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PSALMS (Expositor's Bible Commentary) [Hardcover]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (12 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310234972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310234975
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19.6 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic resource 31 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've used this book for an in-depth study of psalm 137 and found it incredibly helpful. It's quite a technical book, and as someone who doesn't know Hebrew, it was at the edge of my comprehension at times but, I suspect I could not get more without learning the language now.

My only regret is not buying the whole series in one go
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book 15 Dec 2009
This is one of the best commentaries I have ever used. It is clear, well set out, full of helpful subheadings and detailed. Very impressed.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Commentary on a Beloved Book 26 July 2010
By K. R. Sperling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is part of the Expositor's Bible Commentary, Revised (EBCR) series. Someone made the smart decision of making this Psalms commentary a stand-alone volume instead of combining it with other Biblical books like the other volumes in the series.

But someone made the dubious decision to have the names of the general editors, Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, appear prominently on the front cover and spine while the author's name, Willem A. VanGemeren, doesn't appear until the back cover, in relatively small print, listed merely as "contributor."

The 51-page introduction ably covers standard topics such as the forms and the formation of the Psalter, composition, structure, literary genre, Psalm titles, and literary approach to the Psalms.

The commentary proper has been designed to be structurally and visually user-friendly. Each Psalm is divided into sections, with each section consisting of four parts: (1) an overview of that section of the Psalm; (2) the Biblical text of the NIV is printed, anywhere from one to several verses (enclosed in grey shading making it stand out); (3) commentary; and (4) translation notes on the NIV text. For those who are used to having the author supplying his or her own translation in the commentary instead of a Bible version such as the NIV, I'd like to suggest that having a familiar Bible version printed when the author is free to comment on the Bible version (confirming, criticizing, or correcting) can be insightful and quite eye-opening at times.

The translation notes on the NIV text also provide a specialized discussion of key words or concepts and you don't have to be a scholar to benefit from them. For example, VanGemeren writes concerning Ps. 16:9 (Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure), "The doctrine of the two aspects of human beings is clearly here. Humans are "body" (bsr "flesh") and "spirit" ("heart," "glory")." We are dichotomous, not trichotomous beings, according to VanGemeren.

Sprinkled throughout the commentary are 22 expanded thoughts entitled "Reflections." These insightful teachings cover topics such as The Ways of Wisdom and Folly, The Name of Yahweh, The Word of God, The Perfections of Yahweh, Anger in the Psalms, and Imprecations in the Psalms, among others.

The four best commentaries on the Psalms are: the 3-volume Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) by Craigie, Allen, and Tate; the 3-volume Baker Commentary on the Old Testament (BCOT) by Goldingay; the 2-volume Continental Commentary (CC) by Kraus; and VanGemeren's single-volume EBCR.

I don't know your financial situation, and if you're independently wealthy you can skip this paragraph, but if you're like me, cost is a factor. Craigie/Allen/Tate's WBC retails for $150 ($107 on Amazon). Goldingay's BCOT will set you back $135 ($85 on Amazon). Kraus' CC is $102 ($67 on Amazon). VanGemeren's EBCR at $50 ($35 on Amazon) is a steal.

And although it is a single volume, it certainly is not a featherweight, both figuratively because it packs as good a punch as the competition, and literally because it is 1011 pages long, measures 7 x 9 x 2 inches, and weighs in at a solid 4 pounds.

Longman wrote that if you can have only one work on the Psalms, VanGemeren is it. He is scholarly yet practical and down-to-earth. This is an outstanding commentary and one of the best on this beloved book of the Bible. Highly recommended.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great resource 10 Nov 2010
By Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the best resources out there as a commentary on the whole book of Psalms. Many good interpretations and even applications (though not as direct as NIVAC), but still this is a great resource for preaching or teaching through the Psalms or for personal study.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful resource for study 6 July 2013
By Brenda Simic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like the old series and the new one is good, too. Starting a study on Sunday nights and this is a good resource to help me prepare.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the novice 9 May 2011
By Happyjack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a commentary that I could use as I was reading through the book of Psalms. This was one book recommended to me but I have found that the book is really much "heavier" then I would have preferred. (a clue was the Expositor's which I chose to ignore) I was really looking for a commentary for a layman's use, but this is more along the lines of a Pastor's commentary or theology students commentary. I am using it but wish I had gotten something a little more user friendly. The insights and commentaries provided do seem to be thoughtful and helpful and Biblical in their interpretation.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful Commentary 15 April 2014
By parkerj - Published on Amazon.com
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition (EBC-R) seeks to provide “a comprehensive yet succinct commentary that guides one to the gist of the test’s meaning.” This is where this commentary series excels. The EBC-R will provide its reader with a good overview of the text and its meaning. This volume (5 of 13) covers the books of Psalms. The commentary notes on Psalms are written by Willem A. VanGemeren, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. The translation used is the NIV, which is fairly common for commentaries.

Each commentary in this series contains an introduction written by the author containing general background information regarding the book. The bibliography is included in this section which is helpful as it provides the reader with additional commentaries to read as well as knowing where some of the author’s research and thoughts come from. The outlines are always a blessing to me, as they show how the author sees the book flow. The layout of the commentary makes it very easy to read. Each section of Scripture is written in bold with a grey background and is single column, making it easy to find a particular verse quickly. The commentary section follows and is double columned, with bold verse numbers at the start of each commentary section for a particular verse. There are also a Notes section and a Reflections section that contains some extra thoughts. The layout is different from other commentaries that I have read, but once I got used to it I appreciated how easy it was to navigate.

As for the commentary itself, the EBC-R is very readable for pastors and laymen. There is not the critical depth of some commentaries that would confuse many lay people, but it is also not so shallow that the reader will not grow in their understanding. This commentary on Psalms is a real blessing to me. Many of the really good commentaries on the book of Psalms are multi-volume sets, which cost quite a bit of money. This single volume is well worth its price, and is just over 1000 pages long, so it is not a small volume. Sometimes the book of Psalms can be difficult to understand, specifically all of the different literary structures and devices that are employed in the book. This is an area where this commentary shines. In the Introduction VanGemeren provides many helpful notes to help the reader use this commentary to gain a better understanding of the Psalms. Here he defines the different literary devices like: parallelism, acrostic, alliteration, chiasm, ellipsis, hyperbole, repetition and many more. VanGemeren provides a definition and example for each of these devices. These examples would be very helpful for pastors as they seek to help others gain a better understanding of the psalms. VanGemeren also defines different genres, psalm titles and categories. All of this insight into the book of Psalms is highly beneficial especially in regards to the flow of the text. Being able to know and recognize some of these devices, genres, etc will be a tremendous help to anyone studying the Psalms

Why should we study the Psalms? VanGemeren answers by saying, "the value of the psalms increases when we approach them as the word of God to his human creatures in their own language, study them as literary masterpieces inspired by the Spirit of God, value their literary forms, and view them as windows into Israel's communion with God." Thus it is valuable for the church, "because through it he reveals how great, wonderful, magnificent, wise, and utterly awe-inspiring he is! If God's people before the incarnation could have such a faith in the Lord - a witness to his greatness and readiness to help- how much more should this be true among twenty-first century Christians! The book of Psalms can revolutionize our devotional life, our family patterns, and the fellowship and witness of the church of Jesus Christ." This commentary helps the reader to gain a better grasps of all 150 psalms.

This commentary presents more of the same from this series, and that is a good thing. Very readable, helpful layout, and page after page of helpful commentary! Aesthetically speaking this set is very nice looking and definitely looks better than the original edition. For the price it is very affordable, especially compared to some of the multi-volume sets.

I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.
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