Commentaries for the Seminary Student-Interim Youth Pastor

Discussion in 'Commentaries' started by Wynteriii, Oct 28, 2012.

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  1. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I've heard a lot of good things about the New American Commentary series, but I don't know. I'm looking for a expository commentaries and would like to know if you guys have any favorites on which sets to buy. These books should help me with bible study (with is book by book) and my expository preaching which I love to do.

    Any reviews on R.C Sproul's St. Andrews Commentary series?
     
  2. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    NAC is rather inconsistent in my judgment. Greenbaggins has posted a recommended commentaries list (by book, no less); you may access the post by clicking here.

    Sproul's is good but will not qualify for verse-by-verse study at any great depth...I have Mark and John and have enjoyed them, but as expositional commentaries go, I would personally take Boice over Sproul.

    The best expositional commentators, in my judgment, are Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, or John Calvin.

    BTW, I checked out your blog. Glad to see another Chapel Library man on the PB! I know those guys (we're from P'cola) -- very godly, faithful laborers in the vineyard.

    Grace to you in your studies.
     
  3. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    First, I do not generally recommend an entire series.

    Second, as to be expected, the individual volumes in the NAC range from exceptional to mediocre.

    Third, I know it looks good, and makes us feel even better, to see lots of commentaries on our bookshelves. But unless you are loaded with cash, I believe it is a far more efficient use of money and energy to buy commentaries for a given book of the Bible when you are about to study that book. Then you can buy the best commentaries across the many series that exist. For your "whole Bible" needs, just use Matthew Henry, Calvin, Gill, etc.
     
  4. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I think I'll wait till the my seminary instructor tells me what commentary to get for what book. The instructors normally use NAC but I have seen Tyndale.
     
  5. Zach

    Zach Puritan Board Junior

    I think Ben has given some pretty solid advice. I was able to find Matthew Henry's six volume commentary on the whole Bible for $30 and also made use of Banner of Truth's sale on J.C. Ryle's commentary on the Gospels. Take advantage of sales and special offers (I was able to get Dr. Sproul on Mark for a donation to Ligonier) and purchase individual commentaries that you will use.
     
  6. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    If you are at a seminary with a library, I'd hold off on commentaries buying and use the library's commentaries. Then you can use the money for other non-reference type books.
     
  7. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    This is an excellent resource A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works John Evans is a second (or third?) generation Presbyterian pastor and began making recommendations to his fellow seminary students 25 years ago. That developed into this reference. His rating system can be quite insightful as he includes books recommended from a reformed perspective, but also "standard" works that are part of the scholarly lexicon.
     
  8. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

  9. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    '
    Thank you for taking a look at my blog. I love Chapel's Library and it is a blessing to those who wish to know the thought of church fathers. I'm reading "Holiness" by John C. Ryle.
     
  10. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Good for you! Ryle is one of my favorites, even if he's not officially a Puritan. :)

    I second Ben's advice above. Most of the modern sets are generally not as good as the old dead guys in terms of whole-Bible commentaries.

    Though I will qualify that remark with these 2 comments: 1)I don't have Hendriksen & Kistemaker, but have heard good things from solid expositors.

    2) One series I have found several helpful volumes in: IVP's "The Bible Speaks Today" (edited by John Stott). I am not endorsing the series as a whole, but simply saying (along the lines of Ben's response) that there have been several helpful volumes (Stott, Clowney, etc.). It's not technical or critical (i.e., exegetically) by any means, but the volumes I own are typically faithful, insightful, and accessible expositions which clearly are the fruits of sound exegesis. I know it was out of print for a while so you may have to dig a bit to find out more.

    Grace to you as you study and grow in the knowledge of God's precious word.
     
  11. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Following Ben's point above about conserving cash:

    Wait! Before you buy anything, Calvin, Gill, Henry, Poole, and many others are available online for free.

    Some links:

    Matthew Poole

    Poole, Henry, Gill, Calvin, et al

    Too many Puritans to list at the Puritan Library. Various expositional works.

    Though not a commentary/exposition, even a Brakel's "A Christian's Reasonable Service" is online for free.

    Other resources:

    Free Online Library: Main Bibliographic Divisions
    Welcome to the CCEL - Christian Classics Ethereal Library
    The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., Free Audio Sermons - many of the titles here can be found online at either archive.org or google books.

    Ryle's is also online as an ebook for free.
     
  12. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    JohnGill/Chris,

    You're exactly right!

    Wynter,

    I'd encourage you to look at E-sword Bible software (if you don't already have a Bible study software package). It's free, and many of the excellent Puritan/Reformed commentaries and books that JohnGill referenced may be downloaded (legally) for free as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  13. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I prefer not using Bible study software. I prefer cracking open multiple books and setting them around my desk if not in my room. There is certain feeling I get when study God's word this way instead of software.

    Call me old fashion
     
  14. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    You could always print out the pdfs. In some places this can be a lot cheaper than buying the books.
     
  15. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    Agreed, I have added the links to my desktop for later usage.
     
  16. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Wynter, totally agree with you on preferring print to electronic -- but due to budget constraints, free electronic will win over paid print in my studies!

    Grace to you.
     
  17. Wynteriii

    Wynteriii Puritan Board Freshman

    I ordered a couple days ago

    Treasury of David
    Matthew Henry Unabridged
    Matthew Poole Unabridged
    A set on Isaiah (I believe this could have been an impulse buy, but the deal was twenty bucks that was forty yesterday)

    Is it just me or do all people who study the bible get really excited when they add books to their library.
     
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