MASTER'S SEMINARY JOURNAL

BOOK REVIEW

The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expositional Commentary. Vol. 3.


By Thomas E. McComiskey, ed.
Grand Rapids : Baker (1998). Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Grisanti
10.2 (Fall 1999) : 313-314

This volume represents the third and final volume in a three-volume series of commentaries on the Minor Prophets. It includes commentaries on Zephaniah and Haggai by J. Alec Motyer, Zechariah by Thomas E. McComiskey, and Malachi by Douglas Stuart. McComiskey, who edited the series and contributed one of the commentaries in the present volume, completed work on this volume just prior to this death in 1996.

After a brief introductory section, each commentary has easy-to-follow sections headed by the author’s analytical outline (normally to the second level). Parallel columns of translation (the author’s personal translation and the NRSV) introduce each new section of the outline. The interpretive comments fall into two sections: Exegesis (at the top of the page) and Exposition (at the bottom of the page). The exegesis section gives attention to word meaning, grammatical and syntactical issues, and significant textual problems. It includes the Hebrew terms under consideration (followed by the author’s translation in parentheses). The exposition section attempts to amplify the conclusions reached in the exegesis section with a view to sermonic use. Here the Hebrew terms are transliterated, and related theological and hermeneutical issues receive attention. Usually, the exposition section receives more space than the exegesis material.

Each of the commentaries in this series and in the entire set are well done, easy to read, and balanced in approach. M otyer and Stuart give more attention to rhetorical features while McComiskey places more emphasis on biblical theology. Stuart’s commentary on Malachi emphasizes the coherence between Malachi’s message and that of Deuteronomy, includes the second largest bibliography (12 pages; Waltke’s bibliography for Micah is the largest bibliography [15 pages]), and represents the fullest commentary of the series (the most pages of commentary per verse).

Although this volume was published in 1998, it appears that some of the contributions were completed long before that time. Motyer cites no reference works later than 1988 in his Zephaniah commentary and 1987 in his Haggai material. McComiskey’s and Stuart’s bibliographies cite nothing later than 1993 and 1994, respectively. Some gap between the research and publication dates is unavoidable, but such a long gap is regrettable.555 Besides the Expositor’s Bible Commentary’s one-volume on Daniel and the Minor Prophets (vol. 7), the Word Biblical Commentary’s two volumes (vols. 31- 32), and the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary’s five volumes on the same corpus (vols. 22-25), the present volume is part of the only completed set that deals with the Minor Prophets from an evangelical perspective. Although not the most technical set, the present volume and the set as a whole represents the fullest treatment of the Minor Prophets that also gives attention to sermonic issues. Its combination of attention given to technical and expositional issues makes it one of the best sets on this part of the Old Testament.