Category Archives: Bible Study

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 5 – New Testament Commentaries

Here are some commentaries that I have found exceptionally helpful.


On Matthew I go to Bruner’s 2 volume commentary (Vol 1 & Vol 2) and if I want something way more technical I check out Davies and Allison 3 volumes in the ICC. Here is a link to their “shorter commentary” that is an edited down version of those three 3 volumes.


For Luke, Bock is your guy. He has written extensively on Luke with the most thorough being his 2 volumes in Baker. Following Bock is Joel Green’s commentary in the NICNT (New International Commentary on the New Testament).


The Gospel According to John by D.A. Carson (Pillar) – I purchased this in grad school and it is still my “go to” commentary on John.


The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Bruner – I am tempted to rank this one higher than Carson first because it has the best sub-heading in the history of commentaries and second because it is just that good. The insights are fantastic and I cannot imagine studying John without this book.


Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (Baker – 4 volumes) by Keener – I have to admit that I have not read all umpteen zillion pages of this commentary but I have worked through the first three volumes when I preached through Acts last year. I believe this set will stand the test of time as the must have commentary on the book of Acts. It is very expensive to get all four and the research is extensive. So if you need something simpler on Acts go with Acts: A Shorter Commentary by C.K. Barrett. If you just want the gist and some important connecting pieces in the narrative go with Reading Acts by Talbert.


Romans (Hermeneia) by Jewett – I believe this is the best single volume commentary on Acts around. It is expensive so if you want to go a bit less expensive go with Cranfield’s “Shorter Commentary” on Romans. If you are struggling through Romans 9-11 check out Paul and the Faithfulness of God by N.T. Wright. If you want a comprehensive, multi-volume works that incorporates the New Perspective on Paul go with Dunn’s 2 volume commentary in Word.


When it comes to 1-2 Corinthians I go to Ben Witherington’s commentary on both books in 1 volume.


Another commentary that I go to frequently is Peter O’Brien’s Ephesians commentary in the Pillar series as well as his Colossians & Philemon commentary in Word. The Word commentaries are more technical and require more knowledge of Greek than the Pillar commentaries.


If you are studying the Pastorals check out Towner in NICNT.


The best Hebrews commentary is Attridge’s stand out commentary in Hermeneia. Again, those are expensive commentaries but worth every penny! If you are looking for something solid and scholarly but less expensive go with F.F. Bruce in the NICNT. If you want a great Hebrews commentary from a preacher, geared toward preaching check out Tom Long’s Hebrews commentary in Interpretation. It is very, very good.


On James my first stop is Luke Timothy Johnson in Anchor Bible. I am indebted to him for helping me iron out the James/Paul works/faith component in James. McKnight also has an excellent commentary in the NICNT series that you will want to consider.


Try out John Elliot in Anchor on 1 Peter. Talk about thorough. I have used it often and he never disappoints.


Revelation is always a tricky one. I have used a few commentaries on Revelation that I have really enjoyed so I will toss a few out there and give various reasons to go to each one. Reddish’s commentary is a very well balanced commentary that is good for just general study as is Mounce’s volume in NICNT. If you want to dig deeper than Reddish you will want to go with one of three options and I will list them in order of how technical they are (read that how much Greek you need to know) from least technical to most: Osborne in Baker, Aune’s 3 volume commentary in Word and Beale NIGTC (those last two are both highly technical).

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 4 – Bible Background

Learning the background of the world around Bible times is critical to good Bible study. There are a number of excellent books to choose from to get you closer to their world. The better you understand their world the better you hear the words from scripture. So here are a few books to consider inContinue Reading

Review and Giveaway of Logos’ Newest Product – Logos Cloud

So Logos is on to something. I have really enjoyed their software since I first started using it but what they developed this past year is really taking them to another level. I am going to tell you what they have come up with and then offer you a chance to win a 1 yearContinue Reading

The Reason You Read the Bible Impacts What You Receive from the Bible

I remember having Bible studies (to be honest more like arguments) with my first college roommate. We had the same freshman Bible class together and we both liked being in the room to study so we had a lot of discussions centered around what we heard in Bible class each day. I was determined notContinue Reading

Losing Our Way in Churches of Christ and Finding the Answer in the Gospels

I intend to spend a lot more time in the Gospels this year and I would like to tell you why. In 2015 I tackled N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God. I started it while on jury duty via my kindle app and when I first downloaded the book it told me IContinue Reading

Interview With Michael Heiser

Michael Heiser is the author of two recent books that have both been reviewed here on the site: The Unseen Realm & Supernatural. We recently recorded a conversation about how to get our eyes and ears more open to scripture. From that topic we launch into how our understanding of our spiritual identity is aContinue Reading

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 2 – How to Read the Bible

There are a lot of great books out there on how to be a better student of scripture and many of them can be purchased at a very low cost these days. Here are some of my favorites. How to read the Bible for All It’s Worth By Gordon Fee This was one of theContinue Reading

The Flood: Forming and Deforming, Creating and Un-creating

There are is a word and a phrase tucked away into the flood story in Genesis 6 that escaped my attention until this morning. Here it is, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart wasContinue Reading

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 1 – Bible Dictionaries

I am starting a series on what books to buy for various areas of study. I am going to break it down two ways: the list is in order of importance. Second, I realize people are on a budget…maybe you are in school and just getting started and so money is tight. I will pointContinue Reading

Nehemiah 1 – The Prayer

Nehemiah starts off with bad news. People return to Persia with news regarding the state of affairs in Jerusalem. The wall is in ruins and the people have been shamefully treated. This breaks Nehemiah’s heart. His response is found in 1:4, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days IContinue Reading


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