there are theological and pastoral reflections aiding in application included for each major unit.

Beale is a leading authority on the New Testament's use of the Old, and his scholarly work on the use of the Hebrew Bible in Revelation shines through here. Not everyone will agree with his interpretations or intertextual proposals, but it is clear that all of his ideas are exegetically informed and arise from a close study of the Greek text.

Overall, Beale offers a coherent and compelling case for an amillennial interpretation of the book. His work is theologically sensitive and canonically informed, and will provide any student of the Apocalypse with more than enough to sink their teeth into. This should be a top priority commentary for any preacher or teacher of John's Revelation, especially if they are unable to tackle the technicality of his offering in the NIGTC series.
Sailhamer, John H. The Pentateuch as Narrative: A Biblical-Theological Commentary. LBI. Zondervan, 1995.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
This commentary is exceptionally useful for any study of the first five books of the Bible. John Sailhamer masterfully weaves a close exegesis of the Hebrew text with compositional analysis, biblical theology, and theological interpretation. The result is a first-rate work on the Pentateuch. The introduction, though long, lays out the methodological groundwork for this work, which is helpful for readers and offers a compelling way forward for reading and understanding the Torah. (As a bonus, his hermeneutical insights regarding, e.g., text vs. event are beneficial for constructing an overarching interpretive method for the Bible.) Though concise and quite accessible overall, there is significant depth to Sailhamer's work. I highly recommend it for anyone teaching or studying the Pentateuch.

P.S. One would also benefit from consulting Sailhamer's magnum opus The Meaning of the Pentateuch (IVP Academic, 2009). It is worth its weight in gold—which, given the book's size, is saying something!
Sailhamer, John H. The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation. IVP Academic, 2009.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
Brilliant. Monumental. Paradigm-shifting. John Sailhamer's magnum opus and final academic achievement before his untimely passing is a tour de force in not only Pentateuchal studies, but in exegesis, hermeneutics, compositional analysis, and biblical theology. It has the potential to transform one's understanding of the Pentateuch, along with one's reading of the entire Bible.

It is not just for the "theological uber geek." John Piper's exhortation is appropriate: "To all pastors and serious readers of the Old Testament—geek, uber geek, under geek, no geek—if you graduated from high school and know the word “m e a n i n g,” sell your latest Piper book and buy Sailhamer. There is nothing like it. It will rock your world. You will never read the 'Pentateuch' the same again. It is totally readable. You can skip all the footnotes and not miss a beat."

This book is very long and is extremely dense. It will require thoughtful engagement and extended commitment. However, the payoff will be magnificent. Take up and read! You will not regret it.
Bartholomew, Craig G. Ecclesiastes. BCOT. Baker Academic, 2009.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
This is all around the best commentary on Ecclesiastes available. In this outstanding contribution to the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament, Craig Bartholomew combines masterful exegesis with thoughtful and mature theological reflection. The commentary is readable and very accessible to the pastor or motivated lay-person without a knowledge of Hebrew. However, don't be fooled: Bartholomew packs major exegetical depth into this work. His overall take on the book is provocative and compelling, and his interpretation is undergirded with canonical sensitivity and theological instincts. He helpfully avoids the pitfalls of an entirely negative reading of Qohelet (contra, e.g., Longman) and does not make artificial or unfounded leaps in order to advance his interpretation of the book as a whole. If you are preaching, teaching, or studying this book, Bartholomew's commentary is a must have.
Shepherd, Michael B. A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets. KEL. Kregel Academic, 2018.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
Michael B. Shepherd should be commended for his groundbreaking analysis of the "Minor Prophets" as a single, unified composition. He offers penetrating insight into the "Book of the Twelve" while maintaining lucid brevity. While more in-depth and exhaustive commentaries exist on each of the individual prophets, no other commentary offers such an articulate and compelling case for a compositional approach to this corpus. Legitimate hermeneutical practice requires attention to the context above all else; Shepherd proves that no faithful interpretation of say, Micah, can afford to neglect the surrounding "chapters" within the "Book" of the Twelve and the compositional strategy in which Micah is entrenched. The introduction of this volume alone is worth the price of the book. Overall, this commentary is indispensable for any study and preaching of the books which make up the "Minor Prophets," and also paves the way for further scholarly analysis on the composition of the Twelve.
Seitz, Christopher R. Isaiah 1-39. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1993.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
This is a phenomenal commentary on the complexities and riches of Isaiah 1–39. Combining rigorous and astute exegesis with penetrating theological reflection, Seitz's work is concise yet substantive; accessible yet insightful. While abreast of critical scholarship and technical discussion, Seitz helpfully keeps his primary focus on the canonical form of the book of Isaiah, the authoritative text of the community of faith. In keeping with the aim of the Interpretation commentary series, Seitz's contribution will be of great help to the pastor or teacher of Isaiah, and is accesible to those even without an academic background. I have found this commentary to be one of the most helpful works on Isaiah 1–39 and would strongly commend it to all preachers, teachers, and laity interested in serious study of the book of Isaiah.

N.B. Though Seitz himself is not to blame for this, my one complaint is that this author did not also write the volume on Isaiah 40–66 in the same series—which is especially unfortunate in light of the low-quality of that volume.
Childs, Brevard S. Isaiah. OTL. Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.
MattQuintana MattQuintana September 7, 2021
This is a monumental commentary on the book of Isaiah. Like all of his work, Childs's commentary is erudite and exhibits impressive command of the scholarly field. He combines rigorous exegesis with powerful theological reflection, all with an ear towards the history of Isaiah's interpretation and it impact on both past and present communities of faith. Childs's work is concise yet substantive; accessible yet insightful. While "fluent" in critical scholarship and technical discussion, Childs helpfully keeps his primary focus on the canonical form of the book of Isaiah, the authoritative text for confessional faith communities. Even if one were to skip over his discussions of technical matters, there is much to be gleaned from only engaging his expositions. The commentary could be criticized for being too concise in certain areas, and there are certainly more detailed commentaries on Isaiah available. The beauty of this volume, though, is that it keeps one from getting lost in the "weeds" of all the scholarly debate on Isaiah while still providing an informed and persuasive reading of the text. Overall, I would rank this as the best volume commentary on the entire book of Isaiah available. Whether engaging in exegesis of the Hebrew text or preparing a sermon, I find that consulting Childs is always worth my time. This commentary should be on the shelf of all preachers and teachers of Isaiah, and really, anyone interested in serious study of the book.