Tremper Longman III & David E. Garland, General Editors
The Expositor's Bible Commentary Revised Edition (EBC-R) seeks to provide "a comprehensive yet succinct commentary that guides one to the gist of the test's meaning." This is where this commentary series excels. The EBC-R will provide its reader with a good overview of the text and its meaning. There are thirteen books of the Bible covered in this volume (8 of 13) by nine different authors. The translation used is the NIV, which is pretty standard for most commentaries.
Each book contains an introduction written by the author containing general background information regarding the book. The bibliography is included in this section which is helpful as it provides the reader with additional commentaries to read as well as knowing where some of the author's research and thoughts come from. The outlines are always a blessing to me, as they show how the author sees the book flow. The layout of the commentary makes it very easy to read. Each section of Scripture is written in bold with a grey background and is single column, making it easy to find a particular verse quickly. The commentary section follows and is double columned, with bold verse numbers at the start of each commentary section for a particular verse. There are also a Notes section and a Reflections section that contains some extra thoughts. The layout is different from other commentaries that I have read, but once I got used to it I appreciated how easy it was to navigate.
As for the commentary itself, the EBC-R is very readable for pastors and laymen. There is not the critical depth of some commentaries that would confuse many lay people, but it is also not so shallow that the reader will not grow in their understanding. This commentary provides a great introduction to deeper Bible study and is not intimidating. As I read through this commentary I was pleasantly surprised by Andrew Hill's (professor of OT Studies at Wheaton College) work in Daniel 9. This chapter, specifically the seventy sevens, is one of the most difficult text in the Bible. Godly people from all sorts of backgrounds throughout church history have disagreed over the meaning of this text. Since how we interpret this text reveals a lot about our Eschatology I was eager to read his thoughts. His conclusion in the Reflections section is worth quoting. He says, "The natural and logical response by the people of faith to the God who orchestrates the redemption of fallen creation and humanity through the historical process is worship. Biblical commentators, however, seem more concerned with solving the puzzle of Daniel's "seventy sevens" than calling the people of faith to worship the God who revealed this remarkable message through Gabriel. After he has spent time briefly discussing the differing view of the "seventy sevens," he ends with a wonderful conclusion. Whatever our interpretation may be, our hearts should always be led to worship when we dig into these difficult passages. We should walk away, not puffed up with pride thinking our interpretation is correct, but with awe and wonder of the God who has inspired every word.
Overall this revision is timely and valuable. I previously owned the original Expositors Bible Commentary and am excited to begin to collect the Revised Edition.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.