The Expositor's Bible Commentary - Revised Edition on Numbers-Ruth
Tremper Longman III & David E. Garland, General Editors
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 text’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 (2 of 13) covers the books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges and Ruth. The translation used for this commentary is the NIV.
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. The commentary section on Numbers is written by Ronald B. Allen, senior professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. The commentary section on Deuteronomy is written by Michael A. Grisanti, professor of Old Testament at The Master's Seminary. The commentary section on Joshua is written by Hélène Dallaire, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary. The commentary section on Judges is written by Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The commentary section on Ruth is written by George M. Schwab, associate professor of Old Testament at Erskine Theological Seminary. What stands out in this commentary is the wealth of OT knowledge from its contributors. The drawing point to this commentary is that with the knowledge that it's contributors possess it is still highly readable and accessible to a wide audience. This commentary provides a great introduction to the themes, history and theological truths found in Numbers - Ruth. At 1350 pages it holds plenty of insight to guide the reader through these 5 OT books. As with other commentaries in this series I found this one to be a nice addition to my library. While I do not agree with every point the authors may make, there is valuable insight to be found in its pages. This serves as a very nice introductory commentary that is priced very affordable for what you get in return.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan Academic in exchange for an honest review.