Preferred Commentary: Advice?

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Posts 69
Bill Carroll | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Mar 22 2018 12:03 PM

I was wondering if the 'community' had any recommendations on which 'preferred commentary' should be listed first in one's library.  Granted that's going to come down to personal preference.  But I'm hoping to glean some tips and recommendations to help me make that decision.

Theologically, I'm in the Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed section of Christianity. Smile

I was thinking it might be good to select a single volume or set that covered the entire Bible, so that when I'm first getting started, it would be consistent.  Currently, I have the Bible Knowledge Commentary set as the first 'preferred commentary' but I'm wondering if there are suggestions for something better?

Posts 18256
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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 12:31 PM

Logos wiki => Logos Resource Reviews includes UBS New Testament Handbook Series and UBS Old Testament Handbook Series that have Key concepts to translate plus cross cultural comments and textual criticism along with samples plus links: e.g. Logos 4 Blog: Quickly Access the UBS Handbooks (helped me many years ago to prioritize UBS Handbooks as my primary commentary)

After UBS translation handbooks, now have a custom series with Top 2 Commentary volumes per Bible Book => https://www.bestcommentaries.com/topcommentaries/ (albeit my library lacks many Top 2 volumes so custom series includes 3rd or 4th highest rated - March Madness 2018 is providing incentive to acquire more Top 2 volumes)

FYI: manually added prefix titles to my English commentaries => https://community.logos.com/forums/p/139386/890581.aspx#890581

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 3711
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 1:00 PM

Bill Carroll:

I was wondering if the 'community' had any recommendations on which 'preferred commentary' should be listed first in one's library.  Granted that's going to come down to personal preference.  But I'm hoping to glean some tips and recommendations to help me make that decision.

Theologically, I'm in the Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed section of Christianity. Smile

I was thinking it might be good to select a single volume or set that covered the entire Bible, so that when I'm first getting started, it would be consistent.  Currently, I have the Bible Knowledge Commentary set as the first 'preferred commentary' but I'm wondering if there are suggestions for something better?

I guess one of my favorites and go to's is: New American Commentary.  That covers the entire bible I believe (at least I don't think it is missing any) though if you want single volume stuff another good one is the Moody Bible Commentary or a study bible might be of us too (MacArthur Study Bible or ESV Study Bible).  After that will be all preference.  Like Keep Smiling mentioned, every book has its own set of recommended commentaries so it might be better to pick and choose as time goes on and you see what you like.  Some of my favorites are: MacArthur New Testament Commentary, NICOT/NICNT, BECNT, ZECNT, EEC, Tyndale)  I'm sure I forgot a few but those are the ones I usually go to first.

Posts 9134
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 1:14 PM

Mine (I'm everything you mentioned but Reformed) are:

  • NICOT/NICNT
  • New American
  • Tyndale
  • Word
  • ICC
  • Baker Exegetical
  • Pillar

I've obviously favored commentaries that cover all or most of the Bible in my top four.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 7058
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 2:23 PM

I’m similar to others. I prioritize the commentaries that cover (almost) the entire Bible first and then the newer works on the NT follow. Hence, my top 10 are:

1. NICOT/NT

2. WBC

3. UBS Handbooks

4. College Press OT/NT

5. Tyndale OT/NT

6. EBC original edition 

7. Understanding the Bible Commentary OT/NT

8. BECNT

9. PNTC

10. NIGTC

The rest of my list is set up from younger to oldest commentaries. I have a separate collection for my Study Bibles and One Volume Commentaries for quick reference. 

DAL

Ps. Me, I keep it simple, I am a Christian 👍😁👌

Posts 781
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 3:08 PM

DAL:

I’m similar to others. I prioritize the commentaries that cover (almost) the entire Bible first and then the newer works on the NT follow. Hence, my top 10 are:

1. NICOT/NT

2. WBC

3. UBS Handbooks

4. College Press OT/NT

5. Tyndale OT/NT

6. EBC original edition 

7. Understanding the Bible Commentary OT/NT

8. BECNT

9. PNTC

10. NIGTC

The rest of my list is set up from younger to oldest commentaries. I have a separate collection for my Study Bibles and One Volume Commentaries for quick reference. 

DAL

Ps. Me, I keep it simple, I am a Christian 👍😁👌

NAC: may I ask your opinion of it??

Posts 7058
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 3:24 PM

scooter:

DAL:

I’m similar to others. I prioritize the commentaries that cover (almost) the entire Bible first and then the newer works on the NT follow. Hence, my top 10 are:

1. NICOT/NT

2. WBC

3. NAC

4. UBS Handbooks

5.  College Press OT/NT

6.  Tyndale OT/NT

7.  EBC original edition 

8.  Understanding the Bible Commentary OT/NT

9.  BECNT

10.  PNTC

11. NIGTC

12. Exegetical Summaries (great series!) 

13. Lexham Guides (great series also!)

The rest of my list is set up from younger to oldest commentaries. I have a separate collection for my Study Bibles and One Volume Commentaries for quick reference. 

DAL

Ps. Me, I keep it simple, I am a Christian 👍😁👌

NAC: may I ask your opinion of it??

Sorry, (List revised), I omitted NAC somehow. It sits at number 3. I like it and it’s very useful, more than some people want to give it credit for. I go to it a lot. Right now, since I just got the NIC series, I’m trying to use it as much as I can. So far so great 😀 

DAL

Posts 781
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 3:32 PM

DAL:
(List revised

DAL:

1. NICOT/NT

2. WBC

3. NAC

Thank you, Dal.

Posts 266
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 7:49 PM

If you have them....

1.   NICOT/NICNT

2.   NAC

3.   WBC

4.   EBC

5.   Tyndale

6.   UBS Handbooks OT/NT

7.   Tom Constable Notes (don't be fooled, this is a commentary on the entire Bible)

8.    Baker NT Commentary

9.    Pillar NT Commentary

Posts 5285
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 9:12 PM

I always like to start of with New Interpreters Bible. Fairly consistently good and informative always feels like it delivers more to me than many multi volum works. It’s 12 volumes covers the entire Alexandrian canon so it is great for Catholic and Protestant alike. I have said it before and will happily again, I wish ever Christian could own a copy. After over 20 years of use I still find it is still extremely helpful. 

-dan

Posts 584
Pam Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2018 11:41 PM

For New Testament I always start with the Exegetical Summaries. They basically summarize what the major commentaries say on a verse-by-verse basis. I also like the available Lexham Bible Guides for similar reasons. Although they're not verse by verse they boil down what the  commentaries say on major words and issues.

Posts 129
NK | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 1:38 AM

Pam Larson:

For New Testament I always start with the Exegetical Summaries. They basically summarize what the major commentaries say on a verse-by-verse basis. I also like the available Lexham Bible Guides for similar reasons. Although they're not verse by verse they boil down what the  commentaries say on major words and issues.

Yes exegetical summaries are the bomb.

Posts 7058
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 4:26 AM

Dan Francis:

I always like to start of with New Interpreters Bible. Fairly consistently good and informative always feels like it delivers more to me than many multi volum works. It’s 12 volumes covers the entire Alexandrian canon so it is great for Catholic and Protestant alike. I have said it before and will happily again, I wish ever Christian could own a copy. After over 20 years of use I still find it is still extremely helpful. 

-dan

It’s there and I missed it too. My NIB sits at #4 and then the list goes on. Psalms is awesome! Along with Romans by NT Wright 👍😁👌

Posts 621
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 7:16 AM

I think I am with most of the people above. NIC/NAC/WBC/EBC/Tyndale - I would also list NIV application as well though. I did'nt see this above and while its not in my top 5 it is in my top 10 :-) 

Posts 3763
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 7:41 AM

Bill Carroll:
Theologically, I'm in the Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed section of Christianity

This is only moderately helpful to choose a good commentary. A good commentary is one that extracts meaning from the text and hopefully this is where theological positions should come from rather than the other way around. I don't know the denominational background of most of the authors whose commentaries I use. I only care to see how they treat the Scriptures and whether what they do with it is helpful and fair. I have found some commentators from other persuasions to be better commentators than some whose confession is closer to my own. 

Put differently, a commentator who does the job right will be helpful to anyone who seeks to understand (and apply) the Bible better. Commentators who superimpose a heavily slanted hermeneutical grid to make Scriptures say what they want it to say are bad commentators. This being said, denominational distinctives tend to be more discrete in technical and academic commentaries and more pronounced in popular ones. 

So, if I may suggest so, the leading questions are what you need the commentaries most for (academic, ministry, personal) and what level you are at (original languages? biblical education? beginner?). From these considerations, it is easier to recommend this or that series. 

Posts 1509
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 9:34 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

Logos wiki => Logos Resource Reviews includes UBS New Testament Handbook Series and UBS Old Testament Handbook Series that have Key concepts to translate plus cross cultural comments and textual criticism along with samples plus links: e.g. Logos 4 Blog: Quickly Access the UBS Handbooks (helped me many years ago to prioritize UBS Handbooks as my primary commentary)

Yes! The UBS Handbooks are in the number one spot on my preferred list. This is followed by the NET Bible notes.

I then cluster the rest of my favorite commentaries into groups: textual, exegetical/critical, background, application, single-volume (including study bibles), vintage, etc.

Posts 651
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 11:15 AM

DAL:

 Along with Romans by NT Wright 👍😁👌

Not friendly for Reformed folks though...

Posts 496
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 12:06 PM

Bill Carroll:

I was wondering if the 'community' had any recommendations on which 'preferred commentary' should be listed first in one's library.  Granted that's going to come down to personal preference.  But I'm hoping to glean some tips and recommendations to help me make that decision.

Theologically, I'm in the Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed section of Christianity. Smile

I was thinking it might be good to select a single volume or set that covered the entire Bible, so that when I'm first getting started, it would be consistent.  Currently, I have the Bible Knowledge Commentary set as the first 'preferred commentary' but I'm wondering if there are suggestions for something better?

Hi Bill, 

Great question, I had a similar thought a while ago. In the end, I decided to use the scores on BestCommentaries.com and Tim Challies/Ligonier Ministries recommendations to create my own personal 'Best commentaries set'. You can do this by clicking on the info of a commentary and then editing its series.

I've made this my high prioritised series too. This way I can have I don't have to choose between Pillar for Carson on John or EBC for Carson on Matthew or NICNT for Bruce on Hebrews because they are all part of my custom series. As a result, when I link to my open Bible, it automatically pulls up the 'best' commentary in my library for that portion of scripture. When I open my passage guide, the 'best' commentary in my library is always first in the commentaries section. 

My approach is simple, why have one series prioritised above the rest, when you can prioritise the best offerings from all of them! 

I hope that helps.

Carpe verbum.

Posts 45
Chi Shun Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 2:28 PM

If you are from a Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed section of Christianity (which I am too),

and you want a commentary series that covers the old to the new,

Then the New American Commentary is probably the best for you.

1. It's very conservative (more than NICOT/NT and much more conservative than WBC), meaning the authors have a high view of inerrancy.

2. It's almost COMPLETE. It covers every book except for Psalms and Ephesians (whiel the others have 3 or more volumes missing.

3. It's also acclaimed by scholars (especially the OT volumes).

4. Also, if you are a premillennialist, then this series is especially for you. For it is premil almost consistently

Posts 959
Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 3:40 PM

LMAM:

My approach is simple, why have one series prioritised above the rest, when you can prioritise the best offerings from all of them! 

LearnLogos had a webinar last night (Mastering the Use of Commentaries for Bible Study) and this exact tip came up. It was a great webinar, I learned a lot.

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