Subscribe now

Psalms Vol. 1: From Suffering to Glory (Welwyn Commentary Series)

By Philip Eveson
May 2017 | Review by Phil Heaps
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-78397-020-9
  • Pages: 462
  • Price: £15.99
Buy this book »

This commentary from Philip Eveson, in the Welwyn Commentary Series, begins with a ten-page introduction, briefly touching on psalm headings (part of the Hebrew text); the division of the Psalter into five books; different types of psalm (praise, prayer, thanksgiving, wisdom, law, history, etc.); Hebrew poetry; musical accompaniment; and the use of psalms in personal devotion and communal worship.

Generally, about six pages are given for each psalm, that is 2-3 verses per page of commentary. Occasionally the treatment is uneven. For example, Psalm 39 (13 verses) gets a longer treatment than Psalm 37 (40 verses). The commentary concludes with a short bibliography and a few pages of endnotes.

Each psalm is given a brief title intended to capture the central theme. The exposition starts with a brief introduction, then divides the psalm into sections, each with a short heading. These headings communicate a view of the structure of the psalm, which is often helpful and sometimes memorable (for example, Psalm 24: ‘Approaching the Lord, vv. 1-6’ and ‘The Lord approaching, vv. 7-10’).

The commentary on each psalm contains a good variety of observations, illustrations, applications and cross references to other psalms and other Scriptures. The approach is theologically solid in its commitment to the Psalms as God’s inerrant Word.

Occasionally, the use of multiple cross references and treatment of broader biblical themes seem to obscure the content of the psalm itself; or the exposition focuses on detail, but is light on larger hermeneutical issues. But, by and large, the balance is good. There is the occasional technical reference to underlying Hebrew, but the book is clearly intended and suitable for the general reader.

In almost every chapter, I found something helpful in terms of understanding or applying the psalm; or a striking turn of phrase. Occasionally there were stimulating ideas I had not come across before; for example, linking the content of Psalm 23 to Israel’s wilderness wanderings.

Overall the commentary is sane, balanced and wholesome. Perhaps its greatest strength is in drawing readers’ attention to how the various psalms point to Christ or connect with key gospel themes.

Phil Heaps

Yate

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Speaking of Women: Interpreting Paul
Andrew Perriman

Andrew Perriman’s book seeks to provide biblical justification for the ordination of women as ministers of the gospel. On the rear cover Dr R. T. France, formerly principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, claims that the volume ‘offers the best hope…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Larry Norman and the perils of Christian rock
Gregory Thornbury

What are we to make of Larry Norman, the controversial pioneer of Christian pop music in the late 1960s and ‘70s? Gregory Alan Thornbury (son of occasional ET contributor John) tells the fascinating story with riveting style and careful accuracy.…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost
Melvin Tinker

A book offering to tell us ‘how the West was lost’ has set itself a very ambitious target. Perhaps it needs a few more pages to quite hit that target. But it succeeds admirably in drawing our attention to a…

John Henry Newman: Becoming Rome’s first ecumenical saint
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
John Henry Newman: Becoming Rome’s first ecumenical saint
Richard Bennett and Michael de Semlyen

The German-born Pope Benedict XVI is due to carry out a state visit to the UK from 16-19 September. The climax of this visit is a Mass in Coventry at which the Pope will beatify John Henry Newman (1801-1890). Newman…