Just like we’re placing a cherished athletic figure, replace a legendary volume in a scholarly Commentary series is no easy task. Needless to say Tremper Longman III had his work cut out for him to replace Derek Kinder’s pair of commentaries with a single volume on the Psalms for the spectacular Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series. Kinder’s commentary was the standard for introductory commentaries for the book of Pslams and Longman’s commentary replaces a legend with one of equal caliber.
Longman who has written countless other commentaries on other biblical books is a highly distinguished scholar and is no stranger to commentaries in the Old Testaments, and his academic credentials shine in this studious commentary. The Tyndale Old Testament commentary is a great introduction commentary for pastors and laymen alike and requires no knowledge of the Biblical Hebrew language. Yet this commentary is part of a growing trend of added girth in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series. Weighing in at just under 479 pages this commentary is almost the length of a mid-range commentary. (This one volume eclipses the 438 total pages in Kinder’s dual volumes.) Yet the accessibility of this commentary makes it a wonderful introduction to the book of Psalms. I own and have read many commentaries on the book of Psalms and this new commentary is one of the greatest additions to that lineage. Furthermore this commentary shows great potential in giving phenomenal application combined with superior exegesis.
Pslams, begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common Longman’s introduction is so through with his research and interaction with recent scholarship that it can hardly be understood as a basic introduction. In a day where these matters are either glossed over to get to the exegesis of the text or are so cumbersome that they become useless, Longman found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, without losing the message of the text.
With reference to the commentary sections on Psalms, Longman, expertly navigates the text showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader. He also uses a pastoral tone in many of his comments yet never sacrifices his scholastic approach. The outlines that he provides are also of great use for a pastor looking to preach though the Pslams.
In recommending, John, to others I would whole heartily recommend this commentary to students of scripture, with one caveat. By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, and to a limited extent educated Laymen looking to teach a Sunday school class, there is enough scholarly weight to this work to understand a particular issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text. There are many commentaries about the Gospel of John available at this moment but, Longman, of the TOTC series is a giant leap above the rest.
This book was provided to me free of charge from IVP Academic in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.