If you are a pastor, preacher, teacher, or a serious student of God’s Word, you’ll want to add “A Commentary On The Psalms, Volume 1 (1-41) by Allen P. Ross to your library. In fact that is the intended audience of the author and his intent is to “help their ability to expound it with precision and depth.” Ross is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School and has also taught at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary. He has authored several other works.
The first 180 pages of the book deal with background material that will prove to be helpful to the expositor. Ross looks at the Value of the Psalms, the Text and Ancient Versions of the Psalms, Titles and Headings of the Psalms, the Historical Interpretations of the Psalms, Interpreting Biblical Poetry, the Literary Forms and Functions in the Psalms, Psalms in Worship, the Theology of the Psalms, and offers guidance in the Exposition of the Psalms. I would encourage you not to skip over this section. You will find these pages indispensable in your understanding of these writings.
Next, Ross takes each of the first 41 Psalms and follows basic exegetical procedures. Each Psalm is taken as a unit complete in itself and the totality of the text is considered. Each chapter unpacks the text under several headings that facilitate a deepening understanding.
The analysis of each Psalm begins with an Introduction where the text itself is shown and its textual variants are given attention. This introduction is followed by the Composition and Context of the text where we are reminded of the overall theme and thrust of the Psalm. Next we are brought to an Exegetical Analysis of the Psalm in which a summary proposition and a general outline is provided. A very thorough Commentary follows that walks the reader thoughfully through the text. Finally, each chapter concludes with a section that states the message of the Psalm and makes Application.
Along the way there are a good amount of footnotes that prove helpful but there are not so many that it seems overwhelming. In fact, I felt that the technical/devotional balance of this commentary was very well done.
What I discovered was, as I worked my way through this commentary, I wanted to see what truths the next Psalm held. I gladly recommend this resource, it is a beneficial addition to the list of helpful writings on the Psalms, and I anxiously await the next volume.
You can order it here.