Saturday, February 07, 2015

Modern day Bible commentary sets

I certainly prefer the older commentaries any day over the newer ones, but I do look at newer commentaries when studying the Bible. These are modern day commentary sets that I have found to be useful. As usual, Bible commentaries are the last step or final consultation after one has done his own study of the Bible text. Additionally, when the commentary contradicts plainly what the Bible says or teaches, then we correct the commentary and not the Bible. And now, onto a short list of modern day Bible commentaries that are generally accepted by the wider conservative evangelical readership.

Bible Exposition Commentary (IVP; Warren Wiersbe). N.T. “Be series” included. (2007 – 2009)

Boice’s Expositional Commentaries (27 Vol.) – (JMBEC; Baker Books; James M. Boice). – Easy read, but great lessons, illustrations, & applications. (1972 – 2001)

Crossway Classic Commentaries (CCC; Crossway; J.I. Packer/A. McGrath). Edited for popular readership, but still good. (1993 – 2001)

Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC; Zondervan; F.E. Gaebelein). 12 vol. set, 1970-80’s. Has a one volume set, not recommended: “The NIV Bible Commentary.” The entire set was based on the NIV, but had some excellent works and not so excellent contributions, too.

Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition (EBCR; Zondervan; T. Longman III/D Garland). 2005. Similar to above except newer.

Lenski’s Commentary on the N.T. (Augsburg; R.C.H. Lenski). [ca. 1930] – classic Lutheran commentary. $$$. (1934 – 2008)

New American Commentary (NAC; Broadman & Holman; E. R. Clendenen, gen. ed.) – NIV based, Southern Baptist. (1991 - )

New International Commentary O.T./N.T. (NICOT/NICNT; Eerdmans) – most recommended by the broader evangelical camp. (1970 - )

NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC; Zondervan) – user friendly. Attempts to deal with the text in context and make current/relevant applications (“bridging the gap”). (1994 - )

New Testament Commentary (NTC; Baker; Hendricksen/Kistamaker) – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in the modern Bible commentary section. Personally, I wouldn’t go far from here for today’s commentary sets. (ca. 2002)

Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC; Eerdmans; Carson) – similar to NICNT. Very little application, but focused on exegesis (critical text, though) and theology. Technical discussions land in the footnotes. (ca. 2013)

Preaching the Word (PTW; Crossway; R. Kent Hughes, gen. ed.) – Modern day devotional/Homiletical commentary. Verbose but good. Master wordsmiths. (1990 – 2013)

Reformed Expository Commentary (REC; P&R; Ryken, etc.) – similar to PTW (Hughes). Modern day devotional commentary. (2005 – 2013)

Tyndale O.T. and N.T. Commentaries (TOTC/TNTC; IVP & Eerdmans; Wiseman &) – worthy set from (1964  - ) . A major rework of this classic has started in 2004.

Word Communicator’s Commentary (WCC; Nelson, prev. Word) – mixed bag. Useful for sermon prep. Esp. with introducing a text or segues.  Renamed: The Preacher’s Commentary (1990).

Welwyn Commentary Series. (WCS; Evangelical Press, Britain) – easy read, practical for Pastors and Sunday School teachers. (1979 – 2011)

Since we  are considering Bible commentary sets, well, here are some older Bible commentary sets that are worthy of your consideration (which I would imagine most of my readers already know about them).

Albert Barnes - Barnes' Notes (1847 - 1885)

A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the N.T. (1933)

Geneva Bible Series – older and reformed (allegorical) but devotional, and loaded with spiritual applications. $$$

Harry Ironside - wordsmith and master illustrator. (1906 - 1952) - terrible in Revelation but on the other books, fabulous read!

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown (JFB) in the O.T. (1861-75)

J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. excellent observations and compilation of opinions from older and contemporary commentators. Well done!

Joseph Hall - Contemplations (1612) - excellent observations and rewarding read!

Keil & Delitzsch (KD) in the O.T. (revised in 1996)

Matthew Henry - peerless.

Matthew Poole - good and short expositions.

M.R. DeHaan - Classic Library - (1946 - 1996) - popular 11 vol. set by the old radio preacher.