Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Commentaries On The Book Of Psalms

For the month of July, I am taking a short break in my series on the Sermon on the Mount and spending a few weeks in the book of Psalms. I love the Psalms. I love the heart attitude of David and the other authors. There is something about them that inspires me and motivates me to love the Lord. One thing I really appreciate about the Psalms is the real and often raw emotions. We see when the Psalmist struggles and when they are joyful. There are no masks worn in this book.

I have called my series Summer in the Psalms and hope to do this every July while in ministry. I do this because I can continue in a series, but each one can be independent of the other week. And since during the month of July, so many people are on vacation and gone, it works well. I thought I would share with you some of the commentaries I will be using in this series. This is not an exhaustive list of the ones I use, but some of my favorites. Who knows, maybe you will find time and money to purchase one of these.

By far, if you are going to study the book of Psalms, you need to have The Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon on your shelf. It is a must, not only for pastors, but for laymen as well. If you are going to own just one commentary on this book, this is the one you should buy. What I love about Spurgeon is that it is not only easy to follow, but he is extremely insightful. I also really appreciate his "hints to preachers" at the end of each chapter.

One of the series of books that I have come to enjoy tremendously is the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament. I initially used the one from the book of Proverbs and enjoyed it so much that I had to purchase the entire series. It is fairly costly, but I think will be worth the money. In each Psalm, not only does the author walk you through the text (often in depth with the Hebrew, but not too much you can't understand it), but also he gives some theological implications. These have been helpful.

One of the staples of my selection of commentaries are those from James Montgomery Boice. Any of his commentaries show the heart of a pastor as he preaches through a book of the Bible. There are times when he doesn't emphasize something I think he should, but I really appreciate the time when he does camp on an issue. It makes me think as a pastor whether I should heed his wisdom and camp on it as well.

The NIV Application Commentary is very helpful for many reasons. They break each Psalm down into three sections: Original Meaning, Bridging Contexts, & Contemporary Significance. I have learned a lot as they show the the original context and how it might apply to our context today. One of the only things I do not like about the NIV Application Commentary on the book of Psalms is that volume 2 has not been published yet. Volume 1 only covers chapters 1-72.

There are several other commentaries I use, but these are probably my favorite four that I have learned from in the past. I would appreciate your suggestions as I might be in the market for a new commentary or two on the book of Psalms. What commentaries do you recommend on the book of Psalms?

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