Hello I’d like to ask what do people here use if anything for bible commentaries, preferably on the internet? I recognize that many various viewpoints exist here so there’s not one answer lol but I’d like to know what people might suggest. I’m uninformed in this area. Currently I use the Matthew Henry concise commentary but as my views have changed from things like BioLogos, I personally find this one to feel “dated.” Just thought I’d ask, thank you for your time.
If I had to pick just one resource that covered all of scripture, it would be the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. Beyond that, recent specific commentaries on individual books.
For new, but not free, that is available online look into Logos. I have added resources as funds permit and they usually offer one freebie a month. They have quite the range of viewpoints available. There are other Bible Study packages out there.
You’re not going to be able to find a recently published commentary for free on the internet. I’ve heard you get access to decent stuff with Logos software, though I haven’t messed around with it too much personally. Another thing you might check out is a Scribd subscription. You get three credits a month for access to recently published books, and they have a bunch of really good commentaries (Not to mention other books, you could read Adam and the Genome, for example.) Once you download a book, you have access as long as you keep your account. It’s 8.99 a month. You could try it free for a month and see what you can find. Also, depending on where you live, you can sometimes get recent stuff on inter-library loan.
The Story of God series by Zondervan is kind of a nice readable format for commentaries. Scot McKnight, Tremper Longman, Michael Bird, and Lynn Cohick have done books. You can get a free Scot McKnight sample here.
The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary set has some pretty good stuff. John Walton was the general editor, I think. I work in translation and like the Zondervan Exegetical Commentaries, but they are more technical (it’s helpful to know Greek/Hebrew). I respect some of the authors more than others, but I like that they pay attention to cultural context and discourse analysis and many are written by people who have consulted on major English Bible translations like Karen Jobes and Mark Strauss.
Also, if you get on the Zondervan Academic newsletter, they have semi-annual sales where they knock the price on selected Kindle commentaries down 80-90%. I’ve gotten a couple for like 2.99.
Zondervan is not giving me a commission for this post. The Baker Academic Exegetical Commentary Series is good too.
Thanks a bunch guys, these are some pretty informed responses. Before I just used biblehub but now I know more about what I could look into
I use Logos. These are my favored commentaries.
- Continental Commentary.
- New International Commentary on the Old Testament.
- New International Commentary on the New Testament.
- UBS Handbbooks.
- JPS Torah/Bible Commentary.
- Mentor Old Testament.
- Word Biblical Commentary.
- Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.
- New International Greek Testament Commentary.
- Forms of the Old Testament Literature.
- College Press NIV Commentary.
- Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary.
- Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.
I got the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible last year, and I vouch for it!
I thought I would convert Jonathan’s good list into searchable “links” and just enough text to help differentiate as well as provide something more searchable:
The name Hermeneia, Greek, has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term used in the ancient Greek-speaking world for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. It is hoped that the series, like its name, will carry forward this old and venerable tradition. A second, entirely practical reason for selecting the name lies in the desire to avoid a long descriptive title and its inevitable acronym, or worse, an unpronounceable abbreviation.
Landmark commentaries representing some of the best of European biblical scholarship. The currently 19-volume Continental Commentary Series, published by Fortress Press, makes leading critical biblical scholarship from German and French scholars available to the English-speaking world. This series combines scholarly excellence with academic rigor to benefit pastors, students, and scholars of both the Old and New Testament.
Someone once said, “The past is another country – they do things differently there.” At times, indeed, the Old Testament resembles another very different country. Maneuvering through levitical laws, bloodshed in Joshua, or Daniel’s apocalyptic visions, sincere readers often wonder what the Old Testament means and how it can be the Word of God. For several decades The New International Commentary on the Old Testament has helped countless people traverse this difficult literary terrain.
“. . . undertaken to provide earnest students of the New Testament with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.” This statement reflects the underlying purpose of The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Begun in the late 1940s by an international team of New Testament scholars, the NICNT series has become recognized by pastors, students, and scholars alike as a critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition.
The UBS Handbooks are detailed commentaries providing exegetical, historical, cultural, and linguistic information for translators, as well as suggestions for arriving at a clear equivalent rendering. The Handbooks are also extremely useful to pastors, Bible students, Sunday School teachers and others interested in knowing more about the Bible. The material is practical and yet scholarly.
Written by four outstanding Torah scholars, the JPS Torah Commentary represents a fusion of the best of the old and new. Utilizing the latest research to enhance our understanding of the biblical text, it takes its place as one of the most authoritative yet accessible Bible commentaries of our day. The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field.
Order this series electronicly (Order commentaries in Logos Bible Software)
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theologicalunderstanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS) does what very few of today’s students of the Bible could do for themselves. With the aid of computer technology, the vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.
This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.
This series aims to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book and each unit in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, the FOTL volumes examine the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. Designed to be used alongside a Hebrew text or a translation of the Bible, the series is meant primarily to lead the student to the Old Testament texts themselves, not just to form-critical studies of the texts. Each volume includes thorough bibliographies and a glossary of the genres and formulas identified in the commentary.
College Press NIV Commentary Series is formatted with a verse-by-verse explanation of the text. It was developed for both the scholar and the average Bible student. The Colllege Press NIV Commentary Series is the only full commentary set in print from the Restoration Movement. Each volume (41 volumes for the Old & New Testament) contains the following helpful features: Biblically sound exegesis Clear exposition Objective approach Concise introduction New International Version of the Bible Key word translation Easy to use design format Practical footnotes And more!
Order this series electronicly.
The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library is a project of international and interfaith scope in which Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from many countries contribute individual volumes. The project is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and is not intended to reflect any particular theological doctrine.
Another vote for the Cuktural Backgrounds Study Bible. I also like the ESV Study Bible. I’m taking some seminary classes just for kicks and the ESV study bible is used for all classes at this seminary.
I got a New Interpreters Study Bible for Christmas last year, and have enjoyed it. It is a bit academic for our conservative church bible studies which has its moments, and has the apocrypha, which is a plus for me as it is the only Bible I have with those books.
Personally, my favorite NT commentary is by R. C. H. Lenski because he gives alternate interpretations as well as his preference. He was a Lutheran and seemed biased against Calvin but outside of that for which was easy for me to compensate I have no other criticisms of Lenski. Don’t know if it free on line.
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