Of the Psalms, John Calvin said that “the varied and resplendid riches which are contained in this treasury it is no easy matter to express in words.” Martin Luther stated that the Psalms are a “Little Bible, wherein everything contained in the entire Bible is beautifully and briefly comprehended.” Deitrich Bonhoeffer said that “the more deeply we grow into the psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich will our prayer become” and “whenever the Psalter is abandoned, an incomparable treasure is lost to the Christian church. With its recovery will come unexpected power.”
Good commentaries on the Psalms are hard to find because authors either get bogged down with biblical criticism (form, source, redaction, etc.) or simply offer shallow surveys that offer little to students of the Bible. Allen P. Ross’ A Commentary on the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), a part of the Kregal Exegetical Library series, attempts to hold the middle ground by providing solid textual analysis while also providing interpreters with substance that can easily be taken into the pulpit, Bible study, or other expositional situations.
A Commentary on the Psalms is definitely more scholarly than many sets available today and certain sections were a bit dry. Pastors with little or no Hebrew training or with little interest in textual variants may struggle to find certain parts of Ross’ work as helpful as others. Yet Ross does a great job of integrating those textual concerns with solid exegetical and expository substance. In my mind, owning a copy would certainly be well received by Bible students who enjoy Hebrew and discussions concerning the text as well as the surrounding contextual (narrative) background to the Psalms. Those who may not have those tools can still gain from Ross’ work as most of those issues are addressed in footnotes (not endnotes, praise Jesus!).
All in all, Ross’ work is solid and could prove helpful for those studying the psalms.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.