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Bible commentaries provide exegetes with linguistic, theological, and interpretive background material as they examine the biblical text. However, the plethora of available commentaries creates a new question for interpreters of all experience levels—which?
Scope of this list
This LibGuide emphasizes technical, conservative commentaries for the books of the Bible. Many of the commentaries listed here refer directly to the Greek or Hebrew text.
Of course, appearance in our list should not be misunderstood as a blanket endorsement of all the statements of the authors, nor should this list be considered as comprehensive in any way.
Other sites with book recommendations
Barnes Notes on the New Testament (11 vols.)
Call Number: 225.7 B261 1977
From the 19th century, comments are generally conservative in its view of inspiration and inerrancy. Perhaps some problems in Romans about the imputation of sin, for which the Presbyterians put Barnes on trial for heresy, but did not convict him. Not likely to be premillennial in his view of Christ’s return.
BECNT - Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT
Call Number: Individual volumes placed separately in the Stacks.
Commentary based on the Greek Text (UBS 4 or NA27) with, so far, a good selection of conservative NT scholars. More conservative than the NIGTC. Emphasizes literary structure as well as exegetical detail.
Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament by
Call Number: 221.7 B471w 2000
Publication Date: 1985-07-01
HELP FROM EXPERT SCHOLARS IN UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES * What does That verse mean? * How should I interpret this passage? * What is the significance of this word or phrase in Hebrew or Aramaic? * How do Bible-time customs help me understand the meaning of this passage? * How does the information on the author, historical background, and features of a Bible book help interpret that book? The Bible Knowledge Commentary answers these and other questions about the Scriptures, discussing all the Bible verse by verse and often phrase by phrase. In addition, maps, charts, and diagrams help you grasp the meanings of the biblical text. Unlike most others this commentary is by authors from one school - Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary - popular in style and scholarly in content - will deepen your understanding of God's written Word
EBC - Expositors Bible Commentary (12 vols.)
Call Number: 220.7 Ex765
This first edition of this set was produced in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is generally conservative with authors who hold to a conservative view of inspiration and inerrancy. The English Bible text is the New International Version (1977, 1984). A revision (220.7 Ex765r) is under way, which keeps some of the authors from the first edition, but replaces some of the others. It seems to be in keeping with the first edition.
NAC - New American Commentary
Call Number: 220.7 N42a
Follows in the tradition of the American Commentary, which was produced in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was generally a conservative, Baptist commentary series. Although not all the authors in the NAC are Southern Baptists, the conservative resurgence in the SBC has an influence on the direction of this series. This series is generally conservative in its views toward inspiration, inerrancy, and interaction with critical scholarship. The English Bible text is the NIV.
NICOT/NICNT - New International Commentary on OT and NT - Luke
Call Number: 221.7 N42a [for OT]; 225.7 N42a [for NT]
The NT part of this series started in the 1950s and has gone through revisions since the late 1980s or so. Some of the first editions are to be preferred over their revised replacement, for example Philip Hughes on 2 Corinthians over Paul Barnett. The authors in both series do their own English translations with extensive notes. The OT series tends to give more ground to historical-critical methods, which tends for decent explanation of the original language, but poor theological conclusions from the text. Commentaries on Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon are good examples of this.
The New International Greek Testament Commentary
Call Number: Individual volumes placed separately in the Stacks.
The New international Greek Testament commentary
Notice from publisher: August 15, 2016 - At the beginning of July 2016, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. received allegations against one of its New Testament commentaries and immediately undertook a careful investigation. Eerdmans is now withdrawing that book and two others by the same author. Eerdmans editors compared the text of The Letter to the Hebrews (Pillar New Testament Commentary, 2010) with various secondary sources and submitted findings to external experts for verification. Summing up the findings, Editor-in-chief James Ernest said, "Our own editors and our outside consultants agreed that what we found on the pages of this commentary runs afoul of commonly accepted standards with regard to the utilization and documentation of secondary sources. We agreed that the book could not be retained in print." Examination of the same author's Letter to the Ephesians (PNTC, 1999) and Epistle to the Philippians (New International Greek Testament Commentary, 1991) found them less pervasively flawed but still untenable. The author, Peter T. O'Brien, was presented with the findings and provided the following response: "In the New Testament commentaries that I have written, although I have never deliberately misused the work of others, nevertheless I now see that my work processes at times have been faulty and have generated clear-cut, but unintentional, plagiarism. For this I apologize without reservation." President and publisher Anita Eerdmans summed up the company's stance as follows: "Eerdmans is steadfastly committed to the highest ethical standards in academic and business practice, and we apologize to all who are negatively affected by this situation. Our Bible commentary series, among the best of their kind, are authored and edited by the field's top scholars. The strong measures we are taking in this case are meant to underscore our firm belief that our commentary program is, and must remain, solid." Eerdmans is taking the following steps: Ceasing sales and pulp stock of all three volumes, placing them out of print; Offering credit to individuals and trade partners who have purchased the above three volumes (For detailed instructions on how to pursue this option, please write to email@example.com); Discussing best practices for quality control with press editors, series editors, and authors. Members of the media wishing to contact Eerdmans may send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCOT/TCNT - Tyndale Commentaries on OT and NT
Call Number: 221.7 T978 [for OT]; 225.7 T978 [for NT]
This series originated in the 1950s; the OT has just recently been completed; many of the earlier NT commentaries have been revised, either by the same author or, in the case of 1 Peter, Wayne Grudem wrote a new commentary for the series. The NT tends to be less accepting of critical approaches to the origins of the biblical books. OT can be a mixed bag of conservative and critical writers.