I have been using this resource for more than four years in a variety of contexts--academic classes, Bible studies with high school and college students, and so on. This book is an invaluable resource.
Two main reasons to buy this book: 1) We are all very removed from the cultural perspective of the authors who wrote the Old Testament. This book helps bridge that gap by pointing out details we would consider irrelevant and giving context to other details we would otherwise misunderstand. 2) The text is highly readable and accessible for a wide selection of readers. The scholarship is very strong, fair, and thought-provoking, and furthermore, the editorial team did an excellent job ensuring that the information was presented in a clear and interesting manner. I've often found myself provoked to curiousity and ended up reading more than I originally intended to (and, no, that is not a habit for me with most reference books!).
A brief word, too, about the fact that an evangelical publisher is responsible for this book being published. First, every publishing house has biases, so to judge an evangelical publisher for publishing work sympathetic to evangelical tendencies is a bit harsh. Secondly, as one who reads a fair amount from a variety of sources, I have often found that IV Press books exhibit an uncommon level of integrity and fairness in the way their books are written. Thirdly, it is a logical fallacy to argue that a book does not contain truth or is inaccurate due to its origin. Have an open mind and judge the accuracy of the material on its own merits.
Really, this is a great text. I know several dozen men and women who regularly use this book in their work and who consider it very helpful for the purpose of presenting Scripture accurately. I strongly encourage you to buy and use this book.