Haggai, Malachi. Vol. 21A in the New American Commentary

By Richard A. Taylor and E. Ray Clendenen
Nashville : Broadman & Holman (2004). 496 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Grisanti
18.1 (Spring 2007) : 137-138

Richard Taylor, author of the commentary on Haggai, is Professor of OT and Director of Ph.D. Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. His specialties involve Aramaic studies and Syriac literature. Ray Clendenen is the Executive Editorial Director for Bibles, Academic, and Reference Books at Broadman & Holman Publishers. He has been a college and seminary professor, is the general editor for the NAC series, and served as the associate general editor for the Holman Christian Standard Translation. His specialty is Hebrew textlinguistics. As with each author in this series, Taylor and Clendenen write from an evangelical perspective with allegiance to the complete authority and inerrancy of the Scriptures. This volume represents a superb addition to an already strong commentary series (for more information on the series, see the above review of another NAC commentary). One of the factors that makes this volume so appealing is that the authors had 200- 250 pages to devote to a few chapters, unlike some of the volumes that have to cover many more chapters with only a comparatively few more pages (Mathews in his Genesis commentary had an average of 25 pages per chapter, while Taylor and Clendenen had between 60–100 pages per chapter available for their comments). Besides that logistical detail, Taylor and Clendenen both treat the biblical text carefully and thoroughly.

In their brief but helpful introduction to each book (Haggai, 77 pages; Malachi, 37 pages), Taylor and Clendenen deal with the customary topics of authorship, date, provenance, genre, message, purpose, literary structure, unity, language, style, and textual history of the book. Both authors affirm that the books are unified compositions written by one author. Although Taylor does not provide any excurses in his commentary, Clendenen provides five of them: Priests and Levites in critical perspective, the Levitical Covenant, divine impassibility, immutability of the everlasting God, and tithing in the church. If comparisons can be made, it seems that Taylor gives more attention to text-critical issues in his footnotes, whereas Clendenen, in light of his training in textlinguistics, provides more focus on the structure found in the text of Malachi.

This volume represents a fine addition to OT commentaries that have already been published. For an evangelical in particular, this volume will provide great assistance in understanding and teaching or preaching the prophetic message in these small prophetic books.