That's right. Once again we've brought you help. This time it's Bible commentary resources. These are choice right from my own shelf (and even some from my computer!) Unfortunately, some of these are out of print but can still be found through other publishers and online. If you haven't been in the Faith long enough to pick up our lingo, you may not know what a commentary is...
A commentary is basically an explanation of biblical texts in the order they're given (example: Start in Genesis, end in Revelation.) Commentaries can aid you in understanding difficult texts without having to know a bunch of Greek and Hebrew.
I prefer critical commentaries over devotional commentaries. Critical commentaries deal more with what the words of the text actually mean. Devotional commentaries tend more toward practical but, many times, opinionated (not always) "judgment calls."
The problem is, commentators tend to be...to be...commentative!
But, once again, we have to say, "Be careful, Bible student!" These men aren't perfect. Many had some interesting opinions about the Bible. Just because these men wrote a Bible commentary does not mean you need to believe everything they say. Make sure it squares with what the Bible says.
Use discernment when reading these. Don't just swallow. Chew first!
But I will say the scholars represented here are some of the "best of the best." They had wise things to say. We don't always have to come up with our own wisdom. We can listen to others who have gone before. Why reinvent the wheel if you don't have to.
Just be careful, and enjoy God's Word more!
Author - John Walvoord, Roy Zuck
Based on the New International Version of the Bible, this solid Bible
commentary provides simplistic Bible exposition at its best. Good
scholarship makes this a definite plus for the Bible student. I've listed the edition I have for this commentary. It is difficult to find at a reasonable price, however. A used-book store or site may be your best bet here.
Author - Robert Jamieson, A.R. Faucett, David Brown
JFB (the initials of the last names of the three authors) has been the
last word in critical commentary. They deal primarily with the text
rather than making "judgment calls." These sometime get a little deep
with the original languages. But I still say this is a must for any Bible student! What I have listed is the lesser edition. I have the full edition, but it is a bit pricier.
Author - Matthew Henry
Any which way I say this, I'm going to get in trouble. So I'll just say it...
It seems like the longer someone is dead, the more people hold his opinions up as truth. This is the case with Mr. Henry. Don't get me wrong. I like his commentaries. They're solid, and I use them a lot. But Mr. Henry tends to come from a very opinionated standpoint, and I often find myself at odds with the liberal justices he takes with the text.
But this is probably one of the best examples of devotional commentaries. He does do some language study. But, for all intents and purposes, it's fairly straightforward. It's a must have regardless of the drawbacks.
Although I've included the abridged version here (because it's cheaper), I would definitely look for the unabridged version. It's definitely worth the price upgrade!
Author - J. Vernon McGee
I have to confess, I haven't used these as much as I used to. But if you're just starting out, you probably can't find anything better than this set for ease of use and general application. This easy to use resource rounds out this section of commentaries.
Dr. McGee is a solid Bible expositor. We're deeply indebted to
his biblical scholarship and practical application of scriptural Truth. No one squeezed application from the Bible better than J. Vernon!
One caveat with Dr. McGee...
He tended to take positions on issues that aren't "historically
Christian" (or biblical for that matter). His weak stance on abortion ruffled many a feather in his
time. Such opinions definitely come through in his commentary. But these
are few and far between. He's a good man with a good commentary! Great
for the young-in-the-faith Bible student!
Author - William Barclay
Although I don't agree with everything Mr. Barclay says, his Daily Bible
Study Series is a great one for simplistic presentation of Bible
passages. Comparable to Dr. McGee's series in readability and
simplicity, yet deeper in application. His commentaries are meaty to say the least. I still use them to craft my lessons and sermons. Pick up the whole set if you can.
Author - John F. MacArthur Jr.
Great resource if you can afford to get them. Dr. MacArthur is an expositor's expositor. He's more careful with the text than some of the others mentioned. These are a must for the serious student of the Bible.
If you don't have the money, then you may want to purchase Pastor MacArthur's one volume commentary.
However, I would highly recommend the full set of individual titles. That may get a bit pricey. The alternative would be to get individual volumes and build your library.
Author - John Philips
I have a couple of his volumes. It's been a while since I've used this one. But when I
read it, I think I read it from cover to cover! A good Bible commentary
and a must for the Romans fan. Not a must for all Bible
He definitely takes a more devotional angle. Still a good one though!
Author - Arthur Pink
I like Mr. Pink. But he claims one attribute that drives me nuts about many other Bible commentators...he tends to be extremely opinionated.
He isn't for the beginner. You have to take a lot of what he says
carefully. But at times, he's more careful than many others and isn't
afraid to voice views that others may kick against.
The Life of David is a great "no-nonsense" Bible commentary on
the life of King David. Unfortunately, it's out of print. You can still find copies on Amazon and some used-book sites. Snatch this one up if you can find it in a used-book store!
Author - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
This guy had a brain-and-a-half in his head! And the Treasury reflects that. But it still makes sense. If you want to know the Psalms better, get this devotional work.
It lacks technical depth, but for a devotional commentary, it works!