Order of Contents
The Best Commentaries 7
The Early Church 1
The Medieval Church 1
Ruth for the Young 1
The Best Commentaries on Ruth
Devotional and Practical, Contemporary
Ferguson, Sinclair – Faithful God: an Exposition of the Book of Ruth Buy 2005 157
A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God in the Book of Ruth Buy 2009 160 pp. See Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ link, and reviews, for more about this work.
Ruth: Under the Wings of God Buy 2010 96 pp.
“This cycle of poems by John Piper tells the story of God’s care for Naomi and the love affair between Ruth and Boaz through the eyes of their son, an aged Obed, as he narrates the account to his eight-year-old grandson David, the future king of Israel.” – From the blurb
Topsell, Edward – The Reward of Religion, delivered in sundry lectures upon the Book of Ruth GB 1596 304 pp.
Topsell (1572-1625) was an Anglican.
*** – “A very choice old work. [William] Attersol in his rhyming preface says of it:
‘Go little Book, display thy golden title,
(And yet not little though thou little be);
Little for price and yet in price not little,
Thine was the pain, the gain is ours I see:
(Although our gain thou deem’st no pain to thee).
If then, O reader, little pain thou take,
Thou greatest gain with smallest pain shall make.'” -Spurgeon
Lange’s Commentary – Ruth by P. Cassel
*** – ‘This is a standard work. No minister’s library is furnished without the whole set. Joshua however is inferior to Judges [Judges was also written by Cassel].’ – Spurgeon
Lawson, George – Lectures on the Whole Book of Ruth 1st ed. 1805, 1870 145 pp.
*** – ‘By a man of great genius. Simple, fresh and gracious. Nothing critical or profound may be looked for, but wise and sound teaching may be gleaned in these pages.’ – Spurgeon
Morris, Leon – Ruth Buy in Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries 1968
Keil, Karl F. – Ruth
** – ‘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
Commentaries on Ruth
Bernard, Richard – Ruth’s Recompense, or a Commentary upon the Book of Ruth 1628 120 pp.
Bernard (1568-1641) was a puritan minister in England, and the predecessor of Richard Alleine.
** – ‘Mr. Grosart is enthusiastic in his praise of this work, and says ‘that it abounds with apophthegms [concise sayings or maxims] and compressed thoughts.’ We defer to so high an authority, but we are not much fascinated by the book.’ – Spurgeon
Fuller, Thomas – A Commentary on Ruth; and, Notes upon Jonah 1650, † 1661
Fuller was a reformed Anglican.
** – ‘Not one of Fuller’s best; but still quaint and pithy, and lit up with flashes of his irrepressible wit. The above works of Bernard and Fuller have been reprinted in Nichol’s Series of Commentaries, in one volume.’
Lavater, Ludwig – The Book of Ruth, expounded in 28 Sermons 1586
Lavater was a Swiss reformed theologian.
* – ‘Lavater was a reformer of high repute, son-in-law of Bullinger. He wrote a curious work on spectres, and made a catalog of comets, thus showing himself to be both a philosopher and divine. His book is seldom met with.’ – Spurgeon
MacGowan, John – Discourses on Ruth and other Important Subjects Buy 1781
** “MacGowen, the author of the Dialogue of Devils, is well known for originality and force. In this case his sermons are full of Gospel truth, but the texts are too much accommodated and spiritualized. The discourses are good reading.” – Spurgeon
‘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.
Braden, William – The Beautiful Gleaner: a Hebrew Pastoral Story, being Familiar Expositions of the Book of Ruth 1874 137 pp.
** “Mr. Braden is an able preacher. His sermons upon Ruth are popular and practical, though not very remarkable.” – Spurgeon
Bush was a Biblical scholar, a professor of oriental literature in New York City University, and initially a presbyterian minister.
Cox was (1826–1893) an English non-conformist, baptist and a universalist (not recommended) who was an editor of the magazine The Expositor.
‘The devotional nature of this commentary does not detract from its expository value. While popular in style, it exhibits a remarkable understanding of human nature, and provides its readers with a work of real merit.’ – Cyril J. Barber
Groser, W.H. – Joshua and his Successors: an Introduction to Joshua, Judges, Ruth and 1 Samuel, with Notes Critical and Illustrative, vol. 2 (Judges-Ruth-1 Samuel 1-12) 1874
Moorehouse, Henry – Ruth, the Moabitess: Gleanings from the Book of Ruth Buy 1881 66 pp.
‘A helpful and edifying exposition.’ – Cyril J. Barber
Price, Aubrey – Six Lectures on the Book of Ruth 1869
** “Sermons of remarkable power, both of doctrine and diction. Not so expository as practical. Mr. Price is an earnest and large-hearted clergyman of thoroughly evangelical school.” – Spurgeon
Taylor, William – Ruth the Gleaner and Esther the Queen 1891 The part on Ruth is 93 pp.
Taylor (1829–1895) was a Scottish Presbyterian who later ministered in America at Broadway Tabernacle Congregationalist Church in New York.
Mauro, Philip – Ruth: the Satisfied Stranger Buy 1920
Mauro (1859-1952) was a lawyer and author.
‘A detailed study with helpful discussions on such topics as ‘kinsman’, Ruth happening to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz, and ‘the name of the dead.’ – Cyril J. Barber
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… A commendable volume.’ – Cyril J. Barber
Israel from Conquest to Exile: a Commentary on Joshua to 2 Kings Buy 1994
Kennedy, A.R.S. – The Book of Ruth, the Hebrew Text with Grammatical Notes and Vocabulary Buy 1928
‘This work contains helpful comments on the Hebrew text.’ – Cyril J. Barber
Myers, Jacob Martin – The Linguistic and Literary Form of the Book of Ruth 1955 Brill
‘A critical study.’ – Cyril J. Barber
Wright, C.H.H. – The Book of Ruth in Hebrew… with a Grammatical and Critical Commentary 1864
** “For Hebraists only. The author has selected the book of Ruth as a study for beginners in the Hebrew tongue, because of the simplicity of the language [of the book of Ruth].” – Spurgeon
The Early Church on Ruth
ed. Franke, John – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel Buy
The Medieval Church on Ruth
Smith, Lesley – Medieval Exegesis in Translation: Commentaries on the Book of Ruth Buy
“This book brings together and translates from the medieval Latin a series of commentaries on the biblical book of Ruth, with the intention of introducing readers to medieval exegesis or biblical interpretation…” – From the blurb
Ruth for the Young
Tyng, Stephen – The Rich Kinsman; or the History of Ruth the Moabitess 1856
* “Written for young people, and suitable for their reading, though none to lively.” – Spurgeon
Guthrie, Thomas – Ruth the Virtuous in Studies of Character from the Old Testament 1872 Free Church of Scotland
Whyte, Alexander – Ruth in Bible Characters, vol. 1 d. 1921
Guthrie, Thomas – Boaz the Farmer in Studies of Character from the Old Testament 1872 Free Church of Scotland