Hearing The Message of Scripture: A Commentary on The OT


Not too long ago, but in various times and various ways, I lamented that there was no Old Testament counterpart to Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary on the NT. There are good commentaries from a technical point of view and good commentaries for application, but there wasn’t really anything on par with the ZECNT series. That is, until now.

Looks like the first two installments of the Hearing The Message of Scripture commentary series come out in January. It’s edited by Daniel Block, and he is writing the volume on Obadiah (yes, Obadiah gets his own volume). The other volume (pictured above) is by Kevin Youngblood on Jonah.

From the Amazon description (and also in the fall Zondervan Academic catalog), here’s what readers will have in store:

The Hearing the Message of Scripture series serves pastors and teachers by providing them with a careful analysis and interpretation of the biblical text, rooted in a study of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and intended to track the flow of the argument in each book and passage. In our effort to serve pastors and teachers in their study of the text of the Old Testament for ministry, Zondervan has developed a set of distinctive features for this series.

A Graphical Display of the Text of Each Passage This visual ‘thought flow’ of the passage will enable the reader to grasp quickly and accurately the main idea of the text, its development, and supporting ideas. For readability, the graphical display will be done in the commentator’s own English translation of the passage. A few paragraphs of discussion following this display will seek to enable the reader to understand how the commentator arrived at this depiction and interpretation of the passage.

Identification and Discussion of the Main Idea of Each Passage Special emphasis will be placed on identifying and discussing the main thrust of each passage and showing how it contributes to the development of the whole composition.The main idea will be illustrated in the graphical display, discussed in the introduction to the passage, and reflected upon in the Theological and Canonical Significance section of the commentary.

Help in Drawing Out the Meaning of the Hebrew for Interpretation The goal of this exegetical commentary series will be to draw on Hebrew grammar in the service of meaning. Hebrew will not be discussed for the sake of better understanding Hebrew alone. Whenever a Hebrew construction affects the interpretation of the text, this feature will be discussed and explained.

Theological and Canonical Significance This portion of the commentary will focus on providing a theological and applicational discussion of the main thrust of the passage. This section will build the theological discussion on the exegesis of the text by synthesizing the theology of the passage and elaborating on it.

Sounds pretty sweet right? When I was taking Hebrew at Dallas, my prof for the first two semesters, Brian Webster, mentioned working on a Psalms commentary, and now I can see that it was for this series. Also, it’ll be 4 volumes on the Psalms, and judging from what he taught us in class, it’ll be one to add to your library.

There’s some other great volumes too, so be sure and click thru the link above to the fall catalog and see for yourself (plus there’s an embedded video). Also, as a sidenote, it looks like the Word Biblical Commentaries are going to be published by Zondervan now and some of those volumes will be revised (and a 2 volume Acts and 1 Corinthians installments will be published).

Author: Nate

I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

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