Commentary Reviews: Advanced

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This is part three of a four-part list of commentary recommendations. Part one is here. Now I want to list what I take to be the best scholarly commentaries. Not all of these are evangelical, so evangelicals will first want to have some ability to sift through them for what's valuable, and many of them assume some knowledge of the original languages, though you can sort of follow most of them without that. (I don't know Hebrew, for instance, but I read commentaries on the Old Testament from this list all the time.) This list is especially subjective according to the judgment of one person (who still has read lots of reviews and either possesses or has library access to many of these volumes), but these are the ones I think would be most valuable to someone who had to write a research paper in Bible school or seminary or to give the best background information and exegetical help to a pastor with good training.

Genesis -- Gordon Wenham (WBC) 1987, 1994 review vol.2
or Victor Hamilton (NICOT) 1990, 1995
or Claus Westermann (Continental) 1984-1986 (volume 1, volume 2, volume 3)
Exodus -- Brevard Childs (OTL) 1974
or William Propp (AB) 1999, 2006
or Cornelis Houtman (HCOT) 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002 review vol. 3
Leviticus -- Jacob Milgrom (AB) 1991, 2000, 2001
or Erhard Gerstenberger (OTL) 1996
Numbers -- Jacob Milgrom (JPS) 1990
or Baruch Levine (AB) 1993, 2000
Deuteronomy -- Moshe Weinfeld (AB on chs.1-11) 1991
or Duane Christensen (WBC) 2001, 2002 (review; review vol.2)
or Richard Nelson (OTL) 2002
Joshua -- Trent Butler (WBC) 1983
or Daniel Hawk (Berit Olam) 2001
or Richard Nelson (OTL) 1997
Judges -- Barnabas Lindars (ICC on chs.1-5) 1995
or Tammi Schneider (Berit Olam) 2000
or Daniel Block (NAC) 1999 review
Ruth -- Robert Hubbard (NICOT) 1989
or Frederic Bush (WBC) 1996 (also includes Esther)
or 'Jack Sasson, Ruth: A New Translation With a Philological Commentary And a Formalist-folklorist Interpretation (1989, 2nd ed.)
I Samuel -- Ralph Klein (WBC) 1983
or Kyle McCarter (AB) 1980
II Samuel -- Kyle McCarter (AB) 1984
or Arnold Anderson (WBC) 1989
I Kings -- Mordekhai Cogan (AB) 2001
or Jerome Walsh (Berit Olam) 1996
II Kings -- Mordechai Cogan and Hayim Tadmor (AB) 1988
or T.R. Hobbs (WBC) 1985
I Chronicles -- Gary Knoppers (AB) 2004, 2004 (review vol.1)
or Sara Japhet (OTL) 2003
or Ralph Klein (Hermeneia) 2006 (review)
II Chronicles -- Sara Japhet (OTL) 2003
Ezra and Nehemiah -- H.G.M. Williamson (WBC) 1985
or Joseph Blenkinsopp (OTL) 1988
Esther -- Adele Berlin (JPS) 2001 review
or Jon Levenson (OTL) 1997
or Frederic Bush (WBC) 1995 (with Ruth)
Job -- David Clines (WBC) 1989 (only on chs.1-20)
or John Hartley (NICOT) 1988
Psalms 1-50 -- Peter Craigie and Marvin Tate (WBC) 1983/2005
or Samuel Terrien (ECC) 2003
Psalms 51-100 Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and Erich Zenger (Hermeneia) 2005
or Marvin Tate (WBC) 1990
or Samuel Terrien (ECC) 2003
Psalms 101-150 Leslie Allen (WBC) rev.2002
or Samuel Terrien (ECC) 2003
Proverbs -- Bruce Waltke (NICOT) 2004 2004 review vol.1
or Michael Fox (AB) 2000 (chs.1-9 only) review
or Roland Murphy (WBC) 1998
or Richard Clifford (OTL) 1999
Ecclesiastes -- Choon-Leong Seow (AB) 1997 review
or Michael Fox (JPS) 2004
or Tremper Longman (NICOT) 1997
Song of Songs -- Duane Garrett (WBC) 2004 (with Paul House on Lamentations)
or Roland Murphy (H) 1990
or Tremper Longman (NICOT) 2001
Isaiah -- Joseph Blenkinsopp (AB) 2001, 2002, 2003 (review of vols.1-2, review 1 of vol.3, review 2 of vol.3), review 3 of vol.3, review 4 of vol.3)
or H.G.M. Williamson (ICC) 2006 (on Isaiah 1-5)
or Willem Beuken (HCOT) 2000 (on Isaiah 28-39)
or Jan Koole (HCOT) 1997, 1998, 2001 (on Isaiah 40-66)
or John Oswalt (NICOT) 1986, 1998 review vol.1 review 1 of vol.2; review 2 of vol.2
or Brevard Childs (OTL) 2000
Jeremiah -- Jack Lundbom (AB), 1999, 2004, 2004 (review vol.2)
or William Holladay (H) 1986, 1989
or Peter Craigie, Page Kelley, Joel Drinkard (WBC) 1991 (on Jer 1-25)
or Gerald Keown, Pamela Scalise, Thomas Smothers (WBC) 1995 (on Jer 26-52)
Lamentations -- Paul House (WBC) 2004 (with Duane Garrett on Song of Songs)
or J. Renkema (HCOT) 1998
or Adele Berlin (OTL) 2002 (review)
Ezekiel -- Daniel Block (NICOT), 1997, 1998 review
or Walther Zimmerli (Hermeneia) 1979, 1983
or Leslie Allen (WBC) 1994, 1990
Daniel -- John Goldingay (WBC) 1989
or John Collins (Hermeneia) 1994
Hosea -- A.A. Macintosh (ICC) 1998 review 1, review 2
or Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman (AB) 1980
or Douglas Stuart (WBC) 1987 (also includes Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah)
Joel -- James Crenshaw (AB) 1995 review
or John Barton (OTL) 2001 (includes Obadiah)
Amos -- Shalom Paul (H) 1991
or Paul Raabe (AB) 1996
or J. Renkema (HCOT) 2004
Jonah -- Jack Sasson (AB) 1995
or Douglas Stuart (WBC) 1987 (also includes Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah)
Micah -- William McKane (ICC) 1998
or Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman (AB) 2000 review 1, review 2
or Bruce K. Waltke in The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary: Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, 1993
Nahum -- Klaas Spronk (HCOT) 1997
or J.J.M. Roberts (OTL) 1991 review
Habakkuk -- Francis I. Andersen (AB) 2001
or J.J.M. Roberts (OTL) 1991 review
Zephaniah -- Adele Berlin (AB) 1994
or Marvin Sweeney (H) 1994 review
Haggai -- Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers (AB) 1987 (with Zech 1-8)
or David L. Petersen (OTL) 1984 (with Zech 1-8)
Zechariah -- Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers (AB) 1987 (with Haggai), 1993
or David L. Petersen (OTL) 1984 (with Zech 1-8) 1995 (with Malachi)
Malachi, Andrew Hill (AB) 1998 review 1, review 2
or David L. Petersen (OTL) 1998

Matthew -- W.D. Davies and Dale Allison (ICC) 1988, 1991, 1997 review of vol.1, review of Vol. 3
or Donald Hagner (WBC) 1993 1995
or John Nolland (NIGTC) 2005
Mark -- Richard T. France (NIGTC) 2002 review 1, review 2, review 3, review 4
or Robert Guelich (WBC) 1989 (on 1:1-8:26)
or Craig Evans (WBC) 2001 (on 8:27-16:20)
or Joel Marcus (AB) 2000 (on chs.1-8)
Luke -- Darrell Bock (BECNT) 1994, 1996; review
or Francois Bovon (Hermeneia) 2002 (on 1:1-9:50)
or Joseph Fitzmyer (AB) 1981 1985
or I. Howard Marshall (NIGTC) 1978
John -- Craig Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, Hendrickson, 2003 review 1, review 2
or Herman Ridderbos, The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary 1997
or Leon Morris (NICNT) 1952 rev.1995
Acts -- C.K. Barrett (ICC) 1994, 1998 review volume 1, review volume 2
or Ben Witherington (SRC) 1997
or Joseph Fitzmyer (AB) 1999
Romans -- Douglas Moo (NICNT) 1996
or C.E.B. Cranfield (ICC) 1975, 1979
or James D.G. Dunn (WBC) 1988, 1988
I Corinthians -- Anthony Thiselton (NIGTC) 2000 review
or Gordon Fee (NICNT) 1987
II Corinthians -- Murray J. Harris (NIGTC) 2005 review 1; reviews 2 and 3
or Margaret Thrall (ICC) 1994, 2000
or Victor Paul Furnish (AB) 1984
Galatians -- F.F. Bruce (NIGTC) 1982
or Richard Longenecker (WBC) 1990 review
or J. Louis Martyn (AB) 1997
Ephesians -- Peter O'Brien (PNTC) 1999 review1 review 2
or Ernest Best (ICC) 1998
or Harold Hoehner, Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary, Baker, 2002 review 1, review 2
Philippians -- Peter T. O'Brien (NIGTC) 1991 review
or Gordon Fee (NICNT) 1995 review
Colossians (see also Philemon below) -- Peter O'Brien (WBC) 1982
or James Dunn (NIGTC) 1996
or Robert McL. Wilson (ICC) 2005
Thessalonians -- Abraham Malherbe (AB) 2000 review 1, review 2
or Charles Wanamaker (NIGTC) 1990
or F.F. Bruce (WBC) 1982
I & II Timothy -- Luke Timothy Johnson (AB) 2001 review 1, review 2. review 3
I & II Timothy, Titus -- William D. Mounce (WBC) 2000 review
or I. Howard Marshall with Philip Towner (ICC) 2000 review
or Philip Towner (NICNT) 2006
Philemon -- Joseph Fitzmyer (AB) 2000 review
or Markus Barth, Helmut Blanke (ECC) 2000 review
or Peter O'Brien (WBC) 1982
Hebrews -- William Lane (WBC) 1991, 1991
or Luke Timothy Johnson (NTL) 2006
or Craig Koester (AB) 2001
James -- Luke Timothy Johnson (AB) 1995 review
or Peter Davids (NIGTC) 1982
or Ralph P. Martin (WBC) 1988
I Peter -- Paul Achtemeier (H) 1996 review
or J. Ramsey Michaels (WBC) 1988
or John Elliott (AB) 2000
II Peter, Jude -- Richard Bauckham (WBC) 1983
or Peter Davids (PNTC) 2006
or Jerome Neyrey (AB) 1993
I-III John -- Stephen Smalley (WBC) 1984
or I. Howard Marshall (NICNT) 1978
or Raymond Brown (AB) 1982
Revelation -- Greg Beale (NIGTC) 1999 review 1, review 2
or Grant Osborne (BECNT) 2002 review
or David Aune (WBC) 1997, 1998, 1998

Forthcoming commentaries that I'm looking forward to appear in part four.

2 Comments

Jeremy, your list does not include Obadiah at this level. I think that you may want to fix it. Probably Stuart is recommended, isn't he? Anyone else? Thanks.

Actually, it does, but the name "Obadiah" got left off. I recommend Renkema's HCOT and Raabe's AYB for this level. Stuart isn't nearly as academically respected as those two. If I had to pick an evangelical who specifically dealt with the Hebrew, I'd got with Finley's WEC over Stuart's WBC for Obadiah.

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