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The Psalms continue to have an enormous influence on people’s lives all round the world and down the centuries they have brought comfort and encouragement to countless millions of people.
Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary–General of the United Nations, died in a plane crash in 1961. His briefcase was recovered from the crash site and among the items it contained were a copy of the New Testament and the Book of Psalms.
In the New Testament the most quoted book of the Old Testament is the Psalms. Jesus clearly committed them to memory and found them speaking to him and for him concerning his ministry in life and death. The Apostles turned to the Psalms in their preaching as well as when praying for boldness in the face of strong persecution. Following the example set by our Lord, the writers of the New Testament saw them as pointers to the person and work of Christ.
In this commentary, Philip Eveson brings his skills as an Old Testament scholar, blended with a warm pastor’s heart to produce a work that will serve the student, the preacher/teacher and the devotional reader equally well.
I have just started reading through this as I’m doing quite a bit of work on the Psalms on and off at the moment. Whereas most commentaries on the Psalms (even two–volume ones) suffer from not enough commentary on the text due to the vast nature of the book, this one does seem to devote enough space to comment on each Psalm. As commentaries go the Welwyn series are not particularly technical (look elsewhere if you want to go into detail on translation of the Hebrew text) so Eveson concentrates mainly on opening up the text (translation being dealt with only if there is a real need, and then very simply and clearly) and this is a good thing as he is a very gifted Old Testament Bible teacher! The Psalms I have read so far are covered very adequately and Eveson is very good at bringing in impressions of the material from other scriptures. This actually gives the commentary of a broader approach as to how Psalms compliments and fits in with other Scripture. The other thing which is particularly good is that there is no forcing Christ into the scripture here. Jesus commented that he is found in all the scriptures (John 5:39 and 46) and this is definitely very true! But sometimes it is as an impression rather than a direct reference and Eveson is extremely skilled at how each part of a Psalm should be understood in its self, but also particularly in this context. So this is definitely a very good commentary for sermon preparation. But it would be equally good for personal Bible study and leading Bible studies. All this and at a good price to!
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