As you will know, we’re currently working our way through the book of 1 Samuel at our evening services in church. Over the past couple of years, we have looked at the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth. The book of 1 Samuel is the beginning of a new era in the history of God’s people and contains lots of famous stories - including the account of the life of David, Israel’s greatest king.
We thought it might be helpful to put together a post about some of the books that we’re using as we prepare talks on 1 Samuel. The books listed below are widely available at Christian bookstores and might help you to get to grips with this important Old Testament book.
This is part of the ‘For You’ series that The Good Book Company publish. Other titles in the series include ‘Judges For You’ and ‘Galatians For You’ by Tim Keller (books that we have used in recent years in Hill Street).
In this book on 1 Samuel, Tim Chester looks at the whole book in 13 chapters. One of the benefits of this is that he gives a big picture look at the book and helpfully points out some of the big themes that run through it.
It is accessible and easy to read and also includes study questions at the end of each chapter.
Dale Ralph Davis is an American pastor who has written a lot of material on the Old Testament.
His book on 1 Samuel is very readable. It is broken up into three parts with each part looking at the three main chapters of 1 Samuel: Samuel, Saul and David.
Ralph Davis’ strong point is application and illustration. He is able to bring the message of the text to life and insightfully points out where it has application for Christians today.
This commentary is a longer work on 1 Samuel. It is written by Richard D. Phillips who again is an American pastor.
Phillips takes an in-depth look at 1 Samuel and covers the whole book in 43 chapters. It is slightly heavier than the previous two books but Phillips is very good at setting 1 Samuel in the context of the big story of the Bible and pointing his readers back to Jesus.
This is part of the ‘Preaching the Word’ series which is another well-known commentary series.
John Woodhouse is an Australian evangelical who was principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney for over ten years.
His book is longer but not much heavier than Richard D. Phillips’. Like Ralph Davis, he breaks his commentary into three sections on Samuel, Saul and David. He goes through each chapter of 1 Samuel on a verse by verse basis, explaining some of the background and meaning of the text. If this kind of work interests you then this book would an excellent addition to your bookshelf.
One other resource we have found helpful is a video that we posted on our Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. It is a Read Scripture video on 1 Samuel which explains the big themes of the book in a really creative way. A link to the video is below so you can watch it again or for the first time!
If you'd like to listen to some of our 1 Samuel sermons or catch up on one you've missed, you can find the whole series so far here.