Best New Testament Application Commentary

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Posts 245
Pastor James | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Dec 22 2010 12:48 PM
What is you're favorite commentary for sermon prep for passage application?
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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 1:06 PM

James Alexander:
What is you're favorite commentary for sermon prep for passage application?

I would say the life application study bible (own it in e-sword). Unfortunately, I do not own to many application commentaries. I hope to change that in the near future. I would definitely trade in some of my expositional commentaries to get a hold of a few good application ones if I could. 

 

Posts 453
Mike S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 1:59 PM

  1. NIVAC (own in print... someday hope to have electronic)
  2. Life Application Commentary
  3. Holman NT Commentary
  4. John Courson
  5. Opening Up

As an aside, one of the things I like to do is use Cited By with collection of sermons to see how others have applied this passage (Piper, Early Church, etc.)

Posts 1537
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 2:09 PM

I've been really eying the the NIVAC, just have not taken the leap yet. Maybe it will go on sale one of these day's

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 3:09 PM

James Alexander:
What is you're favorite commentary for sermon prep for passage application?

It really depends on the commentary author, but I find the following useful:

1. NIVAC--I like the Revelation Commentary and Hebrews.  Some others were so so.  but mostly decent.

2. Preacher's Commentary (some sections he just talks about the scripture, others he has good illustrations)

3.  Warren Wiersbe has some interesting stuff from time to time.  Usually good stories and analogies.

4.  Life Application is also decent.  little quips, application insights, etc.

5. Teacher's Commentary by Larry Richards.  Applies it to life for children and adults.  Not every pericope of the Bible is represented, but many major ones are.  One volume

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 3:13 PM

Dan DeVilder:

1. NIVAC--I like the Revelation Commentary and Hebrews.  Some others were so so.  but mostly decent.

2. Preacher's Commentary (some sections he just talks about the scripture, others he has good illustrations)

These two are also my preferred application commentaries.

Bohuslav

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 3:21 PM

i have also found these two Zondervan resources very helpful.  Search by scripture and topic:

http://www.logos.com/product/5423/1001-illustrations-that-connect

http://www.logos.com/product/5425/1001-quotations-that-connect

pretty current stuff.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 5317
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 3:33 PM

Mike S.:

 

  1. NIVAC (own in print... someday hope to have electronic)
  2. Life Application Commentary
  3. Holman NT Commentary
  4. John Courson
  5. Opening Up

 

As an aside, one of the things I like to do is use Cited By with collection of sermons to see how others have applied this passage (Piper, Early Church, etc.)

Logos Wise: Holman and Courson are good would be on  my top 5 along with Preachers Commentary. I find the best series, albeit incomplete Welwyn, I love it and got tired of waiting for it in Logos and got it elsewhere. NIVAC is something i briefly owned it in Logos and just found it was definitely not for me. I found NIVAC very hostile, in my mind's eye anyway, and requested a refund, there were some good things in it but i just came away from them feeling wrong too often. I can't give an example but my Pastor agreed about some recent items in the evangelical world. However if you are an ardent evangelical type it might be for you, Welwyn can be that way at times but generally more even handed.

Wesleyan is also quite wonderful... and it is currently on sale. I have only had it for a few days but am really enjoying it. The reflections in New Interpreter's Bible is usually top notch for me (although like all multi-volume sets it has it weaker spots). Daily Study Bible is the very top of my list but it;s currently not available except as a gathering interest.

-Dan

Posts 1686
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 22 2010 4:09 PM

One not mentioned so far is the Bible Speaks Today NT series.

Very good value for 22 volumes (and often on sale at 3rd party sites.)

Hopefully you have created a collection of your top commentaries? If so you can call it in your My Passage Guide, so its results turn up above above the others. Mine's defined like this:

(type:commentary OR mytag:commentary) AND Series:("Baker Exegetical","Word Biblical Commentary","Pillar New Testament","United Bible Societies","New International Greek Testament","The Bible Speaks Today","IVP Bible Background Commentary","Tyndale Commentaries","New American Commentary","Socio-Rhetorical Commentary")

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 23 2010 3:12 AM

Dan Francis:
I found NIVAC very hostile

No kidding?  I hadn't really thought of it that way over all.  I think I might have found the Luke commentary leaning that way (a bit pompous in some "Contemporary Culture" entries), but Keener's revelation commentary is everything BUT hostile.  He is quite irenic in his approach.  So much so I just sent him an email thanking him for producing the commentary just this week.  Go figure.  Smile

 

Allen--I haven't used most of the BST (just bought the series, prior to that had Stott's S on M and Wilcock's Revelation).  But I haven't found it that "practical" yet, as far as application.  Are there some better ones you might alert me to (particular books/authors).  I suppose I remember Stott being "okay" on application.  Haven't used that one in a while.  Wilcock is good for simplifying theology and overview, but I don't remember a lot of application per se.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 13413
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 23 2010 3:28 AM

Kent Hughes Preaching the Word series is brilliant for application. James Montgomery Boice isn't bad, and I agree that NIVAC is pretty good most of the time.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 23 2010 3:46 AM

Mark Barnes:
Kent Hughes Preaching the Word

Mark, in what way is it brilliant?  Does he bring it across with "how tos" or is it illustration, or what?  Never used his material.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 13413
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 23 2010 4:19 AM

Dan DeVilder:
Mark, in what way is it brilliant?  Does he bring it across with "how tos" or is it illustration, or what?  Never used his material.

It's expositional, which means it reads like a good sermon. When I'm thinking about both illustrations and applications, I find more relevant material in his books than in any others. Here's a passage chosen at random (James 1:3-4) that will give you a flavour of both:

THE RATIONALE FOR THE IRRATIONAL CALL (vv. 3, 4)

The rationale for such joy comes from knowing that the various trials we face have spiritual value. James says there is a two-step process through which our trials elevate us.

The first step is to understand that “the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (v. 3) Elaboration on what is meant by perseverance will unlock rich truth. J. H. Ropes renders this “staying power.” Martin Dibelius calls it “heroic endurance.”8 And the NEB translates this as “fortitude.” James is talking about toughness—“the testing of your faith produces toughness.”

Here is how this works: we develop toughness or fortitude by repeatedly being tested and prevailing. The more tests we pass, the tougher we become. As a boxer engages in bout after bout, he toughens and becomes wiser and stronger. After a time he develops such fortitude, perseverance and staying power that he can take on the best. There is no way a fighter, or any of us, can develop toughness without testing! The endurance and fortitude of the Apostle Paul or William Carey or Corrie ten Boom did not come overnight and did not come apart from trials. Paul, in Romans 5:3, confirms this truth: “but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.”

My experience in raising children has helped me understand how God views our testing. When my wife and I were young parents and our oldest child was in the first grade, we bought her a winter coat. We had intentionally bought a size too large, but it was a marvelous blue, fluffy, mock-fur coat with gold buttons down the front. The day after we bought it, a most unusual thing happened in California. It rained! It was a perfect day to wear her coat.

I never will forget how she looked as she went out the door—dressed in red boots, her blue coat with gold buttons, a little white knit hat, yellow yarn around her pigtails, and a red umbrella. We were so proud of her. It did not matter that her coat was a little long at the sleeves and at the hem. She was so happy as she walked out the door and down the driveway. Barbara and I stood behind the foggy windowpanes, watching her go.

Two little friends approached from down the street. Although I could not hear them, I saw one of them point at our daughter’s hair, and I knew she was saying something like, “Your hair looks dumb!” Then she pointed to the hem of my daughter’s coat, and my temperature went up. The little girls marched off to school. Holly trudged slowly behind.

I really wanted to set those little girls straight! But I knew that if I continued to step in whenever she experienced such difficulties, she might not develop fortitude and staying power—qualities she now has in abundance!

Nature teaches us the same principle. Free a butterfly from its chrysalis, and thus from the struggle of liberating itself, and you destroy its life, for it will never develop the strength to soar as it should. When fortitude is lacking in one of God’s children, he has a time-tested remedy—“the testing of your faith.” With this in mind, James’ irrational call—“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds”—becomes brilliant.

The rationale becomes even clearer when we observe the second step: perseverance produces maturity. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (v. 4). Spiritual perseverance or toughness produces a dynamic maturity. “Mature” refers to a personality which has reached its full development. Regarding the corresponding synonym “complete,” Peter Davids explains: “Perfection is not just a maturing of character, but a rounding out as more and more ‘parts’ of the righteous character are added.” Thus, maturity is a dynamic state in which a thousand parts of us are honed, shaped, tempered and brought together, making a dynamic wholeness.

It is commonly taught that trials bring maturity, but it is not so. Rather, fortitude and perseverance in times of testings produce maturity. In troubled times we must practice spiritual toughness. As we endure “trials of many kinds”—economic stress, disappointments, criticisms, domestic pressures, persecution for our faith, illnesses—the multiple facets of our being are touched with grace. *** Seume wrote beautifully about this:

Life on earth would not be worth much if every source of irritation were removed. Yet most of us rebel against the things that irritate us, and count as heavy loss what ought to be rich gain. We are told that the oyster is wiser; that when an irritating object, like a bit of sand, gets under the “mantle” of his shell, he simply covers it with the most precious part of his being and makes of it a pearl. The irritation that it was causing is stopped by encrusting it with the pearly formation. A true pearl is therefore simply a victory over irritation. Every irritation that gets into our lives today is an opportunity for pearl culture. The more irritations the devil flings at us, the more pearls we may have. We need only to welcome them and cover them completely with love, that most precious part of us, and the irritation will be smothered out as the pearl comes into being. What a store of pearls we may have, if we will!

The key to a graced life, pearl-tipped facets of personality, and thus full maturity is constancy, tenacity, perseverance. Spiritual toughness is the key to saintliness!

The idea that when we “get it all together” our trials will lessen is a falsehood. Paul told Timothy the truth: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Life will always be full of testings for the true Christian. We must not imagine they will lessen with time—say, less trials at thirty-five than twenty-five, or at forty-five than thirty-five, or at fifty-five than forty-five, or at sixty-five than fifty-five, or at seventy-five than sixty-five. Trials are not a sign of God’s displeasure but are opportunities to persevere in the Lord.

James commands the irrational: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Is this crazy talk—pious prattle? Not when we embrace the double rationale:

1) Testing brings spiritual toughness—“because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (v. 3). When we, by God’s grace, tough it out, our entire person becomes pearly.

2) Toughness brings a dynamic maturity—“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (v. 4).

    When God wants to drill a man
     And thrill a man
     And skill a man,
    When God wants to mold a man
     To play the noblest part;
    When He yearns with all His heart
     To create so great and bold a man
    That all the world shall be amazed,
     Watch His methods, watch His ways!
    How He ruthlessly perfects
     Whom He royally elects!
    How He hammers him and hurts him,
     And with mighty blows converts him
    Into trial shapes of clay which
     Only God understands;
    While his tortured heart is crying
     And he lifts beseeching hands!
    How He bends but never breaks
     When his good He undertakes;
    How He uses whom He chooses
     And with every purpose fuses him;
     By every act induces him
    To try His splendor out—
     God knows what He’s about!

Such logic makes the command rational and supremely sane: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” James calls for a decisive act—to consider our troubles opportunities for joy and endurance. May we in prayer so acknowledge today and in days to come!

Posts 13413
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 23 2010 4:29 AM

Forgot to add that the best way of buying these volumes at the moment is in the Exegetical Commentaries Bundle which gets you 19 volumes of Preaching the Word plus 18 volumes of the IVP NT Commentary series for only $40 more than the 19 volumes on their own.

If you want the full set of PtW you need to add the rather overpriced 2 volume upgrade (email or ring for a better price, methinks) and a further three volume upgrade is on prepub.

Posts 245
Pastor James | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 24 2010 1:47 PM

Thanks for all of the replies. Here's what I've done. I already own and enjoy the Holman Commentary. Based on readings/reviews and price I just bought the Bible Speaks today NT Commentary series and the Jon Courson Essential Bible Study Library, and may be interested in the Welwyn series whenever it becomes available.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 24 2010 2:33 PM

Mark Barnes:

Here's a passage chosen at random (James 1:3-4) that will give you a flavour of both:

THE RATIONALE FOR THE IRRATIONAL CALL (vv. 3, 4)

Thank you, Mark.  That gave me a better understanding.  It does look like a good resource.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 24 2010 2:34 PM

James Alexander:
Here's what I've done

 

All the best to you, and how fortunate we are to have these resources to aid us!

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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