Here is my pick of my top 2020 releases related to Old Testament studies.

#5: Discovering Psalms (by Jerome D. Croach) is a very helpful guide in better understanding the nature and theology of the Psalter. Published by Eerdmans, many readers can learn about how to better approach and understand the psalms.

#4: Exodus Old & New (by L. Michael Morales) has some intriguing thoughts on the powers of darkness, and helps to make sense of how the initial exodus relates to the new exodus and the New Testament (and God’s mission in the world through God’s Son).

#3: 1 & 2 Samuel (by V. Philips Long) takes an obscure narrative that is far removed from modernity and puts some flesh and bone on it. Long takes his time in unpacking verse after verse. I personally now have a better grasp of 1-2 Samuel which has (for a long time) remained a dry and obscure narrative for me. For those who better want to understand 1-2 Samuel, this is a great place to start.

#2: Judges (by David Beldman) blends well ancient war texts (and their often neglected context) and more modern discussions on violence, politics, and the role of God’s people. Beldman here answers ‘What is the mission of the Church?’ while setting a framework for understanding a violent and often-confusing book of the Old Testament. This is an exciting resource; one may forget they’re reading a commentary!

#1: Genesis (by John Goldingay) is a resource that I cannot laud enough. With careful attention paid to detail and to syntax, as well as to the current debates happening within the Church at this moment, this is a commentary full of practical application and cautious exegesis. With insight into the world of the First Testament as well as a sharp eye on the what others (past and present) have been saying about Genesis, this is a great bang for your buck. If you’re looking to get a Genesis commentary by a respected scholar, look no further.

Honorable Mention

Numbers (by David L. Stubbs) in the Brazos Press series (2020 paperback edition) deals with the nature of Numbers. Is Numbers narrative? Is it law? A mixture? Full of great insights and fairly straightforward, it offers better clarity into questions about the role of the church today and our role within society. Our call is allegiance to Jesus, and Numbers offers warnings and guidelines to that end.