Deuteronomy. Holman OT Commentary

By Doug McIntosh
Nashville : Broadman & Holman (2002). xiii + 386 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Grisanti
17.1 (Spring 2006) : 125-126

This commentary, as well as others in the same series, seeks to provide its readers with a user-friendly resource that will primarily help lay-people who are teaching the Bible in their local church or in individual and group Bible studies. After an introductory chapter that introduces the reader to the authorship of Deuteronomy (accepting Mosaic authorship and a date of composition of ca. 1406 B.C.), the recipients and the themes of Deuteronomy, McIntosh provides a commentary on each chapter of the book. Each chapter of the commentary has ten components: a stimulating quotation, a summary statement for the chapters under consideration (“in a nutshell”), an introductory illustration to catch the attention of the audience, a verse-by-verse commentary (albeit brief), an overview of principles and applications that arise from the passage at hand, life application, a suggested prayer, a consideration of details not covered by the commentary section (“Deeper Discoveries”), giving attention to certain key words, phrases, and themes of the Bible, a teaching outline or plan, and several issues for discussion. The commentary section has interspersed throughout helpful summary statements at each main point as well as at the end of the chapter (“supporting idea” and “main idea review”). A glossary of key terms and a brief bibliography conclude the volume.

This reviewer has only used a handful of the volumes in this series and with mixed success. The present volume is one of the better volumes in the series. A reader who understands the limitations of space available to the author can read this commentary and gain a better feel for the message of Deuteronomy. For those who are searching for illustrations, appropriate quotes, and summary principles, McIntosh offers potential help to the preacher.

One of the major disadvantages of this commentary on Deuteronomy, a book that gives primary attention to the Mosaic Law, is that it does not offer the reader any suggestions on how the Mosaic Law does or does not apply to the believer of today. The applicational thoughts offered by the author are generally valid, but would have been strengthened by giving some attention to that issue.

The editor of the series and the author of each volume are pursuing a very commendable goal, i.e., providing an understandable treatment of each biblical book for lay-people.