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Favorite Commentaries


kpang808
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What are some of your favorite commentaries? Whether for a personal bible study, preparing a bible study, preparing a talk, preparing a sermon.

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Keith,

 

Great question. My go to commentaries are:

  • Comfort text commentary- to look at variants in the NT
  • IVP Background for OT & NT (Zondervan also has background commentaries that I do not own)
  • Tyndale
  • Pillar for the NT
  • NIVAC- the application section of the commentary is helpful and gives me new application insight
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  • New Interpreter's Bible (12 volume) is without doubt my absolute favourite commentary. 

NEW INTERPRETER'S BIBLE 12-VOLUME COMMENTARY

 

  • Word Biblical Commentary is very close behind it.

WORD BIBLICAL COMMENTARY: 62-VOLUME SET

 

  • Westminster Bible Companion Series

 (Not in Accordance) Similar to a cross between Tyndale and Barclay, I find this a very useful set that I return to time and time again and an so happy now that the final volume has been released.

 

  • Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

 (Not in Accordance) This series has some absolutely fabulous volumes offering great insight into the text.

 

  • The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition- A solid concise evangelical work.

EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE COMMENTARY - REVISED (13 VOLUMES)

 

  • Holman Bible Commentary- While a bit more conservative than is usually my choice I deeply appreciate the insights I can glean from this work.

HOLMAN OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARIES (32 VOLUMES)

 

  • Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible

 (Not in Accordance) Only a few volumes of this series have been released but really love it's approach and numerous insights inserted as sidebars into the comments for many different resources.

 

  • The Torah: A Modern Commentary. Revised - Used the 1981 edition for many years and was delighted when Accordance released the revised edition.

THE TORAH: A MODERN COMMENTARY

 

  • International Theological Commentary

 (Not in Accordance) This series is somewhat uneven but within it are some great gems i return to time and again. It is very well worth owning.

 

  • Daily Study Bible

 (Partly in Accordance) Barclay is in Accordance of course but I enjoy using greatly the OT series that was done to compliment Barclay's wonderful NT set. Unfortunately it is no longer sold in any electronic format I am aware of, lucky for me I purchased it before it went out of the Logos catalog many years ago.

BARCLAY'S NEW DAILY STUDY BIBLE - NEW TESTAMENT

 

-Dan

Edited by Dan Francis
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The sale that was on for the Preaching the Word series was amazing,  but even at $499 it is very good. If you are looking at resources to help with preaching from an conservative evangelical perspective, it is hard to go past this series IMHO.

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In preferred order:

 

OT: Bible Knowledge Commentary, Expositors Bible Commentary, Boice Commentary on Minor Prophets, Calvin on Genesis, Word Bible Commentary on the Song, Wiersbe BE Series

NT: MacArthur NT Commentary, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Wiersbe BE Series, NIGTC on Pastorals, Pillar NT Commentary for most books, Calvin's Commentary, Luther's Commentary, Expositors Bible Commentary for some books, Comforts textual commentary

 

Strongly recommend Rosscup's Commentaries for Biblical Expositors to help choosing a commentary for particular books:

https://books.google.com/books?id=X1VaAAAACAAJ&dq=rosscup+commentaries+for+biblical+expositors&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjt1Yits-DKAhXKuB4KHUvnDnYQ6AEIJzAA

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  • New Interpreter's Bible (12 volume) is without doubt my absolute favourite commentary. 

NEW INTERPRETER'S BIBLE 12-VOLUME COMMENTARY

 

 

 

That is also my favorite commentary.

 

I also use: Constable's Expository Notes which is sadly not available in Accordance.  NIV Application Commentary

Edited by ucfgrad93
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How is the NICOT/NICNT as compared to WBC and Tyndale? The NIC series has a pretty good rating in bestcommentaries.com, but I'm not sure for which purpose (academics, teaching, preaching, etc.)

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Hi anthony,

I have wbc and tyndale. Tyndale was good as a first set (i was given the nt set and have supplimented it with other volumes) but is very variable and i find it a bit superficial and in some cases very frustrating, just stating the obvious. since getting the wbc, have stopped using it ( though my wife still uses it as she isnt into e versions and we can lend them out but they will soon be passed on again).

 

Nic series is more akin to wbc, both 'technical' whatever you interpret that as, with good detail on original language so really helpful. I think most would recommend nic over wbc, though there is a lot of personal preference and what you are used to and all sets have good and less strong volumes. I got used to wbc and it suits me and i got it when it was a wonderful deal.

 

if money were no object, i would have got nic and having looked at various volumes, i would be very satisfied with it. At the time wbc was at the top of my budget, now the price has gone up, it is less good value and i would go for nic in preference if i was buying today.

 

I also use nivac and think this is a good addition to a technical one for preaching ( but wouldnt want to be without a technical one).

 

I am not an academic but do preach and do like to dig and explore the scriptures.

 

My advice is try to see some in a library or friend or book shop and spend time with it, even buy a single volume if that is the only way available to you. (I bought a pillar one in accordance just to see).

 

But take best commentaries with a pinch of salt. (But there are some helpful threads and reviews on this site).

Edited by ukfraser
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I often time feel I must have missed something.... I own NIC yet whenever I go to it i find it less than helpful. For example just now I went to the Gospel of John, and while reading there i felt there was virtually no insight offered at all just a restatement of what the text said. I know this is a personal favourite of many people I respect greatly but most of the volumes hit me as not too helpful. One thing I can say is the volume on the Psalms is very well worth owning in NIC. And I am sure there are others that are equally fine volumes but I am not encountering them when I go to it. Best commentaries is a site owned by another software company (not started by them but bought by them), it's reviews tend to be skewed towards a fairly extreme conservative view point. So I would agree with ukfraser, it is most defiantly advisable to " take best commentaries with a pinch of salt." Seeing that NIC and Word are now priced at a similar level I would still not hesitate to grab Word or recommend it as a better resource. I got the NIC for nearly half the price of Accordances regular price elsewhere (it is true the introductory pricing at Accordance was even $30 cheaper, but I could not afford it at that time). Now admittedly OT is not the greatest platform but in the end it seemed like a good enough place for me to have it as the NIC (not the Psalm volume which I own in other software) as I feel disappointed most times I go to it. I just popped over to Luke now and found it equally unhelpful to me (yet I also have the original NIC Luke volume from 1952  and I find it usually very helpful). PLEASE feel free to take my comments with a grain of salt, but the NIC is not on my list of recommended works and I definitely recommend you explore volumes before purchase to see if they will meet your needs.

 

-Dan

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After reading the above comments I think it is fairly evident that one will evaluate a commentary series based on two or three criteria. One will be on whether or not it provides insight into the text, another will likely be whether or not the comments represents one's on theological perspective. I think Dan above hits the nail on the head when he observes that the NICOT/NICNT represents a more conservative approach whereas the NIB a more theologically liberal one. As such. my own personal experience is that I generally find the NICOT/NICNT more valuable and helpful than some of the others. I have the NIB in print and use it so rarely that I have not chosen to purchase it in Accordance. 

 

Of course, as Dr. J has stated on more than one occasion, one should also read other perspectives as well. 

 

Based on Anthony's question. Bestcommenaties.com does label the "academic level" of the commentaries. While there is some overlap, that distinction is pretty helpful. 

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That is the great thing about commentaries and books in general while one may speak to a person others will not. It is not the conservative approach in the NIC that I have issue with, indeed many of my favourites are very conservative. The issue I have is getting not much deeper than a surface analysis of the text. Indeed I would recommend the NIV Application commentary over the NIC and one can hardly call it less conservative. I do find in the NIVAC some volumes have such a ardent vigour as to come off very strident. I tend to much prefer an irenic approach myself. I tend to find the NIB to be closer to an irenic approach... and I think it is fair to label it more liberal... but certainly not all liberal... Kaiser and Wright are hardly well known liberals to name a couple of the top of my head.

 

-Dan

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Thanks dan for sharing your experience.

 

The thing i really value about nivac is that there is always a sentence that gets you thinking outside the box! (For me, it sends me off on a new path of thought and research each time i study a passage).

 

But would not want to be without the wbc for the detail. (Just not sure what i would go for at the current price).

 

;o)

Edited by ukfraser
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Thanks Fraser, Dan and Tony for your insights. :)

 

As bestcommentaries.com is the only 'organized' means of how commentaries generally fare, I prefer to hear from the users like you in order to get a better picture. My budget is quite tight, and it was thanks to unbelievably huge discounts (thanks, Accordance!) that I was able to get a hold of WBC and NIVAC. Such a discount might be a far cry for NIC, but I'll continue hoping. :) Based on this info, I think I'm still okay with what I have, and I won't be missing out on anything big without the NIC series (if need be, I'll just head over to the library and read the volumes from there...but I'm gonna miss the search features though). And at least in academic research the different approaches and perspectives are all welcome.

 

Thanks again; cheers!

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Anthony,

 

How do you get on with them? personally i think with wbc and nivac, you are in good shape with a technical and application type.

 

Assuming you are doing specific research, can i suggest you just get a single or couple of nic commentaries (or other, pillar or nigtc Which are available singularly in accordance) you specifically need, and then you can search and might also help make an informed descision when the sets are on offer. (They have been in the past).

 

Assuming you find that these other commentaries provide something in addition!

 

;o)

Edited by ukfraser
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Hi Fraser,

 

Frankly, I'm quite happy with the WBC and NIVAC combination in Accordance, as I constantly go between academic research and preaching. Every so often Tyndale also offers some insights to some of my questions which a WBC volume did not tackle. So altogether WBC, Tyndale and NIVAC make quite a good team for constant usage.

 

If I need to consult other commentary series piecemeal perhaps I'd just opt for going to the library for now. I hope the other good commentary sets mentioned have a big discount in due time (hopefully also at the 70-80% discount level which allowed me to become a proud owner of WBC and NIVAC). :)

 

Cheers.

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I am very happy with the following resources. NOTE: I teach Sunday School to children who are age 7 to 12, some of whom are "challenged" in terms of reading. I use the following resources

 

a. I actually do my best to "follow-along" with the GNT-28 just to make sure that things are "correct", given our human limits.

b. I teach them from the Bible in Basic English.

c. MacArthur's New Testament Commentary

d. WORD Biblical Commentary

e. ROSE maps

Outside of Accordance: Henrietta Mears': What the Bible is All About?

 

I have never been "non-satisfied" with my Accordance resources. Granted... I am not a scholar, but I have quite a few resources! Sometimes... I have purchased a resource -- knowing that I will not use it for some time -- and the resource has "loomed to life" such as the Greek resources which I purchased quite a few years ago. Also, now that I am studying Greek with the courses taught by Dr. Mounce: the SYNTAX search module will be a great resource. 

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I like to consult ICC, sometimes Hermeneia, WBC, and NIGTC for my grammatical questions (and of course, both standard and more modern linguistic informed reference grammars, especially for the NT) and other technical details during my exegesis of a passage.  I also like to consult ZIBBC and IVPBBC (and currently interested in also consulting the Socio-rhetorical commentaries) for background details of a passage.  For the explication of a passage I like to consult NIC, BECNT, some volumes of AYB (formerly AB), and sometimes just for the basics NAC, and much less, revised EBC and TOTC/TNTC.  For the theology of a passage I like to consult PNTC.  Finally, I consult NIVAC (and Theology in Application sections of ZEC) for helping me to start thinking (and not letting it do the work for me) of the application of a passage to my life, specific contemporary situation, etc.  This list is definitely not to be intended as strict classifications since there is some overlap, but it helps me.  If I had to choose some favorites, I like WBC and NICOT for the OT and NIGTC and BECNT for the NT.  Yet, I cannot just consult these. 

Edited by E. Cardona
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Love all the comments everybody! I have some good ideas now. I like the New American Commentary and Bible Speaks Today from my Ultimate package! I hope to get the WBC if it goes on sale, as $1499 is a hefty price. I wish that I got the NIVAC when it was on sale!

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Yes, I hope these great discounts for the WBC and NIVAC come up yet again to make the day for future users. But in the meantime, even with the NAC, PNT, NIGTC and Tyndale (+ the IVP dictionary series) --and much more!-- in your Ultimate collection, you've got enough 'oomph' for studying topics and verses quite well. ;)

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Also Keep your eyes open for a sale of the jps publications as well, the torah set is well worth adding to your library (as is the Jewish study bible and jewish annotated nt, for the articles alone but the study notes are also good).

 

;o)

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Thanks Anthony and ukfraser! I appreciate all the advice! Also, the NICOT/NT is now on sale for $599. What are everyones thoughts on this?? Is this a CANT miss sale?

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The entire NICOT/NT for $599??!! Pinch me, I must be dreaming... ö

Wow, these guys at Accordance are amazing...

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