Focus on the Bible Commentary Series – Old Testament | Reviews and Volumes

Reviews of the Focus on the Bible Commentary Series

genesis bible commentaryOn the 1 Samuel volume:

Alec Motyer, former principal, Trinity College, Bristol, England: “A great feast of biblical truth made so digestible, garnished with so many apt illustrations.”

On the 2 Samuel volume;

John W. Hilder, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: “Such sensitivity to the biblical theology of the text is a crucial correction to much of modern exposition . . . Reading the commentary is itself a devotional exercise.”

On the Amos volume:

Alistair Begg, senior pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, OH: “Books on the Old Testament tend to be either technical and tedious or superficial and moralistic. Once in a while we discover one that breaks the mold. T. J. Betts has done it! He tells us not only what Amos means but also why it matters. He proves again that the expositor’s task is not to make the Bible relevant, but to simply show how relevant it is!”

Purpose of the Focus on the Bible Commentary Series

From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their specialty subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.”

Interviews from the Hermeneia series on Best Bible Commentaries

Allan Harman on Deuteronomy:

“Deuteronomy consists of Moses’ preaching to the children of Israel before the entry into Canaan. The sermons come to a climax in chapters 29 and 30, and I was amazed at the intensity with which Moses pressed home his message. He sets before Israel the alternatives of life and death, and wants them to choose life (30:19-20).”

Richard Belcher on Job:

“There is something unique in this commentary that very few commentaries have. A personal story of suffering is told as one reads the commentary.”

Volumes in the Focus on the Bible Commentary Series

Genesis – Richard Belcher

Deuteronomy – Allan Harman

Dale Ralph Davis, former professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary:

“He keeps the connectedness of the text before us and yet can dash off to capture a Hebrew participle or suffix, pilfer a bit of Near Eastern background, or serve up the succinct result of a word study—all to light up a passage.”

Joshua – Dale Ralph Davis

Richard A. Bodey, professor of homiletics, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School:

“A happy blend of exegetical and historical study on the one hand, and homiletical treatment and application on the other. Ideas pop out everywhere, even in the most unlikely places. New insights abound. No one who reads this book will ever find Joshua dull and tedious again.”

Judges – Dale Ralph Davis

Southwestern Journal of Theology:

“The most practical expository work that this reviewer has ever encountered.”

Judges and Ruth – Stephen Dray

Ruth & Esther – Barry C. Davis and A. Boyd Luter

1 samuel bible commentary1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart – Dale Ralph Davis

Warren Wiersbe, author, Be Series:

“Dale Ralph Davis brings cultural and historical color to the task of interpretation and adds a pastor’s heart for personal application. You will find a point of contact with the lives of Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David as Davis answers the question, “What does God seek when he looks on the heart?” Davis presents a simple exposition of the literary and theological character of the text in a bright and fascinating way. . . presents historical and theological material in a way that can only excite the expositor.”

2 Samuel – Dale Ralph Davis

Mark Johnston, Banner of Truth Magazine:

“He combines the depth of understanding of a thorough-going Old Testament scholar with the breadth of insight of a biblical theologian and the perception of a preacher well-used to addressing contemporary audiences to provide us with a commentary that brings the preaching potential of these books to life.”

1 Kings – Dale Ralph Davis

Simon Gathercole, lecturer in New Testament studies, University of Cambridge:

“One of the reasons I enjoy Davis’ exposition so much is that I feel confident that he has done his exegetical homework, and so is not just delivering blessed, unhistorical thoughts on the text. Yet at the same time, he applies the text so well.”

2 Kings – Dale Ralph Davis

Keith Essex, assistant professor of Bible exposition, The Master’s Seminary:

“Today there is a renewed emphasis on the preaching of Old Testament narrative in evangelical circles . . . The six volumes of Ralph Dale Davis of which 2 Kings: The Power and Fury is the culmination are excellent guides for contemporary expositor as he preaches from the ‘former prophets.’ Davis has laid an excellent foundation; may many expositors build upon his work as they preach Old Testament narrative.”

1 Chronicles – Cyril J. Barber

2 Chronicles – Cyril J. Barber

Job – Bill Cotton

Psalms 1–89 – Eric Lane

Psalms 90–150 – Eric Lane

Geoffrey Grogan, former principal emeritus, Glasgow Bible College:

“A commentator of yesteryear once said that he never wrote a commentary on a Bible book before he had read the book through at least 50 times. Eric Lane shows the same extensive direct contact with the text and this gives his work an attractive and stimulating freshness. His views on the chronological order of the psalms are somewhat controversial but will likewise stimulate the reader.”

Proverbs – Eric Lane

Evangelicals Now:

“Here is a book which is orthodox, evangelical, and reformed. It is characterized throughout by a profound sense of seriousness—manifestly written from a depth of personal experience and written not simply to inform the mind but to transform life . . . useful material for discussion and for study groups as well as for personal thought and meditation . . . I warmly commend this book.”

Song of Songs – Richard Brooks

Isaiah – Allan Harman

Alec Motyer, former principal, Trinity College, Bristol, England:

“With Allan Harman’s Isaiah before me, I know what the saying means that ‘even a cat can look at the queen!’ His work has made me wish wholeheartedly that I could start all over again. The detailed interpretative work is superb, and Harman’s defense of the unity of Isaiah is robust (to say the least), and, in my view, unanswerable. I thrill to a commentator whose prime aim is to understand and explain the Hebrew text, not just to distill the opinions of others. Thank God for this book—and its author.”

Hosea – Michael Eaton

Amos – T. J. Betts

Daniel L. Atkin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“What a wonderful gift to the pastor who wants to allow the text of Scripture to drive his sermon. T. J. Betts’ commentary will be ready at hand when I prepare to teach from the prophet Amos. It is a treasure trove for the serious expositor.”

Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah – John L MacKay

Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi: God’s Restored People – John L MacKay

John Currid, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS:

“Professor Mackay has done it again! This is an excellent piece of work on three ‘minor’ prophets that are not well known in the church today. Mackay’s commentary is a must read for pastors and serious Bible students who want to become familiar with what these three prophets have to say to the church today . . . this is a fine work.”


Also see:

Bible Commentary Series (index)

New Testament commentaries (index)

Old Testament commentaries (index)