Skip to main content

A Commentary on the Psalms, Vol. 3 (90-150)

A Commentary on the Psalms Vol. 3 (90-150) by Allen P. Ross

Anyone who undertakes a commentary series on the Psalms, much less a three volume series on the Psalms should be commended. Allen P. Ross, Professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School has accomplished such a feat, with an admirable amount of focus, vision, and challenge to his readers.  This third volume by Kregel Academic focuses on Psalms 90-150.  Each psalms begins with an introduction, a section on composition, exegetical analysis, expository commentary, message and applications.  The value of this kind of commentary comes in the painstaking exegetical analysis of the Hebrew text and in seeking out each psalm’s main theme.

Ross weaves together insights from other scholars as well as his own interpretation, which comes to the foreground in his analysis of Psalm 103:4b.  Ross writes, “The psalmist now declares that God crowns the believers with loyal love and tender compassion.  By using “who crowns you”, the psalmist is signifying how God honors his people-he makes them feel like kings, as Anderson paraphrases it (p.713) (234).”  Ross goes onto indicate that these attributes of love and compassion were imparted to humans in creation, yet restored in redemption.  What is helpful in Ross’ analysis is the pictures that he draws out from the words of the psalmists, and understanding one as kingly is just one of these examples.

In describing the blessings that flow from God to believers in the context of Psalm 112, Ross gives us a healthy dose of realism by stating, “In describing the blessings, however, the psalmist gives some hints that they are not necessarily immediate or untroubled.  The psalmist lives in darkness and needs light; he has enemies and needs victory, he hears reports of disaster and must remain steadfast (383).”  The blessings of God are not like a coke dispensing machine or a Pez dispenser that immediately pops out one’s favorite drink or candy at the push of a button.  No, there is often waiting involved with blessing, and sometimes the blessing is in knowing that you lived a righteous and just life for others.  Ross carefully gives us insight that even when blessings are given, “they are obligations for the righteous (383).” 

No doubt this is a hefty tome to read through, but it is worth reading to grasp the beauty and wisdom of the last part of the Psalter.
hanks to Kregel Academic for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…