Friday, January 14, 2022

A Book Review - "An Exegesis of Psalms 1-41" by Dr. Thomas Strouse, Th.D.

"An Exegesis of Psalms 1-41" by Dr. Thomas Strouse, Pastor of Bible Baptist Church (BBC), Cromwell, CT and Professor Emeritus at the Bible Baptist Theological Seminary (BBTS), Cromwell, CT. The seminary operates under the authority of BBC. Dr. Strouse mentions in the Acknowledgement page that during the years 2002-2005 he wrote this commentary on BOOK 1 of the Psalter and taught the results of his study and work to the Adult Sunday School class (of a previous church). The members were instrumental in enhancing this book through their contributions via comments, observations, suggestions and corrections, including some who financially contributed towards the publication of this book.

Dr. Strouse' observations are based upon the study of the preserved Hebrew text (The Masoretic Text). While most Bible commentaries neglect the inspired headings, Dr. Strouse' work builds upon each title and provides a historical and Scriptural background for each of the Titled Psalms.

The first 16 pages offers a short introduction to the book of Psalms. He explains the names and divisions of Psalms, the authorship and date, the Titled and Untitled Psalms, the Nature of Hebrew poetry including figures of speech, literary structure, and the theology of Psalms. The rest of the book from pages 17 to 369 is an exposition of each of the 41 Psalms which composes BOOK 1 of 5 books or divisions of the Psalter. It is loaded with great information linking many of the Psalms to the life and times of David. The footnotes are copious but incisive (there are 923 footnotes). Pages 371 to 373 contains the Bibliography.

I have read other Bible commentaries in conjunction with Dr. Strouse's book (example, Vangemeren's "Psalms" - Expositor's Bible Commentary - Revised Edition; Kidner's "Psalms 1-72" - Tyndale O.T. Commentaries; Alden's "Psalms Vol. 1 Songs of Devotion" - Everyman's Bible Commentary; Sorenson's "The Book of Psalms" - Understanding the Bible series) and I have found Dr. Strouse's work to be exceptional. First, because it is Biblical in approach and substance (meaning he receives the word of God as such and avoids the ditch of textual criticism), and second because he is insightful in bringing out the content and context of each Psalm. 

Dr. Strouse's book is 373 pages of good reading.

(c) 2006, Thomas Strouse; Emmanuel Baptist Theological Press.

Monday, February 01, 2021

A Reading Recommendation: "The Christian on the Mount" by Thomas Watson

Thomas Watson is a master theologian and writer. Naturally, there is the need to look beyond the more egregious aspects of his Puritan theology but as to the substance of his materials very few authors can write with such depth in a short amount of space - and for me, Watson is like nearly gold in every line, imho. His treatise "The Christian on the Mount" was published in 1660 and remains a great and practical read on the subject of Christian meditation. There are a couple of electronic versions of this work online, and there are print options as well. Just search for it. 

Original book title: "The Christian on the Mount; or a Treatise concerning Meditation; wherein the necessity, usefulness, and excellency of Meditation are at large discussed." (You just gotta love them long titles - it was the style back then).

Table of Contents:

  1. The Proposition Asserted
  2. The Nature of Meditation
  3. Meditation is a Duty
  4. How Meditation Differs from Memory
  5. How Meditation Differs from Study
  6. The Subjects of Meditation
  7. The Necessity of Meditation
  8. Reason Why So Few Godly Christians
  9. Use of Reproof
  10. Use of Exhortation
  11. Objections Answered
  12. Concerning Occasional Meditations
  13. The Most Fitting Time for Meditation
  14. How Long Christians Should Mediate
  15. The Usefulness of Meditation
  16. The Excellence of Meditation
  17. Divine Motives to Meditation
  18. Rules Concerning Meditation