Psalms Volume 2 (NIVAC) by Tucker and Grant

book psa 2

We have waited for this commentary for a long time. Gerald Wilson’s volume 1 on Psalms 1-72 has been out for years and has been the most-decorated volume in the entire NIVAC series. His untimely death necessitated others produce this commentary and Dennis Tucker and Jamie Grant have filled that lacuna. They have the credentials in scholarship to write this commentary that is, perhaps, unfairly in the spotlight and will face more scrutiny than usual. Wilson was like the guru on the Psalms, and as these authors admit in the preface, he singlehandedly defined the direction the scholarly world has taken since the 1980s on the Psalms. Such influence casts deep shadows, yet these authors acquitted themselves nicely. Beyond the scholarly world, pastors and Bible students will see and love it for what it’s meant to be–thorough commentary that bridges to contemporary life.

Two things become obvious in the Introduction. They are only going to write on what Wilson left undone and intended for volume 2. Since most who purchase this volume will likely have volume 1, that approach makes sense. They also will write with profound respect for Wilson, yet not be afraid to gently disagree on any point. I’m impressed by that style.

The Introduction, then, is taken up with two main concerns: the shape of the Psalter and the theological themes of the book. I don’t buy into the idea of editors changing the Psalms, but I do believe these scholarly discussions uncover intent. The Psalms aren’t haphazardly thrown together. There is purpose. As for theology, the Psalms are both so unique and precious that theological understanding is paramount. I enjoyed what I read here.

The commentary is fine as well. It follows the NIVAC pattern and uses it to advantage. As would be the case with any commentary, I might not agree with their slant on certain psalms, but they give real help. Just think, over 1000 pages on Psalms 73-150!

This commentary exceeded what I expected, accomplished all of its goals, and would make a fine addition to your library. I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

7 thoughts on “Psalms Volume 2 (NIVAC) by Tucker and Grant

  1. Hi Jimmy,

    I will say this with all the respect I can master. You and the geeky Calvinist have found a way of writing almost the same reviews for every commentary and that is sad.

    What really is good about this commentary? How does it compare to Wilson’s (NIVAC Vol. 1)?

    The commentary is obviously academically sound but it is not as insightful and it’s nothing compared to Wilson’s. Grant has a good understanding of how the Psalms work but the Psalms I have read do not give an impression that he has poured over the psalms to the point of being mastered by them like Wilson, Zenger, Kidner and Jacobson.

    • Hello Mr. B. I’ve read some of the Geeky Calvinist’s reviews, but not enough to know how much we compare. I certainly don’t study his before writing mine and I’m confident he wouldn’t study mine either.

      I really do think this is a helpful, quality commentary.
      Kidner is the master of the pithy and no one has his same qualities. In fact, no one will ever replace what he contributes. Wilson wrote a winner for sure, though on the other half of the Psalms. That difference and the totally different style of commentaries makes them rather hard to compare. Wilson’s groundbreaking work on structure will always be appreciated too. The most obvious competition to this NAC is Ross’s KEC volumes. I don’t know if you are evaluating from a scholar or pastor’s perspective, but my reviews are primarily for a pastor’s perspective. I often comment on what I assume the scholars would think about it work, but that’s not my expertise. Are you approaching your opinion from a scholar’s or a pastor’s perspective? Which one of these commentaries do you like the best?

    • Please forgive the mistake. I thought you were referring to a review I wrote this week and answered with the wrong book I’m mind. I’ll have to refresh my mind on this review and will comment later! So sorry for the mix up!

  2. Hi Jimmy,

    My criticism with your reviews is not that they are the same with the Geeky Calvinists, but that like him, your review on Psalms vol. 2 is ALMOST the same as any other review you have written about another commentary.

    I know what to expect from every review you will write even if you are reviewing a different book or commentary. This makes your reviews less helpful.

    You hardly mention or even give an example of
    1. how exegetically insightful or fresh a commentary is.
    2. It’s expository value for the preacher
    3. It’s theological richness or lack thereof
    4. And in the case of Tucker and Grant volume, its practical value.

    Tucker and Grant’s volume is sort of a mixture of the NIVAC and Hemeneia (New Testament use of the psalm) formats but it lacks the exegetical theological insights/richness of the Hemeneia volume and the mixture of exegetical theology and application of Wilson’s volume.

    The first thing I look for in a commentary is it’s exegetical theological richness or freshness which can easily convert into rich sermons. And I have failed to find this in T & G’s volume. It’s good with respect to how psalms work together (academically update) but the comments on the text are not insightful.

    Ross’ 3 volume work on the psalms is great exegetically but it’s traditional (doesn’t workout how the psalms work together like Wilson, Hosfeld and Zenger, Tucker & Grant ) and lacks the theological punch found in his Genesis commentary.

    • You ought to write some reviews. Probably others would like the approach you mention. I’m probably too generous in some of my reviews, but I’m rooting for publishers because the book market is tricky in this digital age. In my reviews, if I don’t brag on a point about a volume it could be because there’s not as much to praise on that score. Commentaries can have different strengths, so you should write reviews on what you think is most important.

  3. You ought to write some reviews. Probably others would like the approach you mention. I’m probably too generous in some of my reviews, but I’m rooting for publishers because the book market is tricky in this digital age. In my reviews, if I don’t brag on a point about a volume it could be because there’s not as much to praise on that score. Commentaries can have different strengths, so you should write reviews on what you think is most important.

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