Want to know more about Malachi?

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This Sunday at Mars Hill Bellevue, I started preaching through the book of Malachi, the final book of the Old Testament that prepares the way for the coming of Jesus Christ.

I have preached through Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Nehemiah, Esther, Proverbs (thematic series from the book), Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Jonah, Habakkuk, Luke, John, Acts (in process), 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 12 Timothy, 1–2 Peter, 1–3 John, and Revelation (chapters 1–3, and a series on the heavenly scenes in the book).

That’s 21 books of the Bible preached in their entirety, major series based in two more books, and one book still underway (Acts). If my memory is correct, Malachi will be the 22nd book I’ve preached in its entirety, followed by James early next year for #23. I’ve done a few topical series over the years as well, but the meat and potatoes of my pulpit has always been going through books of the Bible.

For those of you wanting to study Malachi along with us, you can find a ton of free resources from Mars Hill Campaigns. For anyone looking for some good commentaries on the book, bestcommentaries.com is a great resource. Here are the specific books I am using for the series and would recommend for others:

Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: An Introduction and Commentary

Andrew W. Hill

A technical commentary by an academic that is well written and therefore readable by most anyone seeking to learn the book of Malachi.

Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

John MacKay

This deals with many of the technical issues of the book in a non-technical and readable fashion. MacKay writes in a straightforward manner that is helpful for those who get lost and/or bored with the innumerable rabbit trails in very technical commentaries.

Malachi, the Divine Messenger

Beth McDonald

This is a highly technical volume within the Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series. McDonald thoroughly examines structure and text to arrive at a highly nuanced interpretation of the text. Her commentary does not offer much in terms of application, but provides an excellent resource for those looking for a high degree of technical precision.

An Exegetical Commentary: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Eugene H. Merrill

This work provides a thorough analysis of the historical, literary, exegetical, and theological concerns of Malachi. Merrill wrestles well with the difficult text of Malachi and demonstrates its contribution to the canon well. This commentary gets technical, but it is one of the most important to read.

A Commentary on Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi

T.V. Moore

This commentary is a beautifully written exposition of the text of Malachi. Moore balances good scholarship with careful application of the text. The language of the commentary is intricate and profound, and does not lose any impact for being over a hundred years old. Nearly every modern commentary you will read on Malachi references Moore’s since it is so influential.

Haggai, Malachi

Richard A. Taylor and E. Ray Clendenen

Perhaps the most precise evangelical work on the book of Malachi. The commentary exhibits a high degree of scholarship presented in approachable language that does not tax the reader. The insights lean more toward exegesis rather than exposition, and for this reason the author can be trusted to arrive at a defensible understanding of the big ideas in Malachi. If you are a preacher or teacher working through Malachi, this commentary is a must-have.

The Minor Prophets, Volume 2

James Montgomery Boice

Boice is a preacher and teacher whose commentaries on the Bible are very practical and helpful for those preaching and teaching the book to others. This commentary is not technical or lengthy, but it is helpful to learn from a gifted Bible teacher who has gone home to Jesus. Personally, because of my Reformed leanings and appreciation for pastors who care about Bible teaching, I greatly respect Boice and his commentaries.

The NIV Application Commentary Joel, Obadiah, Malachi

David W. Baker

The entire NIV Application series seeks to blend both theological examination and practical application. In keeping with the series, this is an important contribution to the study of Malachi and helpful for preachers and teachers of God’s Word.

Other helpful works on Malachi

Handbook on the Prophets

Robert B. Chisholm

Bob Chisholm’s basic guide to the prophets offers an excellent overview of the message of Malachi and its literary intent without becoming bogged down in the fine details of textual analysis. That is not to say that Chisholm does not bring immense scholarship to his work, but he presents the information in an approachable and understandable synthesis.

Malachi: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text

Terry W. Eddinger

This concise book provides an explanation of the Hebrew text in Malachi. Eddinger offers a thorough examination of the textual distinctives in various manuscripts, as well as a guide for handling the prophetic literary style. He draws few hard conclusions, but rather provides various well-reasoned routes for exegesis.

“Book of Malachi,” Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible

Mignon R. Jacobs

Jacobs’ article in Vanhoozer’s book provides an excellent summary of the theological trajectories and themes in the book of Malachi.

Give Bible-preaching a chance

Lastly, for those pastors from traditions and tribes where books of the Bible are not taught, I would beg you to give it a chance and pick a book of the Bible to preach through. See what the Holy Spirit does and how your people respond.

If you have never taught through an entire book of the Bible, start with a small one. On that note, Malachi is a good, short book of the Bible to consider for that very task.

Thanks to Docent Research Group for their help in compiling these resources.