The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series is a modern, well-reviewed Old Testament reference collection that provides in-depth exegetical discussion on the books of Hebrew poetry.
This commentary collection is designed to engage the unique features of Old Testament wisdom literature.
This BCOTWP series would benefit the study of professors, pastors, as well as lay people who are able to follow detailed discussions on biblical scholarship.
Each volume in the series focuses on the message of the biblical book throughout the commentary.
Great attention is given to the structure of poetry found in the books as well as the literary devices found in the poetry genre. This makes the biblical text understandable, accessible, and more easily applicable.
Authors provide their own translation, though they may interact with modern English translations, too.
Their comments build upon their translation. Certain topics lend themselves to discussion of bible-wide themes. Theological insights that expand the biblical canon are included.
Which commentary series is best for your purposes? See Best Bible Commentaries: Top 50. Based on aggregate reviews.
Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms (BCOTWP): Reviews
“The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms offers a series of substantial volumes on these OT books…Useful tools for study and teaching.”
Max Rogland, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
“The series is primarily intended for people with seminary training, although an attempt is made–as a rule quite successfully, in my opinion–to keep the discussion accessible to laypeople…”
Terry W. Eddinger, Review & Expositor:
“The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms [is] an excellent series on this dynamic and diverse section of the Hebrew Bible…”
Volumes in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms
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In this volume, Tremper Longman offers an accessible commentary on one of Scripture’s most intriguing books. With his deft exegetical and expositional skill, the resulting work is full of fresh insight into the meaning of the text.
In addition to the helpful translation and commentary, this volume considers the theological implications of the wisdom texts found in the book of Job as well as their literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions.
Footnotes deal with many of the technical matters, allowing readers of varying interest and training levels to read and profit from the commentary and to engage the biblical text at an appropriate level. This built-in versatility has application for both pastors and teachers.
Eugene H. Merrill, distinguished professor of Old Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary:
“This latest gift from the trusted pen of Tremper Longman evinces the rare combination of stretching the most learned mind and touching the most tender soul.
Grappling with the intricacies of this most difficult of biblical texts and the opaqueness of much of its theological argument, Longman offers here a work of inestimable pastoral and practical value.”
Psalms, Vol. 1 – John Goldingay
In this first volume of a three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms, Old Testament scholar John Goldingay provides a lucid introduction to the Psalter and fresh commentary on Psalms 1–41.
Writing with a scholar’s eye and a pastor’s heart, Goldingay considers the literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions of the text as well as its theological implications. The resulting commentary will bring the Psalms to life for a new generation of students.
In addition to the commentary on Psalms 1–41, this volume contains Goldingay’s introduction to the entire book of Psalms.
This thorough introduction provides unique perspectives on matters such as the purpose of the Psalter, Psalms and history, poetry in the Psalms, the Psalms and worship, the Psalms and spirituality, and the Psalms and theology.
Each chapter of the commentary proper contains the author’s translation of a particular psalm, which shows in English some of the salient features of the Hebrew text. An interpretation of the psalm, section-by-section, follows.
Also included is an extensive glossary section treating the vocabulary of Psalms 1–41 and noting how certain words are used to convey critical concepts.
The discussion of each Psalm ends with a section on theological implications that will help readers discover the contemporary relevance of the message of the Psalms.
Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies, Regent College:
“This is a fine commentary on the first part of the book of Psalms, combining excellent scholarship and deep, practical spiritual reflection.
Readers will find it to be an invaluable resource for their own life journeys, not least in the constructive challenge it presents to some modern Christian understandings of biblical spirituality.”
Psalms, Vol. 2 – John Goldingay
In the second volume of his three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms, Old Testament scholar John Goldingay provides fresh commentary on Psalms 42–89.
He considers the literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions of the text as well as its theological implications. The Book of Psalms is the Bible’s book of prayer and praise that provides us with language and guidance for our communion with God.
It provides a vital link between humanity and God—“a link that we ignore to our impoverishment,” says Goldingay.
In this volume, Goldingay seeks to let the Psalms speak their own message and address Christian thinking, theology, and spirituality without being subjugated to a particular way of reading the New Testament.
Each chapter of the commentary proper contains the author’s translation of the psalm, showing in English some of the salient features of the Hebrew text. An interpretation of the psalm, section-by-section, follows.
Goldingay concludes each chapter with theological reflection that helps readers discover the contemporary relevance of the message of each psalm.
This resource also includes a glossary of the vocabulary of Psalms 42–89, noting how certain words are used to convey critical concepts. This insightful commentary will bring the Psalms to life for a new generation of students.
Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary:
“Once again, John Goldingay has given us exemplary scholarship that will serve both church and academy very well indeed.
The commentary is filled with mature theological insights, fresh ideas, and thoughtful reflections for contemporary appropriation. The clear and imaginative introduction alone is worth the price of the book.”
Psalms, Vol. 3 – John Goldingay
The final installment in Goldingay’s comprehensive study! Blending literary, historical, grammatical, and theological insights, the acclaimed scholar offers his own translation of Psalms 90–150, followed by interpretive commentary.
An incisive look at the Scriptures Tremper Longman calls “a literary sanctuary: a holy place where humans share their joys and struggles with brutal honesty in God’s presence.”
Leonard Mare, Review of Biblical Literature:
“An excellent addition to an outstanding series. No one interested in preaching, teaching, or researching the Psalms can afford to be without it. I highly recommend it.”
In Proverbs, Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III offers an accessible commentary on one of Scripture’s most frequently quoted and visited books.
With his deft exegetical and expositional skill, the resulting work is full of fresh insight into the meaning of the text.
In addition to the helpful translation and commentary, Longman considers the theological implications of these wisdom texts, as well as their literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions.
Footnotes allow readers of varying interest and training levels to read and profit from the commentary and to engage the biblical text at an appropriate level.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., Preaching:
“Commentaries on wisdom literature are often few and far between. Therefore, preachers will welcome the publication of Proverbs. . . . [Longman] sets the record straight, arguing that the book of Proverbs is indeed a book about theology as well as prudential wisdom.”
Ecclesiastes – Craig G. Bartholomew
Wrestling with the timeless enigmas of life, Ecclesiastes is a fruitful resource for preaching and teaching in our postmodern age. Bartholomew’s renowned exegetical and theological skills are evident in his translation and verse-by-verse commentary.
This volume also includes an introduction, footnotes on technical details, an appendix in reading and applying the “Preacher’s” message today, and an extensive bibliography.
Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University:
“Bartholomew provides an exegetically accurate, theologically sensitive, and culturally relevant reading of the enigmatic Qohelet. For Bartholomew, Ecclesiastes is neither a dusty museum piece confined to ancient history nor an alien treatise limited to a past religious era.
Instead, by combining the best historical, linguistic, literary, canonical, theological, and hermeneutical perspectives on this text, Bartholomew treats Ecclesiastes as a dynamic text that speaks powerfully into the (post)modern context of church and culture.”
Song of Songs – Richard S. Hess
Richard Hess has written an insightful commentary on one of the most intriguing books of the Bible, which celebrates God’s gift of love. Following an introduction to the biblical book and a history of its interpretation, Hess divides his discussion into seven major sections.
Each section begins with a fresh translation, followed by paragraph-by-paragraph commentary, and concludes with a summary of the passage’s theological implications. Technical questions related to the Hebrew text or scholarly debate are addressed in the footnotes.
Leslie C. Allen, senior professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary:
“This well-researched commentary ably expounds the text as an expression of committed human love, while remaining alert to the theological implications of this focus.”