on May 18, 2014
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition (EBC-R) seeks to provide “a comprehensive yet succinct commentary that guides one to the gist of the text’s meaning.” This is where this commentary series excels. The EBC-R will provide its reader with a good overview of the text and its meaning. This volume (3 of 13) covers the books of 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings. The translation used is the NIV, which is fairly common for commentaries.
Each commentary in this series contains an introduction written by the author containing general background information regarding the book. The bibliography is included in this section which is helpful as it provides the reader with additional commentaries to read as well as knowing where some of the author’s research and thoughts come from. The outlines are always a blessing to me, as they show how the author sees the book flow. The layout of the commentary makes it very easy to read. Each section of Scripture is written in bold with a grey background and is single column, making it easy to find a particular verse quickly. The commentary section follows and is double columned, with bold verse numbers at the start of each commentary section for a particular verse. There are also a Notes section and a Reflections section that contains some extra thoughts. The layout is different from other commentaries that I have read, but once I got used to it I appreciated how easy it was to navigate.
As for the commentary itself, the EBC-R is very readable for pastors and laymen. There is not the critical depth of some commentaries that would confuse many lay people, but it is also not so shallow that the reader will not grow in their understanding. The commentary section on 1-2 Samuel is provided by Ronald Youngblood, professor of Old Testament at International College and Graduate School in Honolulu, Hawaii and associate editor of the NIV Study Bible. The commentary notes for 1-2 Kings are provided by Richard Patterson, distinguished professor emeritus at Liberty University, and Hermann Austel, professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Northwest Baptist Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. The commentary notes in this edition are quite helpful. Youngblood, Patterson and Austel presents a nice running commentary of the historical accounts found in these four books. This commentary would serve pastors, sunday school teachers and lay-people alike as a helpful study tool to go along with their reading or teaching of these four books. The notes are not overly burdensome or technical and will greatly help the reader understand the context and big picture of 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings. This is a very nice introductory commentary that is priced very affordable for what you get in return.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan Academic in exchange for an honest review.
on November 3, 2015
I really feel this series is a great option for those looking for scholarly level commentary that is not overly technical. This particular volume is no exception.
A drawback of the multiple-Bible books-in-single-volume format is that the discussion can never get that deep, as space needs to be conserved. Thus, there are times when certain passages of Scripture do not get the comprehensive examination they may deserve. In fact, there have been times where I felt things that needed more discussion were glossed over to maintain space.
Alternatively, that does go a long way in a few very positive directions, as well. First, it inhibits the freedom to needlessly prattle on and on with the academic musings that are sometimes indicative of commentaries that seem to indulge in being overly collegiate and end up being somewhat pretentious. These commentaries are substantive, yet not cumbersome--succinct, yet not empty.
Second, they stand as a very cost-effective option for one looking to gain a complete set of OT/NT commentaries. The volumes are nicely printed and sturdily bound. They look great on the shelf and will provide all, but the most deeply academic commentary seekers, with a series that will add worth and beauty to your budding theological library.
For a great balance of quickly reference-able material, intro-level scholastic commentary, beautifully published volumes, and great price . . . well, this is your set.