In this commentary, author Mark J. Boda has managed to continue the quality commentary that I expect from this series. My personal tendency is to criticize a commentary such as this one for not including enough comment on issues of biblical criticism, the language, and translation issues. But those are not the primary focus here. This commentary is designed to be read by the non-theologian and people who do not read Hebrew.
At the same time it does have considerable information on the structure of the book and on the language. I found the introduction to the genalogies (pp. 25-31) particularly helpful, because it takes on issues such as the purpose of the genealogies and why they are included in the way that they are. I’ve previously written about the importance of genealogies and why they should not be neglected. These pages make many of those points and a number more as well.
In the section on 1 Chronicles 1-9, the commentary section follows a consistent structure that differs from what it follows in the rest of the book. The first portion discusses sources. Chronicles is one of those sections of the Bible where we have source explicitly referenced and easily discernible. The second portion discusses structure and content. While most readers will probably be going more directly for content, the excellent discussion of structure is one of the strong points of this commentary. Finally, there is a section on significance, particularly important because we are dealing with genealogies.
The whole commentary is 449 pages, including the text of the NLT. The remainder of the commentary starting with 1 Chronicles 10 is follows the more standard format of comment on short passages in succession. The discussion is thorough. References to Hebrew are transliterated and explained adequately for someone who does not know the language. (Those who do read Hebrew will, or at least should, want to know more.)
I would like to have an index in a book like this. I realize that people generally read commentaries by going to the section on a passage in which they have an interest. I would like to be able to follow some themes, such as prayer, through the commentary, and an index would be extremely helpful.
The bibliography occupies 13 pages, and will prove useful. I don’t have enough knowledge of the literature in this area to criticize the content, but it looks quite good in general.
I’m delighted to be studying these two books using this commentary. I personally want more comments on the language, but that is something I can get from other commentaries. This one is accessible and useful especially to the pastor or teaching in the church.