The Story of God Bible Commentary: 1-2 Samuel

Reviewed by: Maya Laytham, a Professional Writing student at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana



Title: The Story of God Bible Commentary: 1-2 Samuel

Author: Paul S. Evans

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 510 pages


Congregations receive the Word of God every Sunday in church, but where do pastors go to dig deeper into their Scripture engagement? Evans answers this question with his commentary on 1–2 Samuel. Filled with teaching resources and scholarly articles as well as historical, theological, and literary analysis, The Story of God Bible Commentary provides depth and thoughtful application for the modern congregation and committed Christian individuals alike.

Sections titled “Listen,” “Explain,” and “Live” divide up each chapter. In “Listen,” the reader finds the full NIV (2011) text as well as additional, relevant passages. “Explain” considers the biblical passage “in light of the Bible’s grand story” and provides explanations of each chapter in its original context with a theological emphasis. Dividing the chapters into main themes offers a common thread for analysis and a focus to potential sermons or personal reflections. Evans also lists articles and books that might inform the reader’s understanding of certain issues. “Live” speaks to the gospel connections and practical application of the text. For example, what does Saul’s pride, exemplified in 1 Samuel 15, mean for individuals, the church, and the world at large? How does Eli’s spiritual blindness in 1 Samuel 2–3 anticipate a savior who will be a light to the nations?

Evans’s commentary certainly informs and develops Scripture engagement. However, it is important to note that entries cover a wide variety of topics. In fact, condensing each chapter’s analysis places this work on the more challenging end of supplementary biblical reading. Experience in reading scholarly articles would only help readers focus on the content rather than the delivery. To the committed and curious reader, the depth will prove a welcome opportunity to connect more fully with Scripture. For the casual reader, however, the volume may end up being a bit too much and will end up  gathering dust on the shelf.



Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Clergy and Christians committed to reading the Bible with broader context, deeper analysis, and practical applications.

Christian Impact

Evans challenges and informs readers’ biblical knowledge and experience through historical, literary, and theological analysis.


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1-2 Samuel (The Story of God Bible Commentary)

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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