R. Hansen

R. Hansen

Degree in engineering. Served as missionary to college students and then to refugees overseas. Love to study Scripture with others. I grew up in the Ev. Free Church, spent 15 years attending and serving in the Presbyterian church (PCA), then worked with a Baptist church overseas, and now am part of a non-denominational church.
Occupation Engineer/Missionary

Libraries

Reviews

Leithart, Peter J. 1 & 2 Kings. BTC. Brazos Press, 2006.
R. Hansen August 31, 2008
5 5
This is a supurb commentary. The best I have read on Kings though it should be supplemented with others. This is not a verse by verse commentary though he does go chapter by chapter. He comments on the meaning and significance of each passage and then goes on to talk about an issue of theology contained in the text. Leithart does a great job at following the text and seeing its relationships with other parts of the Bible. He is very good at interpreting narrative. His application is also excellent. There are times where his insights are a little over my head, but for the most part also very understandable. The print is small so this commentary is even longer than it may first appear. This would be my first choice for a Kings commentary followed closely by Fretheim. Though I have not used House's commentary, from this site it seems that he may be a good choice to supplement these two commentaries with a verse by verse commentary that will go more in depth into historical and interpretation issues.
Fretheim, Terence E. First and Second Kings. WeBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.
R. Hansen August 31, 2008
5 5
This is not an in depth commentary but very good. He is very helpful in following the point of the author and does well with theology and application. After Leithart, this is the second most helpful commentary on Kings that I have used. Excellent!
Provan, Iain W. 1 & 2 Kings. UBOT. Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.
R. Hansen August 31, 2008
4 5
This commentary is short but is helpful and insightful in spots. For an inexpensive commentary it is recommended. He does offer some different interpretations at times then either Leithart or Fretheim. Provan sometimes tended to be more cynical of the motives and character of the kings (in this respect closer to Brueggemann). Though I thought Leithart and Fretheim often followed the intent of the author much better, this is a good commentary to supplement those.
Brueggemann, Walter. 1 & 2 Kings. SHBC. Smyth & Helwys, 2000.
R. Hansen August 31, 2008
3.5 5
This is a much longer commentary (though the text is very large print and there are many pictures). Brueggemann can be very insightful at times. He especially works hard to understand the social and political background of the text and then use those observations to make applications for the church and culture of our day. This is what makes this commentary valuable even where you may disagree. But disagree I often did. He can sometimes in my opinion, due in part to his cynicism, not see the intent of the author. Indeed, sometimes his cynicism seems to carry over to the author and Scripture itself. This results in an almost arrogant feel which comes through in this commentary as it does in many (not all) of his works. While definitely not recommended as a first commentary as sometimes I feel he misses the flow and intention of the texts, it is definitely a helpful commentary to reference. Even where you may disagree, his efforts at understanding the social and political implications and applications for the church today is worth the exercise in thinking. But it is probably not worth its rather high price to buy.
Wright, Christopher J. H. Deuteronomy. UBOT. Hendrickson Publishers, 1996.
R. Hansen September 1, 2008
5 5
If I could only have one commentary on a deserted desert island (my wife would wonder why I would ever choose a commentary...) this would definitely be in contention for the top choice. A wonderful commentary. I started underlining things that were insightful and helpful but soon realized I was leaving little that was not underlined. Great commentary not just for gaining understanding of Deuteronomy but also the whole Bible and God's plan for the nations. Also helpful is that he includes some of the key literary insights from Christensen's commentary.
Payne, David F. Deuteronomy. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen September 2, 2008
5 5
Though the obvious first choices for a Deuteronomy commentary in my mind would be Wright and Cragie, this commentary provided great devotional reading for me. Good insights and good application in more devotional format. One of the better commentaries in the DSB OT series (Cragie, Davidson, and McConville are also good). It receives a 5 because it does what it is supposed to for the type of commentary it is.
Childs, Brevard S. Exodus. OTL. Westminster John Knox Press, 1974.
R. Hansen September 2, 2008
2.5 5
When I first studied Exodus 18 years ago, I went through many commentaries that left me totally unsatisfied. Even Childs' commentary, which at that time was the top of everyone's list, left me dry. Though I could see why it was an especially important commentary in its day in terms of interpretation issues, it rarely gave me new insights or got me excited about the text. Very technical. Today there are much better commentaries. This commentary might be beneficial for the very serious theology student, but those just looking to understand and love the book of Exodus, see Fretheim, Janzen and Sarna.
Enns, Peter P. Exodus. NIVAC. Zondervan, 2000.
R. Hansen September 2, 2008
4 5
Enns' commentary is good. Indeed, I can see how this will be for many people a good first choice. It is scholarly yet practical. He does well at relating Exodus to the whole story of the Bible. Many people will be happy that Enns has taken many of Fretheim's insights and approached them from a more reformed perspective. But on a whole, this commentary often just made me go back to Fretheim. This is partly due to the layout of the “NIV Application Commentary” Series which I do not find so helpful.
Janzen, J. Gerald. Exodus. WeBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.
R. Hansen September 2, 2008
4 5
This commentary has some really good sections and I am glad I own it. In many places I found myself underlining line after line packed with good insights and / or application. There were other places I found myself skimming however. This would not be a good first commentary if one wanted to study the whole book as it is not as thorough as others and is a bit uneven in its treatment (though that is not necessarily a fault of the commentary). But I highly recommended it as a supplement to a more complete commentary.
Fretheim, Terence E. Exodus. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1991.
R. Hansen September 2, 2008
5 5
Fretheim's commentary is not only good, it ranks as one of the best commentaries on the Old Testament that I own. Though no doubt many will struggle with its “openness theology” perspective, it should not be neglected. I found this a commentary not just good to consult, but it could be read through from cover to cover. Great literary and theological insights. Great at application.
Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1986.
R. Hansen September 3, 2008
3 5
I sometimes love Brueggemann's writing and would recommend one of his commentaries. Other times his writing frustrates me. And there are times his thoughts are just over my head. This commentary on Genesis has some good insights and applications which cannot be found elsewhere, but I found more often then not this commentary fell into the second category for me - frustrating. I appreciated Brueggemann's work to be applicable to our culture. But unfortunately much of his insights missed the point of the texts themselves (are we really to learn in Abraham's dialog with God over Sodom that God was in need of Abraham to teach him a better way of being just – without Abraham God was in danger of making a terribly unjust decision). This frustration runs through much of the book. One will find in this commentary much to learn, but also so much to reject. If you are looking for a good commentaries to understand the text and or provide good devotional reading, I would recommend looking elsewhere.
Atkinson, David. The Message of Genesis 1-11. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1990.
R. Hansen September 3, 2008
4.5 5
This is a good read. It is what you would expect from the BST series. Good easier reading comments on the text with good application. Great devotional reading. Though not a first pick for one who wants to study Genesis in depth, it is perfect for one who just wants good reading to reflect on Genesis and its meaning with a more readable commentary. Therefore it gets a high rating for it does what it is supposed to for the series it is in.
Clowney, Edmund. The Message of 1 Peter. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1994.
R. Hansen September 8, 2008
5 5
This is an excellent easy to read commentary. Filled with both good interpretation and good application and devotional insights. It is perfect for the series it is in. Recommended both for understanding the text and its devotional insights.
Craddock, Fred B. First and Second Peter, and Jude. WeBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.
R. Hansen September 8, 2008
2 5
Rather short and incomplete. Though there are some good commentaries in this series, this one just did not hold my interest. It was a while ago that I used it, but I do remember not finding a great deal of help or insight here. I was specifically using it for study of 1 Peter.
Hillyer, Norman. 1 and 2 Peter, Jude. UBNT. Hendrickson Publishers, 1992.
R. Hansen September 8, 2008
3.5 5
Though I did find some help here in studying 1 Peter, especially with some of his notes in understanding certain words, I did not find this commentary nearly as helpful as Clowney or Leighton. My guess is Jobes or Davids would also be better choices for the pastor or serious student looking for deeper background (though I have used neither).
Leighton, Robert; Thomas, Griffith. 1 and 2 Peter. CCC. Crossway Books, 1999.
R. Hansen September 8, 2008
5 5
Commenting on Robert Leighton - 1 Peter. I think this version put out by Crossway is just excepts from Leighton's very long commentary. I actually have the full length commentary by Leighton on 1 Peter called Obedient and Patient Faith put out by Calvary Press. Leighton lived in the 1600's. This is a wonderful commentary. He does a good job and interpreting and explaining the text, but its main benefit is his devotional comments. This is one of those commentaries that underlining does no good because you simply at times underline whole pages. What is most wonderful about this commentary it made me continually go to my journal in prayer to God having seen and appreciated his salvation in new ways. This commentary helped me love God deeper. Highly recommended. If you can get the full version I would highly recommend it. (Used copies are still available at Amazon. It is best to have the book in hand. But it is also available to download as A Practical Commentary Upon the First Epistle of St. Peter at books.google.com).
McConville, J. Gordon. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen September 16, 2008
5 5
For the book of Esther, I read a chapter of this book each night with my wife. It is a wonderful devotional commentary. McConville gives enough background and scholarly comments to really help one understand the text. He then goes on to give wonderful thoughts on implications and applications for our own day. He does all this with the space constraints of this devotional commentary. Highly recommended for the commentary series it is in.
Harris, J. Gordon; Brown, Cheryl A.; Moore, Michael S. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. UBOT. Hendrickson Publishers, 2000.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
4 5
At this point I have just read Cheryl Brown's section on Judges. This is a good commentary given the space constraints she had to work with for this series, but I often found myself wishing she had more room to elaborate. If you are looking for a short and simple commentary to understand Judges this may be a good choice, but both Davis and Wilcox are just as cheap and I think better. If you happen to have it, it is worth consulting to supplement other interpretations.
Matthews, Victor H. Judges & Ruth. NCBC. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
4.5 5
This is an excellent easier to read commentary. It ably does what this commentary series sets out to do in giving good historical, cultural and literary background needed to understand the text and then show how each passage fits in its larger literary context – both the whole of the book of judges and the whole of the Bible's story. Matthews is especially excellent in giving good historical background. Though this commentary is not nearly filled with as much scholarly detail and argumentation at Block's commentary, it often gives a different perspective the Block. This commentary would be a great choice for those first starting out in their study of Judges or leading a Bible Study group, Sunday School or undergraduate class. Also, for one who just wants a good easy to read book to help one understand Judges (leaving much of the more detailed interpretive decisions to the reader), this would be a good first choice. In terms of devotional insights and helps, a pastor will probably want to start with both Wilcox and Davis.
Wilcock, Michael. The Message of Judges. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1992.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
5 5
Excellent easy to read commentary. This is my favorite commentary on the book of Judges. True to the series it is in, it provides good scholarly interpretation but also seeks to think through the implications of the issues raised in the book for us today. Though the serious student may want to supplement this one with Block to get a more verse commentary, the pastor or student who is just looking to understand the text better and it implications for today should start here (or Davis).
Block, Daniel I. Judges, Ruth. NAC. Broadman & Holman, 1999.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
5 5
This commentary certainly deserves its place atop most lists of commentaries for Judges. For the serious student it is highly recommended. That is not to say it is hard to understand or overly technical. The commentary does an excellent job at keeping all technical and scholarly notes in the notes, keeping the commentary itself very readable. Block does a great job at showing why he is choosing to interpret the text the way he does and how each passage fits into the larger themes of the author. I would add, however, that I do not recommend that this be the only commentary you use on Judges. I have found that among even the evangelical commentaries on Judges there is a very wide spectrum on how we should view the character of the judges. Are they heroes or anti-heroes? Are they role-models that we should follow in their faith and devotion to God or are they just as often compromised idol-worshipers whom God just happened to use. Block is much further towards the second of these options. Indeed, I would say too far. Though many of his arguments are convincing, I just as often found myself wondering if he missed the point of the author or went too far in seeing the bad in a character. Are we really to see Gideon as disobedient because he called in help from Ephriam after he had put his enemies to flight? Are we really supposed to conclude that Monoah (Samson's father) is presented as comical, restless, impotent, insecure, jealous, resentful, obtuse, dim-witted, ignorant, and unbelieving? The list could go on. It is hard to see how the writer of Hebrews could see any acts of faith in these judges if Block is completely right. This would not be my first choice in a commentary on Judges. The pastor and beginning student just looking to understand or teach on Judges will be better served by Davis and Wilcox. Block does not have a much help for the pastor (not necessarily a drawback considering the commentary is already quite long). But for the student studying Judges more in depth, Block is a must.
Sarna, Nahum M. Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel. Schocken, 1996.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
5 5
Very good easy to read commentary giving nice background to help understand some texts. Certainly not meant to be a full detailed commentary, it is none-the-less helpful. It is recommended for the casual reader who is looking to understand Exodus better. It is especially good with historical and cultural background. One should supplement this with a commentary like Fretheim's which delves much deeper into interpretation and application issues.
Davis, Dale Ralph. Judges: Such a Great Salvation. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 2000.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
5 5
Wow, what a great little easy to read commentary. Very devotional/expositional in nature. For the pastor, this book along with Wilcox are definitely first picks for the book of Judges. He obviously has a ton of scholarship behind his insights, but he focuses on making the text very real and alive and practical for us today. His illustrations and applications are very helpful. This is a commentary that is enjoyable to read.
Dunnam, Maxie D. Exodus. TPC. Thomas Nelson, 2002.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
2.5 5
This book (as the title suggests) is more for preachers. Focusing more and exposition and application. Though not bad, I really did not find much help here. Fretheim or Enns would be much better choices.
Jordan, James B. Judges: Gods War Against Humanism. Geneva Ministries, 1985.
R. Hansen September 24, 2008
4.5 5
I found insights in this commentary that I found no where else. As usual James Jordan is ever alert to literary insights and echoes of other Scriptural texts. Some of the correlations he makes with other texts are quite helpful while others seem to be quite imaginative and hard to believe the author really had them in mind (even an inspired author). The same can be said of some of the symbolic meanings he sees in the texts. One of things that he believes is a main theme of the book is the critique against human rule that does not acknowledge God as the true ruler. Humanistic centralized power is not of God and will lead to disaster. This is a good commentary to have to offer other/new perspectives that Block does not talk about. (For example see his section on “minor judges” as being critical to the authors argument about kingship in the way they are structured. Interesting.) Jordan sees much that is good in the judges. He sees them as men of faith. But he is also aware the author is criticizing them as well, especially when their longings for humanistic kingship begin to take the place of the rule of God. This book is recommended to all who seriously study the book. As I said about Block's commentary, “Use it, but do not use it alone.” And since it can be downloaded free, over the Internet, one need not justify the loss of more money and more book shelf space to obtain it. It can be found at: www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/21ee_47e.htm or www.biblicalhorizons.com.
Walvoord, John F. Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come: A Commentary on the First Gospel. Kregel Academic, 1998.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
1 5
I clearly remember buying this commentary while in high school. I loved to study the Bible and had often asked my pastor to give me commentaries to help me understand it. The ones he gave me, however, were often too technical for me. I remember being full of joy at seeing this commentary in our Christian bookstore. It looked like a short very easy to understand commentary on a book of the Bible by an author who was very respected in my church. I brought it home and eagerly dug into Matthew using this commentary to help me understand. I cannot remember all the details, but remember being frustrated page after page thinking that what I am reading in Matthew of Jesus' vision of the kingdom does not really match with the commentary. I felt like none of the interpretations were explaining what Matthew was presenting Jesus as saying and doing. I distinctly remember giving up a little over half-way through thinking that I must need to go to seminary to understand the Bible because this author is seeing things I do not. It was not that I did not understand the author, I just could not figure out how what he said related to what Jesus was saying and doing in Matthew. I figured he must just know more. It would be much later I began to hear words like dispensational and understand that part of my early struggle was with this whole framework. But I still look back with sadness at this commentary. At a young age it did not lead me further into the text to love it more, but rather drove me away in discouragement.
Auld, A. Graeme. I and II Kings. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
3 5
I was a little disappointed in this commentary. Not that he did not have some good insights, but for the series it is in, I was surprised at how much time he spent on supposed “problems” in the texts. Indeed, he spends more time on them than many of the longer commentaries I have. His critical comments would have been much better left for a longer commentary and more time should have been spend on good explanation and application of the text as we have it. Not a book I would go out and buy, but if you have it, it is worth referencing at times.
Wright, N. T. Luke for Everyone. NTE. S.P.C.K. Publishing, 2001.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
3.5 5
I have greatly benefited from the writings of N.T. Wright on both Jesus and Paul. He is one of my favorite authors. I love the book of Luke and have read and used dozens of commentaries and have been disappointed by most. So when I heard he Wright came out with this one, I ordered it from England before it even appeared in America. I must confess, however, that I was disappointed. Though I typically love devotional type commentaries, I did not find that this one so helpful. I read through hoping for a new insight or a new appreciation of Jesus, but I cannot say it often made me jump up to study more or get out my journal to write out a prayer of thanksgiving or praise to God (those are the two things that I find happening when I am really enjoying a commentary). I do note, however, that many of the reviews on Amazon disagree with me and other people have found great help from this commentary.
Barber, Cyril J. Judges: A Narrative of God's Power. Loizeaux Brothers, 1990.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
3.5 5
I review this commentary, which is more expositional in nature, because it represents such a different perspective than most of today's more scholarly commentaries. It represents the other end of the spectrum as Block who believes the narrator is intentionally presenting many of the “heroes” (they get worse as the book progresses) as very compromised and sinful. They are not people to emulate but they instead demonstrate how sinful and rebellious Israel was during this period. Many other commentaries will see both good to emulate and evil to avoid in many of the judges (Davis & Wilcox). Barber, however, sees the narrator as presenting the judges in almost entirely positive terms. They are men of faith and courage to be emulated as Hebrews exhorts us to. This commentary is helpful just for the contrasting perspective it provides.
Bock, Darrell L. Luke. IVPNTC. InterVarsity Press, 1995.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
2.5 5
I was very disappointed in this commentary. This is the only one I have read by Bock and it has kept me back from buying his larger ones (cost is another reason holding me back). To be fair, I have read 3 or 4 other reviews in different places that expressed great disappointment in this commentary only to go on and say that Bock's larger commentaries were the best by far on the book of Luke. I mention this just to say that if you are like me and sometimes by an author's cheaper commentary instead of the larger expensive one, in this case you might want to shell out the extra bucks.
Motyer, J. Alec. The Message of Philippians. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1997.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
5 5
I loved this commentary. For a simple devotional style commentary this is excellent. Highly recommended for pastors and those just looking to get a basic understanding of the book and grow in their Christian faith. For students of Philippians, you will probably certainly want to start with a commentary like Fee or Thielman as there are many important insights and observations that Motyer does not discuss. This one, however, deserves 5 stars for the series it is in.
Fee, Gordon D. Paul's Letter to the Philippians. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1995.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
5 5
This commentary rightly deserves to be near the top of the list of Philippians commentaries. I would highly recommend it as first choice for any pastor. If you are looking for more of a devotional commentary or a more simple one just to help you understand the text better, then Thielman may be a better option.
Thielman, Frank S. Philippians. NIVAC. Zondervan, 1995.
R. Hansen September 28, 2008
5 5
I do not have this commentary but I remember using it a couple times when I was studying Philippians in depth. Every time I used it I remember wishing I did own it. Though I am not usually a fan of the commentaries I have used in this series, this one was excellent both in interpretation and application. Thielman has a great way of making the text understandable and putting it in practical terms. Recommended for both the student, pastor, and devotional reader.
Tamez, Elsa. The Scandalous Message of James: Faith Without Works Is Dead. Meyer Stone Books, 1990.
R. Hansen December 31, 2008
4 5
This commentary approaches the text from a “liberation theology” point of view. There are some good insights and reminders here that will not be found or emphasized in other commentaries. She stresses that James is speaking to Christians who were literally poor and oppressed by the rich and powerful. She believes that most current evangelical commentaries today are written by those who would be among the rich and therefore they have missed hearing what James is saying. She then interprets the book through the eyes of the poor (not just spiritually poor, but physically poor and oppressed). I am grateful to have read it to be pressed on my thinking on how caring for the poor is such an important responsibility for the Christian and how it is so much a part of the book of James. In some ways her argument is not just that we are to care for the poor, but we are to be the poor that God gives preferential treatment to. Caring for the poor and yet being the poor . . . an interesting place to be in as the church. Though I was not always convinced by her arguments, I would recommend using it in your study of James if you have access to it. It will more completely explain a perspective that most evangelical commentaries perhaps a little too easily and hastily write off. It is written in a popular easy to read format – perhaps especially lending itself to group study. The whole second part of the book is devoted to resources for applying what is learned. So yes, though this commentary will at times leave you unsettled because of lack of understanding the fullness of the issues of James or even poverty, it will also possibly leave you unsettled because you need to be (and where other commentaries may just leave you feeling good about yourself).
Davids, Peter. James. UBNT. Hendrickson Publishers, 1989.
R. Hansen December 31, 2008
3 5
I think I used and gave away this commentary on James in the NIBC series because it was not so helpful. Ironically, however, I latter realized that one of my favorite commentaries on James, even though shorter, was by the same author. He wrote the commentary for James in the New Bible Commentary by IVP that I really enjoy and refer to often. I now wish I still had this one so I could compare to see why I would come to such different conclusions on works on the same topic by the same author. Sometimes it is just when you happen to be reading a book. Davids has also written a large technical commentary on James which I have not used.
Motyer, J. Alec. The Message of James. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1985.
R. Hansen December 31, 2008
3.5 5
This is a very simple devotional style commentary on the book of James. I can see this a being an OK book to use for a Bible Study group just looking to have a practical study on James. Though I loved Motyer on Philippians, I personally found less help here.
Moo, Douglas J. The Letter of James. PNTC. Eerdmans, 2000.
R. Hansen December 31, 2008
5 5
This commentary is rightly at the top of many people's list for a commentary on the book of James. Moo does well at sharing lots of different viewpoints while giving his reasons to choose the path he does. Though I have read better commentaries in terms of devotional insights, this one is perfect for a first reference to give you a good understanding of the different approaches to the text and what the author was trying to get across. It is scholarly but not so technical that most anybody can use it with ease. Clearly reasoned and clearly organized as most of the commentaries in the Pillar series. [His smaller commentary in the Tyndale series is also very good and contains much of the same material. If you are on a strict budget that one is also a good option.]
Moo, Douglas J. James: An Introduction and Commentary. TNTC. Eerdmans, 2007.
R. Hansen December 31, 2008
5 5
Though Moo has now written a larger commentary on James that sits at the top of most people's recommendations for the book of James, this one is also very good. Though I see no reason why one should buy both, for those on a budget or see this one in the local used book store, it is a great find with many of the insights from his larger work. This is one of the best commentaries in this Tyndale series. He writes clearly at an easy to understand level. He explores different interpretations before giving his own preference but does not get weighed down in complicated details.
Garland, David E. 2 Corinthians. NAC. Broadman & Holman, 1999.
R. Hansen December 31, 2008
5 5
I will not add much new to what most reviewers have already said. This commentary is great. It needs to be on your shelf and used. Well written, well organized, well argued. Technical but still very understandable to the laymen. I learned a ton, journaled a ton, grew in my love for Jesus, and better understood what walking in the way of Jesus will mean for my own life.
Witherington III, Ben. The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles. SRC. Eerdmans, 2007.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
3.5 5
I used this commentary mainly in my study of Colossians though I glanced at his other sections as well. Though he is clear and concise, I found that the shortness of this commentary makes it hard to justify the price in relation to others.
Wall, Robert W. Colossians & Philemon. IVPNTC. InterVarsity Press, 1993.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
3 5
This is a good commentary, but there are better ones out there. I consulted this often, but rarely came away with new insights that I had not found in other commentaries.
Wright, N. T. Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters. NTE. S.P.C.K. Publishing, 2002.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
3 5
This is more of a devotional commentary. If you have it it will spark thinking and help you think about Colossians for your own life and the church. But I did not find it actually helpful enough either devotionally or as a commentary to put it as a top recommendation. If you are studying Colossians, you should however definitely invest in his short Tyndale commentary on that book.
Dunn, James D. G. The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon. NIGTC. Eerdmans, 1996.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
4 5
There are parts of this commentary that were very helpful. For students doing more in depth study on the book of Colossians, this book would be recommended, but if you are a pastor or Bible study leader, perhaps Garland and Wright would be better places to start. I will say here that I have always avoided commentaries in this series feeling they would be to technical since the title included “Greek.” I have not studied Greek and though I enjoy when commentaries can help me understand Greek words or structures and how it effects the meaning, I do not like when commentaries will write long sentences in Greek and then not explain or transliterate. I assumed this series might fall in the second category – technical and for scholars. But I checked this one out on Google Books and was pleasantly surprised at its ease of reading. It is based on the Greek text and he explains it where needed. But he does not let Greek get in the way of communicating clearly and effectively his ideas. Do not let the label “technical” on this commentary scare you away. I am now looking forward to checking out some other commentaries in this serious I had stayed away from.
Moo, Douglas J. The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. PNTC. Eerdmans, 2008.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
3 5
This commentary, is much like his commentary on James. Moo methodically goes through the text letting you know various alternatives that people have taken in interpreting the text. He does of course add his thoughts and reasons on which view he thinks is best. I was glad to start studying Colossians just as his book came out as I found his James commentary very useful. But I must say that in the case of Colossians, I rarely gained much insight from this commentary. Indeed, I usually found myself questioning his reasoning and conclusions. I definitely felt other commentaries such as Wright, Dunn, Garland, Witherington, and Thompson all had a much better grasp on what Paul was saying. I often found myself reading Moo as he dismissed alternative viewpoints saying to myself things like, “But you did not consider ... That does not follow...” Some of the problem comes from the fact that Moo disagrees with those who see the controversy as mainly stemming from Jewish sources. He follows Arnold in thinking that the “opponents” were coming from a pagan mystery religion. We are I guess to imagine a pagan mystery religion where many Gentiles have now mixed in many Jewish practices (perhaps even circumcision and Sabbath). Paul, though he speaks of circumcision with these Gentiles, is mainly doing so as a metaphor for killing the flesh - as if Gentiles would readily have thought that circumcision was a great metaphor for just that. Moo does not offer much in terms of devotional help or practical application. That is not necessarily a fault of the commentary as my guess is he would rather leave that work to the pastor. But I did sometimes feel like I was just laboring through arguments about Greek grammar to come up with a right translation. But in all the details of Greek grammar, Moo really has missed the bigger picture of Paul's thoughts. Though I like the clear and humble way that Moo writes commentaries, in this case I found myself referring to other commentaries first.
Garland, David E. Colossians, Philemon. NIVAC. Zondervan, 1998.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
4 5
This commentary disappointed me some. Garland's commentary on 2 Corinthians is one of the best I have read and I really looked forward to using this one. It fell short of my expectations, however. With that said, it is not a bad commentary. Indeed I found myself agreeing with his approach to Colossians and his insights. He uses Wright as a major source but I found just using Wright's commentary a better option. I think the format of this book somewhat hindered this commentary. But of course, the format will be useful perhaps to pastors and Bible study leaders looking for application help. So, though I just gave this commentary 4, I can see that for some it may be a good first choice.
Thompson, Marianne Meye. Colossians & Philemon. THNTC. Eerdmans, 2005.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
5 5
This is one of those commentaries I started with just browsing on google books. But when I found myself continually writing down her thoughts I decided this was a must buy. The book is laid out with both commentary section and a theological reflections section for both Colossians and Philemon. I used the book mainly for Colossians and found the commentary section the most helpful. The commentary section for Colossians is only about 100 pages but it is packed with good insights. Like Wright's, this is not a detailed commentary explaining all the ins and outs of each thought, but one which clearly elaborates on the larger meaning and implications of what Paul is saying. She has a great way of clearly explaining each section in light of the larger themes. She says a lot in a short space. Sometimes having a commentary which does not feel the need to comment on every thought which can be pursued makes for much clearer reading. So though this is a short commentary, I recommend it. And though she uses some thoughts and ideas of NT Wright, one will find so much more here that I would recommend investing in both. (Though I would get NT Wright first.) After the commentary there is about 80 pages of comments about Paul's theology as he presents it in Colossians.
Wright, N. T. Colossians and Philemon. TNTC. InterVarsity Press, 1989.
R. Hansen February 21, 2009
5 5
This is a great commentary. Every paragraph gets you thinking in new ways. You are aware that each paragraph could turn into a whole chapter if pursued. But unlike some short commentaries which just never say enough, Wright packs a ton in each sentence so that you go away pursuing all kinds of new thoughts. This is what a short commentary should do – not explain everything but make you approach the text with new insights. Though no doubt the serious student will want to supplement this commentary with a longer more detailed one which will discuss matters Wright does not, this should certainly be a part of your study. It is good for the serious student, the pastor, or just one who wants to learn Colossians better. Admittedly, for those who are not so used to Wright and reading the Old Testament as story, some of these thoughts may be a little challenging to grasp at first (they were for me), but it is worth the effort and I think the more one studies Colossians, the more his insights will become meaningful. It is deep but not technical. He believes that the main opponents of the Colossian church are Jews who are trying to convince these new Christians to follow Torah and adopt Jewish customs to know that they are truly included in God's people.
Leighton, Robert. An Obedient and Patient Faith: An Exposition of 1st Peter. Calvary Press, 1999.
R. Hansen March 14, 2009
5 5
Leighton lived in the 1600's. This is a wonderful commentary. He does a good job and interpreting and explaining the text, but its main benefit is his devotional comments. This is one of those commentaries that underlining does no good because you simply at times underline whole pages. What is most wonderful about this commentary it made me continually go to my journal in prayer to God having seen and appreciated his salvation in new ways. This commentary helped me love God deeper. Highly recommended. (It is best to have the book in hand, but it is also available to download as A Practical Commentary Upon the First Epistle of St. Peter at books.google.com).
Murray, Andrew. The Holiest Of All. Whitaker House, 2004.
R. Hansen March 14, 2009
5 5
Many years ago I did a study on Hebrews. It was one of the best times in Scripture that I have had. At the time I was working through John Pipers sermons on Hebrews. I would highly recommend those sermons to any doing a study of this book. God exalting and a great encouragement to one's faith. During that time I also had this wonderful book by Andrew Murray as a constant companion. This was the perfect accompaniment to his sermons. Murray wants to help us know Jesus better, love him more, find our life and joy and strength in him. He wants to turn us from lazy Christianity to whole hearted devotion. He did just that in my life. This book is filled with my notes and underlining. I never lacked for material to meditate on in order to pursue holiness and to fill my prayers with worship. This is a great devotional commentary you should not do without even if you are doing more serious scholarly study. Its short chapters make it perfect to go back to again and again for refreshment.
Webb, Barry. The Message of Zechariah. BST. InterVarsity Press, 2003.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
4 5
I love this series. I wish this commentary set was around when I was much younger and looking for commentaries which were deep but that the common laymen could understand and easily read. Not getting caught up in all the details but giving real help in interpretation and application in a readable way. Barry Webb matches the other great authors in this series (Stott, Wilcox, Wright, Atkinson....) in putting together a good resource for one just wanting to understand the book of Zechariah better. Not a first choice for devotion or study, but a good solid contribution to the BST series.
Phillips, Richard D. Zechariah. REC. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2007.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
4.5 5
I love the format. This is the only one I have read from this series but I applaud those who put together this series of expositional commentaries. Covering the whole book and helping with interpretation, but in a way focused on application and teaching. The pastor will find much help here. The average layman will find a good resource to learn and grow that is focused around a book of the Bible. I can easily see this as a great book to have on a church library shelf (especially Reformed types of churches). I must confess I did almost return this book to the library after the first few chapters, not thinking much of it. But I am glad I plowed on. While perhaps not always agreeing with his analysis of the text, he sparked many thoughts and helped much in application.
Boda, Mark J. Haggai, Zechariah. NIVAC. Zondervan, 2004.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
3.5 5
As others point out, the commentary is more scholarly than many in this series. It is lots more readable than Meyers'. There were many alternative interpretations explored in this book that I appreciated even if I did not agree. But on a whole I was left a bit dry – both exegitically and devotionally. The serious student will probably still want Meyers first but this may be good to consult for alternative interpretations in places. Devotionally I found Craigie and Phillips of more help.
Achtemeier, Elizabeth. Nahum-Malachi. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1988.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
4 5
Achtemeier does well at concisely summarizing some of the main points of the text and letting that lead to practical interpretation. One is of course left wishing she could have had more space to develop some of the ideas, but for the commentary series this is in and the space she was allowed – very well done. Though I would first go with Craigie for a short devotional commentary, this is a solid contribution to the Interpretation commentary.
Meyers, Carol; Meyers, Eric M. Haggai and Zechariah. 2 Vols. AYB. Yale University Press, 1987.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
4.5 5
Encouraged by its top spot on this list and its availability at my library, I got this book. I found the introduction (in Vol. 1) quite readable and very helpful. As I continued through the commentary I found it harder going however. Though the commentary is set up with detail comments in small print for each section followed by general comments. I found some of most important insights in the small details where you would have to labor through so much that was not. And the general comments often contained ramblings about issues not so important to me. Sometimes I was still left wondering what they actually believed about a passage. They needed a section to much more clearly summarize their findings. But on a whole, there is too much good here to pass it up and not give it a top recommendation for the serious student of the Bible. There are many good helpful comments about the social and political situation of the time. There are also some interesting hypothesis about the shape of the whole text. It provides some new thinking on passages that is well grounded in the text and good historical study. The pastor and everyday student of the Bible may want to consult this before laying out the money for it. Certainly for devotional insights Craigie, Phillips and Achtemeier will be of more help. Many may find Boda easier reading, but overall I still found this one worthy of its top spot for a detailed commentary. It seems to me there is still room here for a good scholarly commentary to be written, but when it is, it will certainly have to take this one into account.
Craigie, Peter C. Twelve Prophets, Volume 2. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
5 5
Craigie had a gift of taking a text and in a short and concise way giving very insightful interpretation and then letting that lead into great devotional/application thoughts. Craigie's volumes in the DSB series are highly recommended for the pastor and average layman just wanting to study the Bible.
Newbigin, Lesslie. The Light Has Come: An Exposition of the Fourth Gospel. Eerdmans, 1982.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
5 5
This is a great commentary. Though I am by no means well read on the book of John to know if Newbigen's thoughts are unique, I found they beautifully express much of what I have come to see as central to the theme and purpose of John. Newbigen has given words to many unformed thoughts and impressions I was getting from the book of John. Before Newbigen I would get impressions from a text in John, get excited about it, but when I consulted commentaries they would not talk about any of what I saw. Oh, what a treasure to find Newbigen. My guess is that if I read more I will find other great commentaries that speak of such things, but I doubt I will find one which will express it so well. Expositional, deep, devotional, profound, practical, worshipful.
Carson, Donald A. The Gospel According to John. PNTC. Eerdmans, 1990.
R. Hansen May 25, 2009
5 5
I mentioned in my review of Newbigen's commentary on John, that I would often consult commentaries and feel they were still a bit dry and missing something of the text. Carson's was one of those commentaries I consulted. But, that said, this is still a great commentary and needed in its own right. Though I am glad I found Newbigen to supplement this, I am glad to have this to learn from and consult. It is still a 5 star commentary. I hesitate to give a rankings on best John commentaries since there are still so many great commentaries on John which I have not seen. But I am grateful to have Carson on my shelf.
Gibson, John C. L. Genesis, Volume 1. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen June 3, 2009
2 5
I read just a little of this commentary. But in the first 13 pages I read (I did not start at the beginning) I learned that we as Christians “ought to follow the new testament rather than the old testament in ethical matters” as the “old testament is far too often exclusivist and brutal in a way that cannot possibly be called Christian.” On the other hand, I learned that the New Testament authors often completely misunderstood the Old Testament stories and that I should rely on John Gibson for the better interpretation. Skimming a few more pages I learned that the writer(s) of Genesis were not quite as fluent in Hebrew as this author and on a whole they were less enlightened and not very profound even in writing their fiction. God is a presented as a divine savage. The apostle Paul was a careless and unfeeling writer. I decided I better stop. I was learning way too much! I was only left to wonder why someone would bother to give us devotional thoughts out of a book called the Bible which has so little credibility. I love the format of this commentary series. It has many great contributions. Too bad this one had to be the first. Too be fair, the author is no doubt himself trying to wrestle with hard passages and be honest with his thoughts. But the ease of criticism and judging rather than genuine wrestling with the text (or God) is what it most concerning. I did go on to read more of this commentary and have found helpful reflections in it. But on a whole, not one I would recommend.
Ross, Allen. Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis. Baker Books, 1997.
R. Hansen June 3, 2009
5 5
This commentary is very useful for the pastor. It is designed to help pastors think through different issues in each text and what that may bring them to for application and sermon material. I often found it helped me into the text more than some commentaries that were so thick with details about the text you soon lost the forest by examining all the trees. This commentary is highly recommended for the pastor and Bible study leader.
Mathews, Kenneth A. Genesis. 2 Vols. NAC. Broadman & Holman, 1996.
R. Hansen June 3, 2009
5 5
I loved the first volume of this commentary and have recently received and found useful the second volume as well. I would add that there is much lacking in this commentary. I did not find it as helpful devotionally nor did I find it the best at summarizing the point of a larger segment or drawing application from it. For most commentaries I might consider these deficiencies. But can I really fault a commentary that is over 1500 pages of small print for being lacking in information? No, this commentary is still worthy of 5 stars for what it is and would be a good addition to any library. There is tons of detail and background information. There is good study of the structure and literary artistry in the texts. There is dialog with other authors about the more critical issues of textual formation (thankfully clearly separated out and put in even smaller print for those who do not have an interest in these issues). The book is scholarly but also very readable. To the pastor, I might recommend Ross (Creation and Blessing) first. For the stories of the Patriarchs one should add one or many of the many good studies that have been written on their lives. In summary, Genesis is one of those books where one needs a lot more than one commentary to cover the issues that arise, but Matthews deserves a 5 and is one that deserves its place near the top of one to consult.
Ellison, H. L. Exodus. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
3 5
This is an OK contribution to the Daily Study Bible series. There are some interesting comments but I often just found myself skimming. I notice in the plague section he emphasizes the natural explanation for all but the last plague.
Ryken, Philip Graham. Exodus: Saved for God's Glory. PtW. Crossway Books, 2005.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
3 5
This is a massive work. Though in sermon form it is certainly not lacking for details. Being that it is in sermon form, application and exhortation are always where every insight leads. It is very conservative in nature. I can easily see why this would be very useful for many people looking for Bible Study or preaching help. I personally, however, found much more help both exegetically and even devotionally in Fretheim and Janzen.
Knight III, George W. Leviticus. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
3.5 5
This is a good contribution to the Daily Study Bible series. I find these commentaries can help supplement more serious study with a combination of good overview of the key issues leading to good devotional insights. Knight stays on track with this purpose. I did enjoy reading this alongside the longer commentaries.
Bellinger Jr., William H. Leviticus, Numbers. UBOT. Hendrickson Publishers, 2001.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
3 5
This is a shorter commentary concerned mostly with just explaining the text. It is clear and easy to understand. It is a good contribution to the series it is in. Though his explanation of the texts is good, I think this commentary would have been helped by having some longer discussions of some of the larger issues and questions that come up. One will also not find a lot of devotional insights here.
Harrison, R. K. Leviticus. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 2008.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
4 5
This commentary has a surprisingly lot of detail for such a small commentary (though its small print means it is also longer than it looks). It is well written and easy to understand. Like Wenham he is always concerned to think about New Testament implications for each section. Harrison, unlike Wenham, leans more to the view that health was perhaps the major reason for the clean/unclean distinctions. This is a good commentary for pastor and student to consult if it is handy.
Tidball, Derek. The Message of Leviticus. BST. InterVarsity Press, 2005.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
5 5
This is a great commentary. Highly recommended. When I first started reading it I thought it would easy replace Wenham as the top commentary. But Wenham still has some solid more scholarly insights that are not here which still make Wenham a good choice to have with this one. Both are very good at both exegetical and devotional insights but perhaps one could say Wenham is a little more detailed and complete in exegetical insights and explanation while Tidball is a little easier to read and better with pastoral insights. I am glad to have read them both.
Wenham, Gordon J. The Book of Leviticus. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1979.
R. Hansen August 25, 2009
5 5
This is a very good easy to read commentary. It would be appropriate for anyone whether scholar or pastor or simply one looking to understand Leviticus better. His interpretation is good and he helpfully has good overviews on some of the key issues that come up (“What is atonement? Why are somethings clean and other unclean? What were the purposes of the laws? What about punishments?”). Though of course each could lead one to further books for much greater detail, one is thankful for Wenham's clear concise explanations. This is definitely a great commentary to start any study of Leviticus with. This commentary, along with Tidball, will help one have a great experience in studying or teaching Leviticus.
Motyer, J. Alec. The Message of Exodus. BST. InterVarsity Press, 2005.
R. Hansen September 13, 2009
3 5
I was disappointed in this contribution to the Bible Speaks Today Series. Mainly because I loved Motyer's commentary on Philippians. I felt this one fell below the usually high quality in this commentary series. I do not feel he has meditated on the text as deeply as some of the better commentaries and was in many places quite simplistic missing the larger implications of the text. For example Motyer believes that Moses was disobedient in his first encounter with Pharoah in chapter 4 because he brought the wrong people and said the wrong things. He was clearly disobeying God coming with an “authoritarian approach” which God had not authorized. I see no reason to blame this failure of Pharaoh to listen on some sort of disobedience in Moses. Of course for the most part I did not necessarily disagree with Motyer, but the commentary just feel flat for me.
Nixon, Rosemary. The Message of Jonah. BST. InterVarsity Press, 2003.
R. Hansen September 13, 2009
4 5
Good solid addition to the Bible Speaks Today series. Clear explanation of text both thinking of it historically and literary. Recommended for those just looking to have a help in understanding the book of Jonah
Sasson, Jack M. Jonah. AYB. Yale University Press, 1990.
R. Hansen September 13, 2009
3 5
Now for an alternate opinion. I got this commentary from the library encouraged by its high ratings here. I was greatly disappointed however. Unlike the comment from an Amazon reviewer, this is not for the casual reader. I consider myself a pretty strong student of Scripture having read hundreds of commentaries. But this one is much more geared for the scholar and it will not hold your interest for long unless you care about tons of textual details. I also personally found that though he gives you massive detail about the text, he does not do so well explaining the text or summarizing its message. There is also little help for pastors or anyone who just wants to get to know the story of Jonah better and how it applies. If you are a scholar writing your own commentary, you probably will want to consult this commentary, but please do not copy the style. Though there is a place for good scholarly work, I am sometimes amazed how one can read a text of Scripture like this and seem like they are unmoved by it. There is life and excitement in the book of Jonah, it is drowned out in this book.
Cary, Phillip. Jonah. BTC. Brazos Press, 2008.
R. Hansen September 13, 2009
4.5 5
After reading Sasson, this book is wonderfully full of life. Like the book of Jonah, it delights and challenges at the same time. It questions and probes and makes you think. While it is easy to read, it is not so easy to grasp. I found myself having to reread many sections. And when done, I wanted to start again to think this all through some more. At times you wish he would explain more – but perhaps the leaving the reader to have to work through the thoughts he started you on is the strength of this commentary. One might say that to completely explain everything would ruin the joke. As if when one got Jonah figured out they could safely leave him behind. (I wrote that while getting near to finishing reading the commentary only to find out his last chapter essentially said his purpose was just that!) While the commentary's strength is getting you to wrestle with text and examine yourself and you own assumptions, I did not find it did so well at placing the text in original setting (he believes that the book of Jonah was originally for returning exiles) and I did disagree with some of his interpretive decisions. Or at least I should say I am not yet convinced by his views. I do not agree with his premise that Jonah is lying in chapter 4 when he gives his reason for not going to Nineveh at first. Cary believes it was simply fear that made him run. And though a strength is letting lots of old testament allusions and symbols enlighten the text, at times he might go to far. I am not yet convinced the gourd represents the David line or the “tent” represents Jerusalem. I hope to do more study and find some commentaries better suited to help me think through those things. But I am thankful for this commentary's contribution to the study of Jonah. One other note. It seems that Cary reads the text as a literary satire while not ignoring or discounting it may be rooted in historical events. I first was introduced to reading Jonah as comic satire by a chapter in the book, “And God Created Laughter, the Bible as Divine Comedy” by Conrad Hyers. I found the chapter online (whether legally or illegally or not I do not know). But one can also read much of that chapter from Google Books. It is very helpful.
Green, Gene L. Jude and 2 Peter. BECNT. Baker Academic, 2008.
R. Hansen December 30, 2009
4 5
Bauckham correctly summarizes on the back of the book, “This commentary is full of careful historical exegesis that is especially well informed by the literature, philosophy, and rhetoric of the Greco-Roman world. It is an ideal companion to a detailed study.” As he says, it is more a companion for those looking to do a detailed study of the book to get background information. My guess is the pastor and lay person can find all the relevant historical background in commentaries that would better serve them. Green says that theological concerns must go together with historical concerns in exegesis and he also says that the series is designed to engage scholars as well as pastors and others who preach and that it should invite lay people to join the discussion. But one will not find a lot of theological reflection here and the format of the book does not serve the lay person well (see below). He also mentions he hopes Jude will be reclaimed by the church but his comments rarely reflect on or seek to apply the text of Jude to today. Though this commentary is not so technical as to be only for scholars, I found the format of putting notes on authors and Greek text simply in parenthesis all through the commentary disruptive. The use of footnoting and notes to make the text more readable is sorely needed in this book. It makes the book more like a reference than something that is easily read through. He comments that some writers discount historical questions saying they are of little importance to the message of the book. I would agree. But I wonder if he misrepresents them in this and then goes on to write a commentary which exemplifies their true concerns. Not that historical questions are unimportant and not necessary, but that too many commentaries somehow go back and forth in debates on historical questions and never bring in other interpretive factors or indeed ever get to making it real for the church today. Jude remains in the academy for scholars to debate about. That is my sense with this commentary. One can use it to get good historical background. One needs that and can use this book as a good companion to a study. And I give it a 4 for meeting just those purposes. But for most pastors and lay people, commentaries such as Reese and Davids will serve them better.
Reese, Ruth Anne. 2 Peter & Jude. THNTC. Eerdmans, 2007.
R. Hansen December 30, 2009
4.5 5
Reese is one of the commentators Gene Green criticizes for saying the historical questions are unimportant. He uses an article by Reese which I do not have so I cannot comment on that. But from the her commentary it is clear that she does not discount the questions and unimportant or irrelevant. Indeed, the first part of the commentary when she interprets the text, much of the material Green speaks about is included and discussed (in a much shorter and more readable form). But her concern is that other factors are also important. She attempts to bring in this thinking in the second part by discussing theological concerns of text and how Jude fits into the cannon. Her concern is that discussion of Jude does not start and end in the academy with debates about historical questions. Commenting on the text must include thinking about how this text would have practically been heard by the readers and also by us. She traces themes through the book thinking about how Jude helps us understand the themes in light of the larger cannon of Scripture. It is brief but a good start of what can become discussions in Bible studies about their significance for today. She has a good discussion about how “the Beloved” are to relate to and interact with “the Others” in the book of Jude. Both showing to them the same mercy they have found so that they might join the ranks of “the Beloved”, all the while showing caution and remembering their own faith lest they fall into the error of “the Others” and join their ranks. Overall a recommended commentary.
Davids, Peter. The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude. PNTC. Eerdmans, 2006.
R. Hansen December 30, 2009
4.5 5
This is a solid commentary. Like most Pillar commentaries, application and theological reflection is light but not completely absent. The emphasis is on giving historical background and interpretive options. In this way it is like Green's commentary, but Davids is much more readable. The pastor or lay person will be better served by Davids while scholars will perhaps find the investment in Green worthwhile.
Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Gospel of Luke. SP. Liturgical Press, 2006.
R. Hansen January 16, 2010
4.5 5
This commentary is best for its literary analysis. In studying Luke I consistently found his detailed notes on the text itself very helpful. That is surprising since often that is the part of commentaries I skip. The author himself wrote in his introduction that this was indeed the void he was primarily trying to fill in writing this commentary. The commentary itself is uneven. For some passages I found very helpful insights and summaries. But there were many where he digressed into Luke's sources and then ended up commenting little on the text itself. I have been disappointed in most commentaries on Luke, this one however serves an important purpose and is recommended.
Bock, Darrell L. Luke. 2 Vols. BECNT. Baker Academic, 1994.
R. Hansen March 6, 2010
3.5 5
For a dissenting view. I was greatly disappointed in this commentary on Luke. Bigger is not necessarily better. Bock lists lots of views of previous commentators and acts as a sort of judge or referee. Though it is not necessarily wrong to do this it makes reading very burdensome after a while. Yes, there are lots of details here so perhaps for more in depth study one will find helpful information, but on a whole I found much more insight on the passage as a whole from shorter commentaries like Tiede and Miller. Indeed, even with all this information, I often felt like some of the main or key issues of the text were left unaddressed. I am still waiting for a longer commentary which is really great on the book of Luke. For this one, however, I found longer is not better.
Stein, Robert H. Luke. NAC. Broadman & Holman, 1993.
R. Hansen March 6, 2010
3 5
I did not find much help here in getting at Jesus' point. Like Bock's massive commentary, there is lots of information, but I still do not feel like it really helped me understand Jesus or the text better.
Evans, Craig A. Luke. UBNT. Hendrickson Publishers, 1990.
R. Hansen March 6, 2010
3.5 5
I am tempted to simply say this is too short to be of much use but two of my favorite commentaries on Luke are also short (Tiede and Miller). I do think that Evans was often on the right track in his comments and this does make a good introductory commentary. But the limits of this series were just too much for such a book like Luke. I would love to see Evans write a longer more detailed commentary.
Tiede, David L. Luke. ACNT. Augsburg Fortress, 1988.
R. Hansen March 6, 2010
5 5
Tiede is one who I wish had written much more on Luke or whom I could have studied under. I have often been disappointed in Luke commentaries, but this one often will get one started in the right direction with his comments. I often found myself wishing for more. On some passages it is a key insight from Tiede which I found in no other commentary which helped me down the road of understanding. He is much more aware of the social and political ramifications of Jesus' time and his teachings then most commentators. Highly recommended. With that said, the commentary is a little uneven and on some passages he perhaps gives a little to much time for a short commentary on sources rather than the actual text. But with so few good commentaries on Luke, this one easily deserves a 5.
Wright, Christopher J. H. The Message of Ezekiel. BST. InterVarsity Press, 2001.
R. Hansen April 21, 2012
5 5
Great commentary. Easy to read but addresses the text and the theological issues associated with it. As always Wright is great at seeing how each passage fits into the larger picture of the whole Bible and God's plan for the nations. Highly recommended.
Duguid, Iain M. Ezekiel. NIVAC. Zondervan, 1999.
R. Hansen April 21, 2012
4 5
This is a good Commentary but for easy to read but much more in depth commentary I would recommend Wright first. The format of the commentary makes it hard to read and choppy. But pastors studying a certain section or looking for application ideas will find help here.
Hays, Richard B. First Corinthians. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.
R. Hansen June 30, 2012
5 5
This is a great commentary. Everything I wish in a commentary. Very readable and concise. Good exposition keeping in mind the larger context and themes. And especially really good interpretation / application in helping us think through its implications for today. For the pastor this would be my first choice.
Davis, Dale Ralph. 1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 2000.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
5 5
Though obviously very learned and aware of all the interpretive issues, the tow commentaries on Samuel by Dale Ralph Davis focus more on making the text real to us. There is not a focus on background information or showing different views. But the comments that he does make are very good and he does a great job with application. Another advantage is both available as Kindle books for very low cost (or at least was at one time the R4 Group – Christian Focus Commentaries: Volume 1: Old Testament). The volume on 1 Samuel especially helpful and would be my first commentary choice for first Samuel The volume one 2 Samuel is also very good though my first choice would be Robert Barron in the Brazos series.
Davis, Dale Ralph. 1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 2000.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
5 5
Though obviously very learned and aware of all the interpretive issues, the tow commentaries on Samuel by Dale Ralph Davis focus more on making the text real to us. There is not a focus on background information or showing different views. But the comments that he does make are very good and he does a great job with application. Another advantage is both available as Kindle books for very low cost (or at least was at one time the R4 Group – Christian Focus Commentaries: Volume 1: Old Testament). The volume on 1 Samuel especially helpful and would be my first commentary choice for first Samuel The volume one 2 Samuel is also very good though my first choice would be Robert Barron in the Brazos series.
Davis, Dale Ralph. 2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 1999.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
5 5
Though obviously very learned and aware of all the interpretive issues, the tow commentaries on Samuel by Dale Ralph Davis focus more on making the text real to us. There is not a focus on background information or showing different views. But the comments that he does make are very good and he does a great job with application. Another advantage is both available as Kindle books for very low cost (or at least was at one time the R4 Group – Christian Focus Commentaries: Volume 1: Old Testament). The volume on 1 Samuel especially helpful and would be my first commentary choice for first Samuel The volume on 2 Samuel is also very good though my first choice would be Robert Barron in the Brazos series.
Cartledge, Tony W. 1 & 2 Samuel. SHBC. Smyth & Helwys, 2001.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
4 5
This was my favorite commentary in terms of commenting on the text. Lots of helpful notes and sidebars and background information. He brings up many interpretive issue but does not get bogged down in details. He comments on hard textual issues and seeming contradictions in passages but overall treats the text as we have it and as Scripture. The application portions, however, are pretty week. The other drawback is that it is expensive. Since I got it from the library it was a helpful companion. But not sure I would recommend based on the price.
Barron, Robert. 2 Samuel. BTC. Brazos Press, 2015.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
5 5
Very good at following the theological implications of the text and intention of the narrator. He does not comment on every text and does not include a lot of background, but I would still say this is perhaps the best commentary on 2 Samuel. His comments can lead one to think of implications for today. Especially good at tying in the stories to the larger narrative of Scripture Though for in depth study you might was another commentary for specific textual comments and background info.
Leithart, Peter J. A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel. Canon Press, 2003.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
3 5
Okay commentary. He spends most of his efforts finding parallel texts and words and thoughts. Some are helpful but many seem to be a bit of a stretch. Overall I found myself skimming a lot with only occasional helpful insights (contrast to his commentary on 1&2 kings which is very good)
Morrison, Craig E. 2 Samuel: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry. BO. Liturgical Press, 2013.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
5 5
Very good at following the theological implications of the text and intention of the narrator. Good commentary overall and I would recommend it. Price is a little high however.
Brueggemann, Walter. First and Second Samuel. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1990.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
3 5
Helpful at times but also aggravating at times. Though it can be helpful to try to discern the narrator's intentions and ways of telling the story compared to “what actually happened”, Brueggemann throws in a lot of his cynicism which leads to the impression we should not trust the narrator. Brueggemann constantly tells us “the real motivations of David.” The constant cynicism will wear you down and make one feel like the real hero is Brueggemann himself who sits above all this in his great wisdom. Eventually I became weary and cynical of Breuggemann himself.
Jobling, David. 1 Samuel: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry. BO. Liturgical Press, 1998.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
2 5
Tackles more theological issues. I did not find this that helpful. Probably just for a specialist in hermeneutical and interpretive issues in Samuel than a commentary
Murphy, Francesca Aran. 1 Samuel. BTC. Brazos Press, 2010.
R. Hansen October 31, 2017
2 5
Tackles more theological issues. I did not find this that helpful. This would be more specialized for seminary students or academics who want to pursue specific theological issues. Some volumes in the Brazos series are really good (example Leithhart on Kings and Morrison's on 2 Samuel), but this one is to specialized to be useful
Chisholm Jr., Robert B. 1 & 2 Samuel. TTCS. Baker Books, 2013.
R. Hansen November 1, 2017
3 5
This has helpful comments and pictures and background information. But not nearly as complete as many others. Surprisingly, as this commentary is designed to help in teaching, the application and teaching sections were rarely helpful.