Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Commentary on the Psalms: Volume 1 by Allen P. Ross

A Commentary on the Psalms
Volume 1 (Psalms 1-41)
Author: Allen P. Ross
Hardcover: 894 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8254-2562-2

About the Book:
For thousands of years, the Book of Psalms has been one of God's people's richest resources for expression of worship and development of the spiritual life. At the same time it is one of the more complex and challenging sections of the Bible for expositors. Pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find this commentary invaluable for developing their understanding of the Psalms and for improving their ability to expound it with precision and depth.For each psalm, Dr. Allen Ross guides the reader through a detailed exegetical outline, proposes a homiletical outline, and offers a summary expository idea of the message of the whole psalm.
The commentary includes discussion throughout of three primary challenges to understanding the Psalms:
  • Textual issues: Every major textual difficulty is addressed in order to help the expositor understand the interpretive issues and make decisions when there are multiple available readings.
  • Poetic language: The Psalms are full of poetic imagery, devices and structures. Ross discusses this "language" of Hebrew poetry in its context with each psalm, specifying the precise devices being used and how they work in the psalm.
  • The Psalms' Hebrew grammar and syntax pose a challenge to many expositors, whether they are familiar with Hebrew or not. This commentary illuminates Hebrew constructions word meanings in a way that is helpful both to readers who are comfortable with Hebrew and those who are not.
My Thoughts:

When I pick up any work on the studies of the Bible, I want to know where the author is grounded and what he believes is THE Word of God. That one important fact zeroes me in on what he believes is the Truth. I did not find that with this commentary.

Dr. Ross is a scholar and his commentary is written from a scholarly point of view. He uses many sources and even goes back to the Biblical Hebrew, making this a very educational study and one will glean much from the content. His long introduction paves the way and explains in depth the history, texts, other commentaries (and so much, much more) as well as what to expect from his commentary.

Psalms is one of my favorite books of the Bible and to be able to really dig deep into the language, background and meaning of the Psalms made this a wonderful resource. It is written in a style that can be understood and used by all, not just scholars, making the information understandable and accessible to even those without a seminary degree.

About the Author:

Allen P. Ross (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School. Prior to this, he taught at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary. His publications include Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of GenesisHoliness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, and An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher for this tour. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

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