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Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) Paperback – November 19, 2009
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"The Tyndale volumes have long been the premier shorter-length commentary series on both Testaments throughout the English-speaking world." (Craig Blomberg, Denver Seminary)
"Tyndale commentaries are always useful, not least because they focus so clearly on the text of Scripture, and do not fall into the trap of paying too much attention to other commentaries and not enough to the scriptural text they are intended to expound and explain. So they retain their usefulness for preachers, Bible study leaders and for all readers of the Bible." (Peter Adam, principal, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia)
"Within its constraints, this series includes some outstanding volumes." (D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
"There simply is no series of medium-length commentaries that approaches the excellence of the Tyndale commentaries." (Donald A. Hagner, Fuller Theological Seminary)
About the Author
Baker (A.B., M.C.S., M.Phil., Ph.D.) is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He serves as editor for the Evangelical Theological Society Dissertation and Evangelical Theological Society Studies series as well as for Sources for Biblical and Theological Studies (Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake). He is coauthor (with Bill T. Arnold) of The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. In addition, he has written many articles, essays and commentaries.
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Baker takes a conservative, evangelical approach to these three minor prophets, selecting what he considers to be the most important information for the basic interpretation of the books. He defends the unity of each book, along with the traditionally ascribed authorship, dating all three books to the traditional period of the 7th century.
Baker is broadly Wesleyan in his theology, and I am more Reformed, but I did not find much in this commentary that I disagreed with theologically. At most I would have worded things slightly differently. Baker thus tdoes well at capturing the theological message of these books without trying to score points for his particular viewpoint. He simply discusses what the text is saying. He has room for enough linguistic, textual, and background issues to show the general sense of what the text is saying, even if he does not always give full details on matters that have a smaller effect on the overall message. A more detailed commentary would be required for that.
I know of no work at this level that does as good a job, even if it turns out to be not even as detailed as a number of other volumes in the Tyndale series, even the other minor prophets volumes. I would not prefer to have to teach these books with just Baker's commentary, and there are a lot of good commentaries on these books, but this is one of the ones I want on my shelf. This may well be the lowest price-to-information ratio among the evangelical commentaries.