Sources Consulted

Since I own only a limited library of 100+ Bible commentaries and have not yet consulted even all of these carefully, I am relying heavily on the insights of others. However, my own commentary reading affirms the general pattern of valuations that I have found elsewhere. Thus, I have only rarely used my own assessments to directly influence the rankings in the lists below. These lists summarize the consensus judgments of others, not my own conclusions about which commentaries are ultimately most true and useful.

The OT lists summarize the perspectives of eleven different commentary-recommending sources—six books and five websites. These sources include a variety of perspectives, from Calvinist to Arminian, from evangelical to moderately critical, from preachers to seminary professors to commentary authors. For a variety of reasons suggested below, four sources were weighted most heavily in the ratings: Denver Seminary, Tremper Longman, John Evans, and David Bauer.

The NT lists summarize the perspectives of ten different sources—six books and four websites. As with the OT sources, these represent a range of perspectives. And again, four sources were weighted most heavily: Denver Seminary, D. A. Carson, John Evans, and David Bauer. However, as with the OT, sometimes volumes that receive highest ranking from these four are ultimately outranked by other volumes that receive wider support from other sources. (For example, this explains why Carson’s volume on John outranks Keener’s two-volume set.)

My primary sources:

  • Denver Seminary faculty (broadly evangelical) provide lists of recommended commentaries, posted online and updated annually—the most current such lists that I’ve found. I consulted these excellent lists first and found they usually included most of the important volumes. (Old Testament list; New Testament list.)

  • The print guides of D. A. Carson and Tremper Longman (Old Testament Commentary Survey and New Testament Commentary Survey) are perhaps the best-known and most widely-trusted of all commentary guides among conservative evangelicals. I consulted their most recent editions (both 2013).

  • John Evan’s A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works (2010) is the single most helpful guide I consulted—very comprehensive, with insightful conservative annotations.

  • David Bauer’s Essential Bible Study Tools for Ministry (2014) provides a balancing Wesleyan Arminian perspective to the Reformed voices of Carson, Longman, and Evans. But he is slightly less conservative and strangely overlooks some good books (as does Longman at times), so I weighted him less heavily than the first three sources.


Additional OT sources:

  • Ralph W. Klein, critical Lutheran OT professor (online list, updated 2014)

  • Tyler Williams, moderately critical Baptist theology/OT professor and pastor (online list, updated c. 2009)

  • John Brug, conservative Lutheran theology/OT professor (online list, updated 2014)

Additional NT sources:

  • Phillip J. Long, conservative Bible and Biblical Languages professor, pastor, and blogger (online list, updated c. 2012)

  • Ryan D. Richie, missionary and host of NT Greek Studies website  (online list, updated 2014)

  • Andreas Köstenberger and Richard D. Patterson (see OT)

  • J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays (see OT)

  • Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart (see OT)

  • Keith Mathison (see OT)

This source list is not perfect. Noticeably absent, for example. is conservative author John Glynn’s Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources. Diversity of sources could also be improved; for example, no Anabaptist source was included, while Baptists voices dominate. Nevertheless, I am confident that these sources pointed me to most of the important commentaries currently valued by conservative American Bible scholars.

Dwight Gingrich is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


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