A Commentary On 1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene H. Merrill

March 9, 2016 | Comments Off on A Commentary On 1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene H. Merrill

A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene Merrill

A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene Merrill

A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles (Kregel Exegetical Library) is the third Old Testament commentary I have reviewed for Kregel (the others being A Commentary on Exodus (Kregel Exegetical Library) and A Commentary on Judges and Ruth (Kregel Exegetical Library)). I found it to be the most challenging to read and assimilate–perhaps because that is the nature of the biblical source. While I personally love the books of Kings and Chronicles, I admit they take some effort to read and sadly, my enthusiasm is seldom shared by my small groups. Unfortunately, I can’t remember many sermons or bible studies based on these books—especially the books as a whole. That being said, I’m delighted to be able to add this book to my library.

The author, Eugene H. Merrill, brings excellent credentials to the project. He is the distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is a prolific author with more than two dozen books to his credit, including other publications on these books. Theologically, he is conservative, as would be expected from Dallas.

The Commentary rests somewhere between accessible and scholarly. While he uses some Hebrew, there is less than many similar commentaries, positioning it for use by non-seminary educated readers. However, the Hebrew that is included does not include transliterations. Even though I took Hebrew just a year ago, I would have appreciated an assist with a transliteration as well as a translation.

The format is comprehensive, with just about anything any reader might want.  It includes Chapter Outlines, Theological Principles, an NIV Translation, Text Critical Notations, and Exegesis and Exposition. While the book’s flyleaf indicates that the translation is the author’s own, in fact, the translation provided is the NIV. This was a disappointment. I always prefer to see the author’s unique translation somewhere in the chapter, even if side-by-side with an “approved” translation. And of all the excellent translations available, why the NIV? I appreciated having the Text Critical Notations within each chapter. Although as a lay leader I seldom pay attention to those, it’s good to know what they are and when they might be important for my purposes. The book also includes a number of charts and tables, but many of them didn’t advance my understanding. I often asked, “Why?” A helpful introduction positions the reader in the history, culture, authorship, genre, and canonical placement.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspects of the book are the extensive footnotes and excellent bibliography. Merrill includes a 26-page bibliography, showing the extensiveness of his scholarship. Also of note is the theological overview of each chapter, providing a road map of God’s over-arching theme. He continues to call us back to this overview, always looking forward to the Messiah. He also offers some application, which is useful for the lay leader, and even for busy pastors.

This is a well-done commentary. Not the best I’ve ever read, but it certainly provides more information than I as a lay leader will ever use. Thanks to Kregel Academic for inviting me to review this book.



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