Commentaries on Joshua

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Deuteronomy  ⇐ ⇒  Judges

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For more great commentaries on Joshua, be sure to check:
Commentaries on the Whole Old Testament
& Whole Bible Commentaries

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Order of Contents

The Best Commentaries  7
More Commentaries  8
The Early Church  2
Christ in Joshua  1
Chapters in Joshua  1
Authenticity of Joshua  4
Bible Characters

Joshua  1
Achan  1

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Th Best Commentaries on Joshua

Medium Level

Reformer

Calvin, John – Commentary on Joshua  

***We have said enough upon Calvin in general.  His expositions are more equal in excellence than those of other men; other men rise and fall, but he is almost uniformly good.’ – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Blaikie, William – The Book of Joshua  1893

Blaikie (1820-1899) was of the Free Church of Scotland.

‘One of the most capable treatments available today.  Reverent, practical, and revealing the writer’s knowledge of the history, geography, customs, and culture of the times.’  ‘Few writers have bequeathed to posterity such a legacy of devout expoition and reverent scholarship as William Garden Blaikie.  Towards the end of the nineteenth centtury, when Sir. William Robertson Nicoll began work on The Expositor’s Bible, he wisely invited Dr. Blaikie to contribute commentaries on the Book of Joshua and the Books of First and Second Samuel.  Blaikie’s studies of these portions of the Old Testament rank among the finest ever produced.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Bush, George

Notes, Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua

Bush was a Biblical scholar, a professor of oriental literature in New York City University, and initially a presbyterian minister.

***‘Bush is a careful illustrator of the Word, and apt at giving the practical lesson.  His works are well compiled.’ – Spurgeon

Scripture Questions Designed Principally for Adult Bible Classes: Deut.-Esther

Douglas, George C.M. – The Book of Joshua  in Hand-Books for Bible Classes, ed. Dods & Whyte  1882

Douglas (1826-1904) was a Hebraist in the Free Church of Scotland, having studied under Thomas Chalmers and came to be a Principle of the Free Church College.  “He was a scholarly conservative, skeptical of higher critical views.” – DoSCH&T

Smith, Thornley – The History of Joshua, viewed in connection with the Topography of Canaan, and the Customs of the Times in which he lived  1870  310 pp.

***‘Although not a commentary, it will answer the same purpose; for almost every event is fully illustrated.  A capital work.’ – Spurgeon

‘While making use of the topography of Canaan and the customs of the times in which Joshua lived, the chief value of this work now lies in its devotional content.’ – Cyril J. Barber

1900’s

Davis, John

Conquest and Crisis: Studies in Joshua, Judges and Ruth  Buy  1969

‘A systematic consideration of the central themes of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, incorporating into its material the latest archaeological findings  in the Near East.  Deals with the difficult problems, including Joshua’s ‘long day’ and the supernatural collapse of the walls of Jericoh.  A commendable volume.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Israel from Conquest to Exile: a Commentary on Joshua to 2 Kings  Buy  1994

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Advanced

Keil, Karl F. – Joshua  late-1800’s

** – ‘Let our Biblical students not only master the facts and logic, but catch the spirit of these commentaries, and we can have no fear for the issue of that conflict with Rationalism and Popery united, by which Protestantism in this country seems to be threatened.’ – Wesleyan Mehodist Magazine, quoted by Surgeon

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More Commentaries on Joshua

Practical and Devotional

Cumming, John – Readings on Joshua and Judges  1857

**  “Dr. Cumming keeps up to his average of value.” – Spurgeon

De Graaf, S.G. – ‘In Canaan’  1977  32 pp. in Promise and Deliverance, vol. 1: From Creation to the Conquest of Canaan, pp. 391-423

De Graff is a Dutch Reformed author who focuses on the unfolding of the Covenant through history.  He writes in an easy to read, but insightful style.

Meyer, F.B. – Joshua and the Land of Promise  1893  

Meyer (1847–1929) was an English, baptist pastor who wrote numerous, very good devotional works.

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Medium Level

Allen, John – A Spiritual Exposition of the Old Testament: from Joshua to the end of the Psalms  1816

‘Spiritual reflections after the high Calvinistic school.  Some preachers cannot see Christ where He is, but Allen finds Him where He is not.  There is in these reflections much godly savor, but very little exposition.’ – Spurgeon  

This Allen was not the one that translated Calvin’s Institutes.  James Darling said that Allen was an Antinomian (one who believes that Christians are not bound by moral injunctions).  Antinomians, not believing that moral injunctions should be derived from God’s Word, often replaced this large aspect of Scripture’s teaching with finding Christ everywhere in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. 

Groser, W.H. – Joshua and his Successors: an Introduction to Joshua, Judges, Ruth and 1 Samuel, with Notes Critical and Illustrative, vol. 1 (Joshua), 2 (Judges-Ruth-Samuel 1-12)  1874

**  “A very useful condensed book for teachers.” – Spurgeon

Lange’s Commentary – Joshua  by F.R. Fay

***‘This is a standard work.  No minister’s library is furnished without the whole set.  Joshua however is inferior to Judges.’ – Spurgeon

Marchant, F.G. – The Preacher’s Commentary on the Book of Joshua, with Critical and Explanatory Notes  1875

**  “While writing this we have only one number before us, but it promises well, and we feel sure its quality will be sustained, for we know the author’s industrious habits.” – Spurgeon

Pink, A.W. – Gleanings in Joshua  1964

‘Among the last writings of the author, with chapters 20-23 completed by James Gunn of Ontario.  Deeply devotional, manifests a comprehensive grasp of Scripture, contains clear outlines, and abounds in edifying material.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Seaton, W. – The Church in Canaan; or, Heirs in Possession Receiving the Promises, vol. 1  1823

**  “A sequel to [his work: The Church in the Wilderness]” – Spurgeon

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The Early Church on Joshua

Compilation

Franke, John – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel  Buy 

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An Individual Father

Origen – Homilies on Joshua  Buy

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Christ in Joshua

Browne, Robert – Christ in the Prophets: Joshua  1873

*  “Of the High Church order, and praised by the Saturday Review.  What worse need be said?  Yet will we add that the savor of Christ in these books saves them from unqualified condemnation.” – Spurgeon

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Joshua 1-5

Blackwood, Stevenson – Heavenly Places, Addresses on the Book of Joshua  1873

**  “Mr. Blackwood has illustrated passages from the first five chapters only.  He has a beautifully quiet way of saying very sweet things.  This little book will be useful if it shows the young preacher how to expound Scripture with unction and power.” – Spurgeon

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The Authenticity of Joshua

1800’s

Stuart, Alexander Moody – Our Old Bible: Moses on the Plains of Moab  n.d.

Stuart was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland.

See also works written in response to Bishop Colenso’s The Pentateuch and Joshua Critically Examined (1888) which book argued ‘the unhistorical character, the later origin, and the compound authorship of the five books usually attributed to Moses [as well as the book of Joshua].’

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1900’s

Young, E.J. – ‘The Alleged Secondary Deuteronomic Passages in the Book of Joshua’  The Evangelical Quarterly 25.3 (1953): 142-157

Climer, Phillip – ‘Archaeology and the Bible’  1999  originally published in the Trinity Review, and reprinted as an appendix to Ussher’s Annals of the World

This very easy to read article gives the basic reasons (which are extremely inconclusive) why contemporary archeologists largely believe that the battle of Jericoh did not happen, and shows the overwhelming inconclusiveness of the data and methodology in general that reaches this and similar conclusions.  Climer is a reformed Christian.

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Life of Joshua

Whyte, Alexander – Joshua  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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Achan, Josh. 8

Whyte, Alexander – Achan in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921 

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