Today I want to share something with you that will help you in studying the Bible. I recently had the chance to review the recent commentary on Haggai and Malachi written by Mignon Jacobs for the SWBTS Journal of Theology. I think this commentary is one that you’ll want to have in your personal library as an up-to-date expositional discussion of the two books. Today I want to share how it can be used in ministry, rather than in academic study.

mignon jacobs commentary haggai malachi

Summary of Mignon Jacobs Commentary on Haggai and Malachi in the NICOT series

Jacobs structures her commentary with an introductory chapter inserted before the main discussion of the text of both biblical books. The introduction to each book differs slightly. The introduction to Haggai includes discussion of the prophet and date, while the introduction to Malachi does not. The introduction to both books contains comment about the historical and sociopolitical context, conceptual framework, the text and intertextual indicators before ending with an overall analysis of the structure and message of the book. Jacob’s pattern of presentation of the text and commentary follows other volumes in the series. First, she presents her own translation with translational notes. Then, she dialogues with scholarly discussion on the text along with her own notes while using transliterated Hebrew.

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Evaluation of Mignon Jacobs Commentary on Haggai and Malachi in the NICOT series

I think most of you here are interested in how this book might be useful in ministry, so that’s where I will stay in this post (if you’re interested in an academic review I’ll add the link here eventually). The author has an accomplished academic career and it shows in the detail she gives to the scholarly discussion and the secondary sources that she surveys in her work. However, she does not address the significance of the text for the modern audience very often (only on a few occasions). Many of you in ministry would expect a commentary on Malachi to give some discussion to the significance of the text “God hates divorce” for the modern audience. This book does not meet those expectations. She also does not explicitly state her position on authorship of the books.

However, the author gives very tight arguments for the social location of the prophet described in the text. These arguments can be used to argue for traditional authorship if you – the reader – are so inclined. This work represents the most up-to-date work commentary on these books. As such it is a very valuable resource. Jacobs cites other sources often, and has an extensive bibliography. Therefore this book is a good starting point for research if you are a student. Furthermore, for those teaching or preaching this book will be useful for providing exegetical divisions and discussions of the text. You may want to follow it up with some sort of homiletical commentary, or you may be completely competent at bridging the gap between the text and the modern audience.

For these reasons, I recommend the book to pastors and teachers of the Bible. If you want to purchase the book from Amazon, please use my affiliate link here. It won’t cost you any extra and I’ll get a dollar or two to help feed my growing children!

Please check out my podcast, or my review of Basic Bible Reading Books.

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