Most profitable commentaries on Job

Discussion in 'OT Wisdom Literature' started by KGP, Jan 27, 2018.

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  1. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    A quick search in this sub forum yielded a recommendation from Greenbaggins for Caryle’s commentary, especially with respect for how to understand the wisdom of Job’s friends.

    What others would you be eager to recommend?

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  2. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    From the humongous to the relatively brief, James Durham's Lectures on Job is rare among Puritan works, a short treatment of a long book. Many have found it a useful volume for family devotions as each chapter is covered in four or five pages closing with several observations or uses. Naphtali Press published a new edition in 1995 and a 2nd in 2003 which is about out of print (check RHB or Solid Ground; I don't have any more). I am working on a corrected and updated edition for RHB to reissue when advisable, as well as the lectures on the Ten Commandments.
  3. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    The Durham book which Chris recommends is wonderful. Thomas Aquinas, The Literal Exposition on Job is very worthwhile. Franz Delitzsch's commentary on Job in the Keil and Delitzsch commentary on the OT is also outstanding. It is not a commentary, but O. Palmer Robertson's orientation to Job in The Christ of Wisdom is also illuminating. And although it's impossible to agree with many of his stances, Robert Alter's translation of Job is remarkable for vividness and beauty.
  4. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    The Storms Breaks (Job Simply Explained) by Derek Thomas.
  5. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

  6. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I second this. Job is one of the hardest books to preach through. It is repetitive (from a preaching standpoint) and has "cycles" that almost require you to preach through 1-3 chapters at a time.
  7. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    The best and most thorough work on Job is Joseph Caryl's 12 volume set.

    As much as Caryl may have made a mistake in preaching on Job to his people for 40 years, his commentary on it cannot be beat. Its outstanding.
  8. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    40 years!?

    What happened there, the congregation failed to enter into the book of Psalms due to unbelief? ;-)

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  9. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with Durham and would also add Calvin’s lectures on Job.
  10. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    The suggestions are all excellent so far. There is one caveat with Caryl's commentary, and that is that he sometimes (not always) gives applications for several conflicting interpretations of the same text. He will say, "here are the various interpretive options," and then he will apply all of them. However, that does not take away from the brilliance of the work, or the care of the exegesis, and it is still the best commentary out there on Job. As for those not mentioned so far, Ashley (NICOT), Ash (PTW), Konkel (NIVAC), are all well worth checking out. Longman's Job commentary is definitely one of his better commentaries, and the massive effort by Clines is worth reading with discernment (as he is post-modern, he twists the text in places). Also worthy of consideration is Seow's recent work.
  11. PaulCLawton

    PaulCLawton Puritan Board Freshman

    I have benefited from Job: The Wisdom of the Cross by Christopher Ash.
  12. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Caryl had one of the largest puritan churches of the day. If memory serves me, he had almost 600 people when he began preaching Job. That is astoundingly big for his day. But, alas, 40 years in the same book brought his church down to about a dozen once he was done.
  13. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Hard to believe he preached only from Job for 40 years. There must be more to it than that.
  14. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Not that Im aware.

    Even one other book published was this:
    A directory for the afflicted: being select extracts from the first fourteen chapters of the Rev. Joseph Caryl's commentary on the book of Job
  15. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    I found what I was looking for in Joel R. Beeke and Randall J. Pederson's introduction to the 12-volume set:

    "Believing that the Book of Job was extremely relevant to the times, Caryl preached from it 424 times over a period of 24 years [not 40! - RZ], averaging 10 sermons per chapter. It has been said that his congregation dwindled significantly because he preached at such length from the Book of Job. History, however, affords no evidence to confirm this report; besides, one must bear in mind that, over those 24 years, Caryl only preached an average of 3 sermons on Job every 2 months." (Volume 1, page v).

    So, yes, Caryl preached from other parts of Scripture over those 24 years if he averaged only 3 Job sermons every 2 months.
  16. Unworthy_Servant

    Unworthy_Servant Puritan Board Freshman

  17. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    A big AMEN to the sermons from Calvin. I have an edition from Banner of Truth, which is a facsimile of the english translation of the original sermons. Not only was it of benefit to me to understand Job, but also to see the pastoral heart of Calvin.
  18. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Good to know. 40 was stuck in my head. Thanks for the update. But as far as I remember, he didnt publish anything else other than Job. But how excellent that work is, I dont know if he needed to!

    He did, however contribute some work to a English Greek lexicon for the New Testament (1661), being a solid linguistic.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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