1, 2 Samuel
Publisher Broadman & Holman
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- John Piper's OT Commentary Recommendations by Desiring God Ministries (John Piper)
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Best Exegetical Commentaries by Jim Rosscup
- Ultimate Commentary Collection - OT Expositional by John Glynn
This is the best commentary on Samuel that I have read, the thought and research that goes into each verse is extremely helpful and detailed. Bergen also does an excellent job unpacking the life of King David.
A good all around commentary. Not as finely tuned to the nuances of narrative art as Brueggemann.
Excellent commentary. I have several of this author's books and find them all interesting and well written.
This is another decent evangelical commentary on the books of Samuel (as well as Tsumura), although it must be said it is much thinner than Tsumura and studies both books! I particularly enjoyed his introduction. Although brief he does lay out some key issues in theological thinking including the issues of Ark Traditions, Rise of David stories, the pro-anti monarchical paradox debate and the succession stories. They are brief but I am glad he included them (as Tsumera misses some of these). I felt that Bergen was limited by the structure, depth and length that the NAC series allows. There were several sections which were underdone. In all it was a great effort considering the confines of the series and well worth referring to. I would place it as a good companion to Tsumura.
By one measure, Ralph Bergen's NAC (1996) has been until now, and still is for II Samuel, the most detailed, recent commentary by a conservative evangelical on Samuel. It's possible that Youngblood's EBC rivals it (e.g. it is longer), but Bergen is much more recent and up-to-date (at least until Youngblood's replacement is out). I prefer to have something much more detailed, with much more time for lengthy reflection, than Bergen provides, and we now have Tsumura for that on I Samuel, but Bergen still is the best you can get for greater than popular-level detail by a conservative, evangelical commentator on II Samuel. Issues of Hebrew language and linguistics are one of Bergen's strengths, and his work is also noted for its discourse analysis. He is aware of historical background concerns as well, but he has taken some criticism for ignoring a lot of recent work in narrative-rhetorical criticism, despite some reviews treating that as one of his strengths. His discussion of the problem of lying disappointed me more than most. His view seemed to me to be at odds with any plausible reading of the text. But problems like that were rare in my use of the commentary. [Full Review]
A solid, semi-technical exposition - Bergen really knows his stuff - though at points he seems constrained by the NAC limitations.
Evangelical reflecting a knowledge of the Hebrew and modern linguistics. [Full Review]