A list of recommended Bible commentaries by authors you can trust, several single commentaries, and an number of recommended Bible commentary series.

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Good Commentaries Authors:

F. F. Bruce

Joseph Barber Lightfoot

Charles Augustus Briggs

Alfred A. Plummer


W. D. Davies

Samuel Rolles Driver

Dale C. Allison Jr.

Good Commentary Volumes

Expositor’s Bible commentary volumes

Volume 1 Introductory Articles, I learned so much by reading this through.

The introductory articles of Expositor’s Bible Commentary cover a range of important topics. I wish I could just coy and past the Table of Contents here for you. Most important to myself is what I learned about what the Bible is and how we got it, what textual criticism is, and the canon of the Bible. This all prepared me for the KJOism I would encounter later. There are many other great articles. I read this volume cover to cover, marking of each of the 35 articles as I went. This volume is part of the original set but not in the revised edition. I highly recommend getting this volume even though I do not suggest getting the entire EBC set. I do not know if the revised edition is better than the original as I have not used it.

Volume 8 The commentary on Matthew covers harmonizing the synoptic gospels.

I recommend this volume because it contains D. A. Carson’s mammoth commentary on Matthew. Although Expositor’s Bible Commentary scholarly set, Carson’s Commentary is more detailed than the other volumes. It takes on the task of dealing with the issues of harmonizing the synoptic gospels. Many scoff at harmonizers.

Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated, Billinger

This book covers many types of figures of speech. It provides numerous biblical examples of each type. It helps one to understand the Bible better and sometimes changes one’s interpretation. I often can find something in it by searching for a verse, word, or phrase.

Good Commentary Series:

International Critical Commentary

ICC is a commentary series that I often turn to for answers to my questions about the Bible. Many of the recommended authors wrote several of the volumes. These are academic level commentaries. At first their discussion of the original languages was above my head. I simply gleaned out of it what I could. But it became more understandable and useful as I as continued to use it in my research. They are very helpful for those who know the original languages of the Bible. They are also useful to those who have the software tools to look up words in the original languages.

Anchor Yale Bible

AYBC is an 80 volume academic commentary series that brings scholars from everywhere, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, and secular. So, you will not want this one unless you are thoroughly grounded and recognize when the view has strayed. That said, it is a scholarly work that I find myself using considerably alongside others.

Exegetical Summaries

Exegetical Summaries has brought together information from lexicons and many commentators in an easily accessible format. The show how people have broken down the “units” of text, defined or translated words, and interpretated passages. They further present relevant questions of issues in the unit that you may be or perhaps should be asking yourself. The questions are followed by answers people have given to present various views. They offer a place for an initial look at a text. It is a nice package of information on a text ready for use.

The Pulpit Commentary

A person can go a long way with The Pulpit Commentary. It is the bestselling commentary set since the earlier part of the 20th century. Originally 77 volumes this conservative homiletical commentary is now commonly printed in 23 volumes. Though it can help with sermon ideas since a substantial portion of it is homiletics, its exegetical portion is of value also. Part of the rich value of the homiletics come from the views of several authors covering the same passage. I still turn to it occasionally when I am not finding what I am looking for. I say, “I can get a straight up answer from the Pulpit Commentary.” Once it informed me that an issue discussed in other commentaries was not a valid issue at all. Some inventions of men just will not die, so The Pulpit Commentary is still relevant. The series includes a useful index volume which is included in the Logos edition. You do not use the index to search for things when using Bible software such as Logos, but the index is a rather exhaustive list of topics for ideas. The King James text is used.

I am sure there are more to be added once I give it more thought and consider them as I am using them.