A while back I had a friend ask me for a recommendation on good biblical commentaries. Sadly, I was at a loss for what to tell him in that there are so many good ones out there. Adding to the dilemma is the fact that all of them are so drastically different. One must also consider that even within commentary sets, not all of the volumes are of equal quality. I guess you could say I had analysis paralysis. Following a long conversation about all of the different types, I suggested that a really good study bible was often the best place to start since it often gives you the most bang for your buck. My recommendation when it came to study bibles was hands down the ESV, based on the people involved in it’s publishing combined with the overwhelming amount of resources that it provides. However, that’s not to say it’s the only good one out there.
As I revisited this thought process again when I posted Mining for Gold last week, I was able to refine my thoughts on the matter with a bit more clarity. The question I came to was, what resources do I go to first when I want to understand a passage more fully? Once again I came up with the ESV Study Bible. However, right behind that would definitely have to be the Commentary on the Whole Bible by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown. To quote C.H. Spurgeon: “It contains so great a variety of information that if a man had no other exposition he would find himself at no great loss if he possessed this and used it diligently. I have of it a very high opinion…. and I consult it continually and with great interest.” Behind that would be Matthew Henry’s commentaries. Again, this is not to say that these are the definitive resources when it comes to biblical exposition. However, as a humble student of the Bible, they are the ones I like to go to first.
- Mining for Gold (matthewwynne.wordpress.com)