A Commentary on the Psalms: a book review

I’m enthusiastic about the Kregel Exegetical Library.  I have read several volumes from the series and have been impressed by its depth and its usefulness for expository preaching. The first volume I ever read, was Allen Ross’s A Commentary on the Psalms: Volume 1, which in addition to providing solid commentary and textual notes for book one of the Psalms, also provided a superb introduction to Psalm’s literary genres and Hebrew poetics.  In Volume 2, Ross explored books two and three of the Psalms. With A Commentary on the Psalms: Volume 3 Ross completes his journey through the Psalter, this time exploring books four and five (Ps 90-150).

9780825426667I have been eagerly anticipating this volume. This last third of the Psalm’s have some of my favorite Psalms. I love Moses’ communal lament in Psalms 90, the assurance of divine protection in Psalms 91, the joyous praise of Psalm 100, the lengthy meditation on God’s law in Psalm 119, and Psalms of Ascent, the comprehensiveness of God’s plan in Psalm 139, and the way lament is swallowed up by praise in the concluding five psalms. These are Psalms I turn to, to cement my courage and commitment to God.

I came to trust Ross’s voice when his Introducing Biblical Hebrew gave me a basic understanding of Hebrew syntax.  As with Allen’s other Psalms volumes there are a number of Hebrew word studies here, and this volume provides an index of them (including those in Volume 1 & 2). Allen is conversant with the scholarly literature but this commentary is accessible to the working pastor. Ross isn’t too technical but he is not light on detail either (at 1018 pages!). One-hundred-eighteen pages are devoted to a single psalm, Psalm 119, where Ross walks through each stanza in the Hebrew acrostic (by way of comparison, Leslie Allen’s devotes about thirty pages to that Psalm in WBC, Psalms Vol. III). For each psalm, Ross provides a translation of the psalm with textual notes, a discussion of composition and context, an exegetical analysis, and a discussion of the Psalm’s message and application.

The preface relays that Ross’s approach to the Psalms was shaped by a class he took in seminary which was co-taught by Bruce Waltke and Haddon Robins. Waltke graded the exegesis, Robinson graded the exposition. Ross tells us that Waltke said he didn’t think it was a good class, but the experience was transformational for Ross. He still strives to hold exegesis and exposition together in his interpretation of the Psalms (12). I appreciate the detail and passion that Ross brings to his task. This volume is a fitting conclusion to his Psalms commentary. I give this five stars.

Note: I received this from Kregel Academic in exchange for my honest review.

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