Thursday, March 1, 2007

Bible Study Tools (part 6) - Commentaries

Commentaries are very helpful resources to use when studying a verse or a section of Scripture. There are many kinds of commentaries ranging from basics to critical. For practical purposes I will only mention a few that I know of and I would recommend. Of course mentioning these commentaries does not necessarily mean endorsing their doctrines. I guess the key is let the Scriptures correct the commentary, rather than the other way around. Having mention this here are some thoughts on Commentaries and some personal recommendations.

Some tips for using Commentaries Effectively

1. The commentaries must be written by men who are sound in the faith. There are conservative commentaries as well as critical.
2. Do not lean on commentaries. As a matter of fact they are the last to be consulted after you have done your study.
3. Commentaries must be judged by Scriptures. No commentator is infallible. A wise student will line up the Commentary with the light of Scriptures.
4. Bible Commentaries have strengths and weaknesses. For example Matthew Henry believes in baby sprinkling.

Exposition of the Old and New Testament (Matthew Henry)
He lived from (1662-1714). This set of early 18th century commentaries (first published in part in 1708-10) remains one of the most helpful in print. He was a non-conformist Presbyterian pastor, a master of Biblical languages. Henry died before finishing the rest so from Romans to Revelation 14 dissenting preachers from the Church of England compiled the rest. Spurgeon points out that George Whitefield read Henry 4 times in his life. Hendrickson Publishers created a One Volume unabridged version of this commentary.

Barnes’ Notes on the Old and New Testament (Albert Barnes)
Albert Barnes (1798-1870); Frederic C. Cook (1810-1889); and James Murphy. There are 14 volumes in this invaluable set of commentaries. Barnes was a Presbyterian preacher and Bible expositor. He was brought to trial in 1835 for his rejection of the unscriptural doctrine of limited atonement. He advocated total abstinence of alcoholic beverages, was a soul-winner, and promoted Sunday Schools.

Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (John Gill) (1697-1771)
Renowned British Bible Scholar and Baptist pastor. For over 50 years he pastored the Particular Baptist Church of Horselydown, Southwark, London. The church eventually moved its location and became known as the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, of Spurgeon’s fame.

Jameison-Fausset-Brown Complete Commentary
By Robert Jameison (1802-1880); Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910), and David Brown (1803-1897). First published in 1871, this three volume set is frequently critical to the received text and KJV, but it contains practical thoughts on the Bible text.

Other good ones....
Commentary On The Old Testament by C.F. Keil & F. Delitzsch
The Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon - this one is a classic on Psalms
Word Pictures in the New Testament by A.T. Robertson

Other good commentators that I like - Anything by any of these guys....
Dr. M.R. Dehaan
Harry Ironside
Lehman Strauss
Oliver Greene
W.E. Vine
Irving Jensen
The Puritans (the more conservative and anti-Catholic ones are awesome!)
John Philipp's "Exploring..." series is useful.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

I personally love John Gills. I use a tool called e-Sword that you can get from the internet and the complete John Gill commentart is available with the program for free and it is great! Great post!

Bill Hardecker said...

Hello Cindy, thanks for your comments. I like Dr. Gill also. I believe I heard about him as I was reading Spurgeon. The more I reference Gill the more I like what he has to say. And yes, praise God for e-sword. I will feature that tool in the "electronic helps" section of this topic.

The Good Reporters said...

You are doing a really good job. Keep them coming.

Bill Hardecker said...

Thanks good reporters. I appriciate your comments. I need life to slow down a little...you know what I mean.

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