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Psalms 1-72 (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) Paperback – February 11, 2009
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About the Author
The works of Derek Kidner (MA, Christ's College, Cambridge) are full of the marks of both professor and pastor with his evenhanded scholarship as well as his devotional insight. These qualities have made his commentaries in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series and The Bible Speaks Today series some of the most beloved and popular of recent decades. Kidner had a long career in both the church and the academy in England. He studied at Cambridge University and then served in the ministry for several years before becoming a senior tutor at Oak Hill Theological College. Kidner began his writing career while serving as warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge from 1964 to 1978, publishing his ninth and final book, The Message of Jeremiah, in 1987.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kidner's organization of a general introduction of the psalm and then section by section commentary helps to get a clear picture spreading the psalm out to really view the key words and phrases. His New Testament references are also helpful. I think this is the best short concise commentary I have come across so far.
The average comment length per psalm is about 5 small pages, so it is not bloated but it is concise and thorough for the student, pastor, and layman. Can be used in group Bible study. This is a "hands on" work.
He writes from a conservative evangelical position (which I appreciate), but he sees the church as fulfilling the promises made to Israel (I disagree with him on this). Despite my difference, I heartily recommend this as perhaps the best all-around commentary on Psalms. If you must only get one, this might be it. You can't go wrong with this one.
You will probably want to buy both volumes.
I have appreciated the commentary's insights. It is reverent, deeply insightful, and very precise in its handling of the text. It comments mostly on the English text, but is thoroughly critical of the English translations with constant references to the Hebrew (though usually without giving the Hebrew word even in the more technical notes which appear at the bottom of the page). This isn't strictly speaking a devotional commentary; rather, very meaningful devotional insights are woven into the verse-by-verse interpretive comments, and sometimes appear in introductions at the beginning of the section on the Psalm. Kidner spends a fair amount of time fitting the Psalms with background, either trying to match up the Psalm with an incident from David's life or theorizing some other occasion for the Psalm's creation. He takes the Psalm titles as decisive when relating the Psalm to its background. Also, there is significant reference to other scripture texts, including New Testament texts, with related language or themes to the Psalm being commented on.
This commentary gives an average of three pages to each Psalm, so if you want an exhaustive technical commentary this will not meet your needs.
Regarding the more technical points of interpretation, I'm usually but not always convinced by Kidner's arguments which occasionally differ from the English translations I use.
Speaking of translations, Kidner focuses quite a bit on the old RSV translation, often spending time refuting the decisions of the RSV translators, and also the translators of the JB, KJV (less often), and NEB. The book (original copyright 1973) was written before the NIV was released. It's a bit of a disadvantage that you have to read past all those comments about those old, little-used translations. That's why I didn't give it 5 stars. It is, however, interesting to see how often my ESV agrees with Kidner. And also interesting to see how often he's appalled by the liberties taken in the NEB.