A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Deuteronomy, by S.R. Driver

| Updated: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 | Tagged: ot, commentary, deuteronomy.

Among the many fine and durable works to flow from the pen of S.R. Driver, his Deuteronomy commentary must be among the finest. Brevard Childs, in the Deuteronomy chapter of his Introduction, sees fit to refer to it simply as “Driver’s famous commentary” without any prior reference (p. 209).

Driver’s work predates Noth’s case for the “Deuteronomistic history” by some decades, but it stands at a momentous and yet more far-reaching sea-change of its own. Between this commentary and Driver’s own Introduction, the “historical-critical method” won through not only as a scholarly approach to biblical interpretation, but one that could be embraced by commentators of faith who still affirmed the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture, even while setting aside some traditional ascriptions of authorship. Driver’s preface self-consciously addresses this pivotal moment, pointedly affirming even the christological drift of his own reading (cf., for example, “And so the teaching of Deuteronomy leads direct to the supreme thought of Christ”, p. xxxiv).

The exegesis is never less than careful and close and, as with the majority of Driver’s output, has enduring value for the student of the Bible.

When it comes to copies available at Archive.org—of which there are no less than nine—one sees the “social” side of the internet gone slightly awry. The top three most popular scans (at this time of writing) amount to well over 4,000 downloads. Yet the most-downloaded copy is quite blurry, and none of them contains the latest (third) edition. For this, one needs the very clean scan from the California Digital Library which, at the moment, languishes with only 167 downloads.

Sometimes it pays to check.