Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham. The Moody Bible Commentary. Chicago: Moody, 2014. 2176 pp. $49.99.
A valuable new resource dropped onto the scene in the world of one-volume commentaries recently: The Moody Bible Commentary. This commentary on the whole Bible is developed by the faculty at Moody Bible Institute and includes contributions from 30 professors.
This 2,000 page behemoth of a commentary tackles difficult texts, commenting in light of the original languages, as it unfolds Messianic promises in the Old Testament, and traces the fulfillment of them in the New. It’s a user-friendly, trustworthy, and understandable text that harnesses a literal interpretive method. Each book of the Bible has a robust introduction with a detailed outline. The two-column structure and the typeset make for easy reading. Transliterations are italicized and key words are boldened for quick research. A number of maps, charts, and sketches are included for explanatory purposes and to bring the story of the Bible to life. And each book of the Bible concludes with an excellent bibliography to encourage deeper study.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Three things stand out about this commentary.
The commentators selectively reference other recent commentaries (e.g. NIVAC, NAC, et al.) and include the best stuff as helps. This ends up turning The Moody Bible Commentary into a helpful reference for knowing what one commentator’s conclusion may have been on an issue needing validation. Rather than picking up that commentary and digging through it to find that commentators position, one might quickly reference The Moody Bible Commentary and get that same conclusion much more swiftly.
Second, it really does tackle those tough issues that other Study Bibles or One-Volume commentaries seem to skirt. In fact, it hits those issues head on and leaves alone the unassuming stuff that other commentators will certainly grab and engage.
Third, while it occasionally references other commentaries and it tackles the hard issues, it most certainly does all this with keeping an eye to straightforward exegesis. It is not a constant dialogue with other commentaries, nor is it only focused on resolving the big problems in every text. It is first and foremost an aid to pastors and studious lay persons who want to uncover more about the text. Thus, the observations and interpretations offer clarity for those that consult The Moody Bible Commentary.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
The Moody Bible Commentary provides a well-calculated synthesis of the text that pastors will joyfully consult.