1 Kings, 2nd Edition (WBC) by Simon J. DeVries

9780310522300_403_600_90The Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), is one of the most scholarly series in modern theological studies that range from conservatives to mid-critics. I was introduced to them in my second year of Seminary and found them extremely useful in writing academic papers, in sermon preparation, and in Sunday school preparation.

A few years ago the Word Biblical Commentary switched Publishers again, and came under the ownership of Zondervan Publications.  Under their leadership this series has seen a rejuvenation of sorts. While the format remains unchanged (providing a phenomenal bibliography, translation, notes trauma study on warm structure and setting, followed by comments and explanation), the binding of the book has changed as well as the addition of revised versions of previously released commentaries.

While the WBC is world renowned for its high academic pursuit of God’s Word, I was pleasantly surprised at its accessibility to the pastor and not just the academically-minded Bible scholar. In the book that I have the privilege of viewing is the 12th volume of this series containing 1 Kings, by Simon J. DeVries. This work is a 2nd edittion of the previous volume and encompasses interaction with new critical scholarship as well as updated information with regards to conservative scholarship as well.

A bright spot in the commentary is DeVries focus on theological issues and does not get terribly bodged down in discussion of forms and historical issues.  While it is still a high scholastic work it is useful to any who are dedicated to the close study of 1 Kings.

While knowledge of the Hebrew language is handy when utilizing this commentary, it is not a necessary requirement for utilization. With that said having a deep knowledge of the Hebrew will greatly enhance a readers ability to use this commentary. I highly recommend this commentary to pastors and scholars due to its thorough academic approach combined with its accessibility to academia and the pastorate.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan Academic Publishers in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

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