Best Psalms Commentaries | Updated for 2020

The best Psalms commentaries are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Psalms that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more.


Psalms Commentaries: Best Reviews


Psalms 1-72 and 73-150
Kidner Classic Commentaries
by Derek Kidner

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Psalms commentary by Derek Kidner

Reviews and Accolades:

• Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Psalms

• Tremper Longman: “highly recommended for its theological insight and practical bent…well worth the price”

• Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Psalms, “[Kidner’s] comments are clear and very concise, but always reflect the extensive learning and insight of the author.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classese

Purpose: From the publisher: “The works of Derek Kidner (MA, Christ’s College, Cambridge) are full of the marks of both professor and pastor with his even-­handed scholarship as well as his devotional insight.”


Psalms 1-50 by P. Craigie; 51-100 L. Allen; 101-150 by M. Tate
Word Biblical Commentary

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Psalms commentary by Leslie Allen

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: M. Tate (Vol. 3), 4 out of 5 stars: “excellent contribution”

• John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “The best evangelical commentary on Psalms.”

• Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Psalms, “I’ve included the three WBC volumes primarily on the strength of Craigie’s contribution. It is technical, but very helpful.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.


Psalms 1-72
NIV Application Commentary
by Gerald H. Wilson

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Psalms by Gerald H. Wilson

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “strong in all three sections of the series…has much value, especially for ministers”

• Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Psalms, “The NIVAC series is a mixed bag, but Gerald Wilson’s initial volume on the Psalms is one of the standouts.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.


Psalms
Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised
by Willem A. VanGemeren

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Psalms by Willem VanGemeren

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “excellent on the text and the text’s theology and is particularly helpful in sermon preparation”

• Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Psalms, “It is certainly the most helpful commentary on the Psalms that I have yet read…I cannot recommend this commentary highly enough.”

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Willem VanGemeren on this volume

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.


Psalms 1-41, 42-89, and 90-150
Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms
by John Goldingay

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Psalms commentary by John Goldingay

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 4.5 out of 5 stars, “an extensive interpretation of the Psalms, focusing on poetics, grammar, and especially theology of the individual psalms”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The series is tailored to the distinctives of poetry and wisdom literature, featuring emphasis on the message of the biblical book; special attention to poetic structure and literary devices; incisive comments based on the author’s translation of the Hebrew text; exegetical rigor that incorporates linguistic, historical, and canonical insights; closing reflections on each section that explore the text’s theological dimensions; and textual notes that provide resources for advanced readers.” See more about the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series.


Psalms
Understanding the Bible Commentary Series
by Craig C. Broyles

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Psalms commentary by Craig Broyles

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “brief but solid…recognizes the importance of christological interpretation”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.


Psalms
Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching
by James L. Mays

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Psalms commentary by James Mays

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “focuses on the literary expression and theological message of the Psalms”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.


Psalms 1-72 and 73-150
The Preacher’s Commentary
by Donald M. Williams

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Psalms commentary by Donald Williams

Reviews and Accolades:

• Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Psalms, “This is a non-technical, highly readable commentary, with a strongly devotional and practical approach. It is well worth consulting.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary…The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.” See more about The Preacher’s Commentary series.


Psalms
The Forms of the Old Testament Literature
by Erhard S. Gerstenberger

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Psalms commentary by Gerstenberger

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “an excellent tool for scholars”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL) is a series of volumes that seeks to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book or unit of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, each volume examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question.”


Psalms
Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary
by Geoffrey W. Grogan

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Psalms commentary by Grogan

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “masterful at theological analysis”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Two features distinguish The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection…The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus.” See more about the Two Horizons Bible commentary series.


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Psalms 73-150
New American Commentary
by Daniel J. Estes

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Psalms commentary by Daniel Estes

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Daniel Estes on this volume

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is for those who have been seeking a commentary that honors the Scriptures, represents the finest in contemporary evangelical scholarship and lends itself to the practical work of preaching and teaching. This series serves as both a minister’s friend and a student’s guide.” See more about the New American Commentary series.


The Book of Psalms
New International Commentary on the Old Testament
by N. deClaisse-Walford, R. , and B. Tanner

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Psalms commentary by Walford

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.


Psalms
Tyndale Old Testament Commentary
by Tremper Longman III

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Psalms commentary by Tremper Longman

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.


Psalms 73-150
NIV Application Commentary
by W. Dennis Tucker and Jamie A. Grant

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Psalms NIVAC commentary

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.


Psalms
New Cambridge Bible Commentary
by Walter Brueggemann and William H. Bellinger, Jr.

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Psalms commentary by Brueggemann

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This text introduces the book of Psalms and provides an exposition of each psalm with attention to genre, liturgical connections, societal issues, and the psalm’s place in the book of Psalms as a whole.” See more about New Cambridge Bible Commentaries.


Psalms
New Beacon Bible Commentary
by David Thompson

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Psalms commentary by David Thompson

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers 

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Beacon Bible Commentary provides 21st-century scholars, pastors, theological students, and laity an academically competent, readable commentary in the Wesleyan theological tradition.” See more about New Beacon Bible Commentaries.


The Psalms as Christian Worship
by Bruce K. Waltke and James M. Houston

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Psalms commentary by Bruce Waltke

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Bruce K. Waltke begins the collaboration by first skillfully establishing the meaning of the chosen psalms through careful exegesis in which each text is interpreted in light of its historical backgrounds, its literary form, and the poet’s rhetoric. James M. Houston then exposits each text’s relevance in conjunction with the Church’s interpretation of it throughout her history.”


Psalms
New Collegeville Bible Commentary
by Dianne Bergant

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Psalms commentary by Diane Bergant

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Comprehensive and understandable, the New Collegeville Bible Commentary brings expert insight into the Old and New Testament to Bible study participants, teachers, students, preachers, and all readers of the Bible.”


Technical Commentaries


The Psalms
Eerdmans Critical Commentary
by Samuel Terrien

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Psalms commentary by Terrien

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “In the commentary itself Terrien freshly elucidates the theological significance of these collected poems by putting readers in touch with the formal versatility and religious passion of the psalmists themselves.”


Psalms
Hermeneia
by Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and Erich Zenger

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Psalms commentary Hermeneia

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Hermeneia commentary series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books…” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.


Psalms 1-41, 42-89, 90-150
Kregel Exegetical Library
by Allen P. Ross

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Psalms commentary by Allen Ross

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find this commentary invaluable for developing an understanding of Psalms and for improving one’s ability to exposit it with precision and depth.” See more about the Kregel Exegetical Library series.


The Psalms
The Old Testament Library
by Artur Weiser

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Psalms commentary by Artur Weiser

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Psalms
Geneva Series of Commentaries
by W.S. Plumer

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Psalms commentary Plumer

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Dr. Plumer’s Commentary avoids this defect, the author believing that from the Psalms ‘piety has derived more nourishment than from any other source,’ and that his work should serve that same purpose.”


Psalms
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
edited by Craig A. Blaising

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Psalms commentary by Craig Blaising

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights.” See more about the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series.


Are you a pastor?

On the page Psalms Commentaries for Pastors you find commentaries that uniquely designed for pastors in that they focus on application and spend less time on technical discussions.


Also see:

Compare 75 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart

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