Tremper Longman III. Old Testament Commentary Survey: Fifth Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013. 176 pp. $16.99.
When it comes to Old Testament commentaries, how do you pick the right ones – ones that fit your theological nuance, your biblical community, and your personal disposition? And how will you steer a congregant to the right resource when they go to you for a suggestion?
Pastors, who regularly preach or teach, must be efficient students of the Word and wise consultants for others. Having one or two excellent commentaries on every Old Testament book will be a great aid for your ministry. But how do you pick?
Tremper Longman’s, Old Testament Commentary Survey, is the book you need to make discerning decisions about purchasing Old Testament commentaries. Whether you are searching for a one volume, a set, or an individual commentary, Longman has you covered. Each entry includes a bibliography, a paragraph evaluation, a rating scale of 1-5 stars, and a tagging for the target audience the commentary best fits (Lay, Minister, or Scholar). Longman admittedly comes from an evangelical perspective, so he warns readers that his ratings will favor that perspective.
This is the fifth edition of this resource. If you own a previous edition, you will certainly want this one. Longman has added evaluations of many new commentaries published since the 2007, fourth edition.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Though it is true that pastors run the risk of overusing and relying too heavily on commentaries for preparation, it is also true that there is great benefit to the careful and judicious supplementation that commentaries offer. Put in the right place of preparation, commentaries have great worth.
This well organized book ends up being a buyer’s guide for any pastor who must discernibly limit his purchase to what he needs and what he is equipped to handle. We all have different needs in preaching preparation. Some of us will need more exegetical help. Whereas, others will need more theological or application help. We will also prepare to study, preach, and teach in different contexts. Some of you will teach an intense Sunday school class or small group that wants to understand the biblical languages and tackle the tougher problems in the text. You’ll need a more technical commentary to aid you in this task.
Few people have inexhaustible funds to purchase commentaries, and, for many of us, Lifeway, other brick and mortar stores, or websites are alluring candy stores of commentaries. Therefore, we need to be informed of what to buy before we hit the aisle. Dave Ramsey and our wives will appreciate this!
When it comes to studies in the Old Testament, Tremper Longman’s, Old Testament Commentary Survey, will be a huge assist to your ministry. I had the fourth edition of this resource previously, which I went to frequently in both seminary and my first pastorate. I am grateful to have this fifth edition now and will be using it just as frequently.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
With Tremper Longman’s, Old Testament Commentary Survey, you will save money and avoid headache as you find helps for expositional preparation.