Do you have a favorite New Testament commentary or do you prefer the book-by-book commentaries? Also your current views on The Transforming Word: A One-Volume Commentary on the Bible (the inerrancy issue is not a concern of mine). I am in need of purchasing new ones and would appreciate your opinion.
Sometime ago, I wrote a post called Tools of the Trade answering another reader’s question about how I do my study. I didn’t say much about my commentary collection, because, even though I have a pretty good one, I don’t use it that much anymore. The one I use the most is the New International Commentary on the New Testament. Most of these are quite good, even though most were written some time ago. Some of these commentaries have been highly influential. Newer commentaries routinely cite to this series.
I also own and use the Tyndale New Testament Commentary 20-Volume Set. These are shorter books, but they have a high level of scholarship and are consistently good.
More recently, I’ve largely bought individual commentaries, largely by author rather than series. I’m a fan of N. T. Wright, D. A. Carson, F. F. Bruce, Doug Moo, Leon Morris, and John Stott. And I like big, thick commentaries, because the shorter ones can’t be counted on to cover the issues that concern me. Therefore, even though they’ve been around a long time, I keep some volumes of Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament around — long, detailed, and insightful. Nice, heavy books rich with learning.
I don’t own one-volume commentaries. They rarely cover the material in enough detail to be of much help. Therefore, I’ve not bought the The Transforming Word: A One-Volume Commentary on the Bible (and I still think it’s a bad idea for ACU to be raising the inerrancy controversy).
Now, having said all that — I’m not recommending that anyone do Bible study the way I do Bible study. Different people study for different purposes, and your approach should vary with your purpose. For example, when I was a beginning Bible class teacher, I found William Barclay’s The Daily Study Bible Series very helpful. They are rich with stories and examples. But I rarely turn to them now, because they don’t answer the questions I’m asking now.
Scot McKnight, over at the “Jesus Creed” blog, frequently posts a list of his favorite commentaries on a given book of the Bible under the caption “Pastor’s Bookshelf.” You can click over there, enter “Pastor’s Bookshelf” in the search box, and see his recommendations.
And the reader’s surely have their own recommendations. Readers — what are the best commentaries out there?