Resources for Biblical, Theological, and Religious Studies maintained by Tyler F. Williams

OT Commentary Survey - Wisdom & Psalms

The book of Psalms has been a favourite book for devotional use throughout the centuries. It has also been the subject of much study. Good critical commentaries include the three WBC volumes (Allen, Craigie, and Tate; while Craigie is an excellent form-critical discussion, it is a bit dated) and the works by Kraus and Gerstenberger. Special note should be made of Hossfeld and Zenger's coming critical commentary on the Psalms. This is a translation of their volume in the Herders theologischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament series, which is a first-rate critical commentary on the Psalms. Their more popular commentaries in Die Neue Echter Bibel series are also excellent. Dahood is second to none in regards to interaction with Ugaritic materials, though many of his suggestions are quite speculative (Cragie is a good resource for a comparative reading).

Pastors can't go wrong with Mays, McCann, Wilson, or Broyles. All three reflect current research on the Psalms, with Mays, McCann, and Wilson having the added focus on the shape and shaping of the book of Psalms. I especially like Davidson for his theological reflection, and Schaefer for his understanding of liturgy. While it is difficult to highlight one commentary as the best of the bunch, I would probably have to go with McCann as a pastoral-lay oriented commentary, and Hossfeld and Zenger for a scholarly one.