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RELATED RESOURCES

The Power of God's Word - a simple study
The Necessity of Scripture (Pdf) - William D. Barrick
The Sufficiency of Scripture (Pdf) -  John MacArthur

NT Commentaries for Bible Expositors (Pdf) - Master's Seminary
850 Books for Biblical Expositors (Pdf) prepared by Master's Seminary
Rationality, Meaningfulness & Precision of Scripture - Robert L. Thomas
The Authority of Scripture - excellent article by Richard L. Mayhue
James Rosscup: Commentaries for Biblical Expositors or Logos Format $
850 Books for Biblical Expositors - Master's Seminary
NT Commentaries for Bible Expositors: 1987-92 by James E Rosscup

OT Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: 1987-92 by James E Rosscup

Biblical Commentaries Online - nice compilation

 

Other Topics Discussed on this page:

Spurgeon's advice Regarding Consulting the Commentaries
Consult Conservative Commentaries

Collections of Commentaries on Old and New Testament Books:
Verse by Verse Commentaries
Reference Search Tool

RefTagger by Logos

Berean Bible Study Freeware - ESV, NAS, NKJV, et al - all free
Instaverse
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Romans and Ephesians by Dr. Wayne Barber

A Testimony of Jesus Christ

Intervarsity Press Commentaries

The Net Bible Bible Online: OT & NT
The Ray C. Stedman Library

Bible Commentary by David Guzik

Expository Notes on all 66 Books of the Bible

Some of the Commentaries on the Web written prior to 1900

A W Pink's Archive (caveat)
William Barclay's Commentaries

Expositions of Holy Scripture by Alexander Maclaren

E-Sword - Free Bible Study Software Program

Bible Explorer - Free Bible Study Software Program

Libronix Bible Study Software

Other Bible Translations (especially Amplified Version)

Adam Clarke
A W Pink
 

Related Topics:

Bibliography of resources quoted on preceptaustin.org
Interpretation in inductive Bible study
Approach to Interpretation - supernaturalistic, naturalistic, existential, dogmatic

 

Spurgeon's Advice Regarding Consulting the Commentaries

The "prince of preachers" Charles Haddon Spurgeon in his work "Commenting and Commentaries" declared to his students that...

"we should heartily subscribe to the declaration, that more expository preaching (Type of preaching in which an extended passage of the Scripture, especially a book, is explained and interpreted over a number of weeks) is greatly needed, and that all preachers would be the better if they were more able expounders (implies a careful often elaborate explanation to make something clear and understandable) of the inspired Word.

To render such a result more probable, every inducement to search the Holy Scriptures should be placed in the way of our ministers, and to the younger brethren some guidance should be offered as to the works most likely to aid them in their studies. Many are persuaded that they should expound the Word, but being unversed (unfamiliar, unstudied) in the original tongues (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) they can only fall back upon the help of their English Concordances, and are left floundering about, when a sound comment would direct their thoughts. True, the Holy Spirit will instruct the seeker, but He works by means. The Ethiopian eunuch might have received divine illumination, and doubtless did receive it, but still, when asked whether he understood the Scripture which he read, he replied, "How can I unless some man shall guide me?" The guiding man is needed still. Divines who have studied the Scriptures have left us great stores of holy thought which we do well to use. Their expositions can never be a substitute for our own meditations, but as water poured down a dry pump often sets it to work to bring up water of its own, so suggestive reading sets the mind in motion on its own account. Here, however, is the difficulty. Students do not find it easy to choose which works to buy (nor which of an endlessly and rapidly proliferating list of offerings on the internet to make good use of), and their slender stores are often wasted on books of a comparatively worthless kind. If I can save a poor man from spending his money for that which is not bread, or, by directing a brother to a good book, may enable him to dig deeper into the mines of truth, I shall be well repaid. For this purpose I have toiled, and read much, and passed under review some three or four thousand volumes. From these I have compiled my catalogue, rejecting man, yet making a very varied selection. Though I have carefully used such judgment as I possess, I have doubtless made many errors; I shall certainly find very few who will agree with all my criticisms, and some persons may be angry at my remarks. I have, however, done my best, and, with as much impartiality as I can command, I have nothing extenuated nor set down aught in malice. He who finds fault will do well to execute the work in better style; only let him remember that he will have my heifer to plough with and therefore ought in all reason to excel me.

I have used a degree of pleasantry in my remarks on the Commentaries, for a catalogue is a dry affair, and, as much for my own sake as for that of my readers, I have indulged the mirthful vein here and there. For this I hope I shall escape censure, even if I do not win commendation.

To God I commend this labour, which has been undertaken and carried out with no motive but that of honoring his name, and edifying his Church by stimulating the study of his Word. May He, for His Son's sake, grant my heart's desire." (
and this writer humbly agrees)...

It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. My chat this afternoon is not for these great originals, but for you who are content to learn of holy men, taught of God, and mighty in the Scriptures. It has been the fashion of late years to speak against the use of commentaries...A respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might have saved many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences. Usually, we have found the despisers of commentaries to be men who have no sort of acquaintance with them; in their case, it is the opposite of familiarity which has bred contempt. It is true there are a number of expositions of the whole Bible which are hardly worth shelf room; they aim at too much and fail altogether; the authors have spread a little learning over a vast surface, and have badly attempted for the entire Scriptures what they might have accomplished for one book with tolerable success...who can pretend to biblical learning who has not made himself familiar with the great writers who spent a life in explaining some one sacred book?

Spurgeon comments on specific writers beginning with Matthew Henry...

First among the mighty for general usefulness we are bound to mention the man whose name is a household word, Matthew Henry. He is most pious and pithy, sound and sensible, suggestive and sober, terse and trustworthy. You will find him to be glittering with metaphors, rich in analogies, overflowing with illustrations, superabundant in reflections. He delights in apposition and alliteration; he is usually plain, quaint, and full of pith; he sees right through a text directly; apparently he is not critical, but he quietly gives the result of an accurate critical knowledge of the original fully up to the best critics of his time. He is not versed in the manners and customs of the East, for the Holy Land was not so accessible as in our day; but he is deeply spiritual, heavenly, and profitable; finding good matter in every text, and from all deducing most practical and judicious lessons.

(Ed note: Matthew Henry was a nonconformist Presbyterian pastor, a master of biblical languages and a diligent Bible student who ransacked the old commentary material of his day to pass the meat along to us. He had a lovely gift for organizing and expressing his thoughts. It is notable that Henry died having finished his comments only through the book of Acts. The comments on Romans through Revelation were supplied by 14 contemporary preachers of his day, and all were dissenters from the Church of England. The unabridged edition of Henry's commentary is generally considered superior to the "concise" versions available today.)

Spurgeon goes on to add that...

It would not be possible for me too earnestly to press upon you the importance of reading the expositions of that prince among men, John Calvin!...

A very distinguished place is due to Dr. Gill. Beyond all controversy, Gill was one of the most able Hebraists of his day, and in other matters no mean proficient...Probably no man since Gill's days has at all equalled him in the matter of Rabbinical learning. Say what you will about that lore, it has its value: of course, a man has to rake among perfect dunghills and dust heaps, but there are a few jewels which the world could not afford to miss. Gill was a master cinder sifter among the Targums, the Talmuds, the Mishna, and the Gemara. Richly did he deserve the degree of which he said, "I never bought it, nor thought it, nor sought it. He was always at work; it is difficult to say when he slept, for he wrote 10,000 folio pages of theology...

Adam Clarke is the great annotator of our Wesleyan friends; and they have no reason to be ashamed of him, for he takes rank among the chief of expositors. His mind was evidently fascinated by the singularities of learning, and hence his commentary is rather too much of an old curiosity shop, but it is filled with valuable rarities, such as none but a great man could have collected. Like Gill, he is one sided (Arminian - believed you could lose your salvation), only in the opposite direction to our friend the Baptist....If you have a copy of Adam Clarke, and exercise discretion in reading it, (Click critique of Adam Clarke) you will derive immense advantage from it, for frequently by a sort of side light he brings out the meaning of the text in an astonishingly novel manner. I do not wonder that Adam Clarke still stands, notwithstanding his peculiarities, a prince among commentators. (from Commenting and Commentaries)

In other writings Spurgeon had some interesting thoughts...

Regarding Matthew Henry - You will find him to be glittering with metaphors, rich in analogies, overflowing with illustrations, superabundant in reflections. Every minister ought to read Matthew Henry entirely and carefully through once at least. You will acquire a vast store of sermons if you read with your note-book close at hand; and as for thoughts, they will swarm around you like twittering swallows around an old gable towards the close of autumn."

Regarding John Gill - “He is always worth consulting...for good, sound, massive, sober sense in commenting, who can excel Gill?”

Regarding Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's commentary - We consult it continually, and with growing interest. 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.

Regarding Matthew Poole's (Puritan who lived from 1624-1679) Commentary (published about 1685) - If I must have only one commentary, and had read Matthew Henry as I have, I do not know but what I should choose Poole. He is a very prudent and judicious commentator... not so pithy and witty by far as Matthew Henry, but he is perhaps more accurate, less a commentator, and more an expositor.

 

Below are some of the resources readily available on preceptaustin.org and the Internet in general, with a brief critique and/or explanation of their potential utility.

Consult Conservative Commentaries

Someone has quipped that it is amazing how much light the Scriptures shed on the commentaries. It follows that the discerning reader should always perform their own inductive Bible study before consulting the commentaries. Too many students go to the commentary before they go to the Book or even the Author of the Book! Remember that every commentary is written by a human author, and is it is natural that the comments are strongly biased by the author's general belief system and the approach to the interpretation of Scripture. Therefore it behooves the judicious student of God's Word to restrict himself or herself to Conservative Commentaries.

This practice is especially critical in the interpretation of prophetic books like Daniel and Revelation. Click a brief discussion of the common methods of interpreting Revelation [preterist, historicist, idealist, futurist or literalist] and a list of recommended futuristic commentaries and sermons. Click for a list of futuristic commentaries and sermons on the book of Daniel. Commentaries on prophetic books vary widely in their interpretative approach, and you may not always be able to easily discern their bias. Click list of published Revelation commentaries categorized by the predominant interpretative view of the author.  If an interpreter does not use the normal, customary, literal method of interpreting Scripture, interpretation is given over to an unconstrained imagination and presuppositions which explains the imaginative, confusing interpretations of non-literal interpreters.  Remember that all the prophecies of the Old and New Testament that have been fulfilled to date have been fulfilled literally, thus there is no precedent for anything but a literal approach to the prophetic books containing prophecies yet to be fulfilled.

A good check on whether a commentator interprets Scripture literally in the area of prophecy is to read their comments on Revelation 20, specifically the 1000 year period mentioned six times (eg compare the note by the modern evangelical writer Guzik and some of the pre-1900 commentaries like Matthew Henry or Jameison Fausset, Brown or Adam Clarke who comments on the "1000 years" that "there is no doubt that the earth is in a state of progressive moral improvement; and that the light of true religion is shining more copiously everywhere, and will shine more and more to the perfect day"!)

Collections of Commentaries on Old and New Testament Books:

The purpose of these collections is to compile the a compact listing of the best sermons, commentaries, devotionals and illustrations in one site with each resource organized by chapter and verse so that it can be utilized somewhat like a multi-authored "commentary". Click the drop down menu below for a list of the completed collections on books of the Bible for conservative resources on all 66 books of the Bible.

OLD TESTAMENT RESOURCES
LINKS TO HUNDREDS OF CONSERVATIVE RESOURCES
SERMONS, COMMENTARIES, DEVOTIONALS, ILLUSTRATIONS

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

 

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel
 

 

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

 

NEW TESTAMENT RESOURCES
LINKS TO HUNDREDS OF CONSERVATIVE RESOURCES
SERMONS, COMMENTARIES, DEVOTIONALS, ILLUSTRATIONS

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1Thessalonians

2Thessalonians

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

1Peter

2Peter

1John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Revelation

It should be noted that given the large number of links to off site resources, there is no way I could read each work verbatim. Therefore it follows that just because a particular author or resource is listed, this does not mean that I agree with everything that this author has written. Therefore "caveat emptor" (let the "buyer beware"). Every attempt is made to select the most conservative and thoroughly evangelical resources but this is a difficult task. For example, one might agree with the majority of what one pastor or commentator has to say, but have significant disagreement on some issues, like for example the "millennium". Therefore, you, the reader, are strongly advised to first prayerfully examine the Scriptures in context making your own unbiased observations. And as you grow in your ability to read the Scriptures inductively, you will come to realize the truth of the saying that it is "amazing how much light study of the Scriptures will shed on the commentaries!"

In short you would be well advised to approach all Bible commentaries (including my Verse by Verse Commentaries on this site) like the good Berean saints who were...

more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received (deliberate & readily received - even as they might welcome a guest into their house - put out the "welcome mat for") the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things (truths taught by Paul) were so (see note Acts 17:11).

If you first perform your own study in reliance on your own personal Teacher, the Holy Spirit, you will be better equipped to comment on whether or not the commentary, sermon or devotional you are reading is an accurate reflection of what God meant for a passage or section of Scripture to teach. If you are not familiar with the inductive approach to Bible Study click for an introduction and discussion of the three components - observation (which answers the question "What Does the Text Say?"), interpretation (which answers the question "What Does it mean?"), and application (which addresses the question "How will I respond to the truth I have gleaned?").

If you feel that a particular resource contains significant erroneous interpretative material please email your concerns. Several resources have been removed when specific issues were questioned by you the users and they were found to be correct.

Introductions to Every Book of the Bible by Dr John MacArthur:

Each Book has a brief discussion of: Title, Author and Date, Background and Setting, Historical and Theological Themes, Interpretive Challenges and an Outline by Chapter and Verse. Very useful overview of each book. Grace To You ministries has made these freely available from the MacArthur Study Bible.

Verse by Verse Studies

These notes have been compiled while leading Men's Precept Bible studies. The approach expositional, with emphasis on sound doctrine, original language studies (see  in depth Greek Word Studies)., and application. Frequent use is made of well done illustrations, especially from Our Daily Bread: A Daily Devotional.

Quotations from conservative, evangelical resources are frequently used to amplify the passage. The following studies are currently available and they are continually being added to, revised and updated but Be a Berean.

OLD TESTAMENT
COMMENTARIES
VERSE BY VERSE COMMENTARY

Exodus 6, 17 Commentary
Judges Verse by Verse Commentary
Ruth Verse by Verse Commentary
Ezra 7:10 Commentary
Job 23:10-12 Commentary
Psalms Commentary
Proverbs Commentary
Isaiah Verse by Verse Commentary (under construction)
Ezekiel 1-16 Commentary
Daniel 9:24-27 Commentary

In Depth Commentary on the Following Verses:
Joshua 1:8
Judges - Verse by Verse
2Samuel 9:1-13   2Samuel 12:1-14
Ezra 7:10
Job 23:10;   Job 23:11;   Job 23:12  
Psalm 1:1;    Ps 1:2;    Ps 1:3 Ps 1:4;    Ps 1:5;    Ps 1:6   
Psalm 19:7  Ps 19:8  Ps 19:9   Ps19:10   Ps 19:11   Ps 19:12   Ps 19:13   Ps 19:14

Psalm 51:1-9    Psalm 51:10-19
Psalm 121

Proverbs 4:23
Proverbs 5:1-14
Proverbs 5:15-23
Proverbs 6:20-35
Proverbs 7:1-27
Proverbs 18:10
Proverbs 28:13
Proverbs 29:18

 

Isaiah 40:31

 

Daniel 1 Commentary        
Daniel 2 Commentary       -- Da 2:1-23
Daniel 2 Commentary(2)  -- Da 2:24-49
Daniel 3 Commentary
Daniel 4 Commentary
Daniel 5 Commentary
Daniel 6 Commentary

Daniel 7 Commentary(1)  -- Da 7:1-6
Daniel 7 Commentary(2)  -- Da 7:7-14
Daniel 7 Commentary(3)  -- Da 7:15-28

Daniel 8 Commentary

Daniel 9 Commentary(1)

Daniel 9:24; Daniel 9:25; Daniel 9:26; Daniel 9:27
Daniel 10 Commentary
Daniel 11 Commentary(1)  -- Da 11:1-19
Daniel 11 Commentary(2)  -- Da 11:20-45

Daniel 12 Commentary   

NEW TESTAMENT
COMMENTARIES

VERSE BY VERSE COMMENTARY

Matthew 5-7 Commentary (Sermon on the Mount)
Acts 16-17 Commentary
Romans Verse by Verse Commentary
Ephesians Verse by Verse Commentary
Philippians Verse by Verse Commentary
Colossians Verse by Verse Commentary

1 Thessalonians Verse by Verse Commentary
2 Timothy Verse by Verse Commentary

Titus Verse by Verse Commentary
Hebrews Verse by Verse Commentary
1 Peter Verse by Verse Commentary

2 Peter Verse by Verse Commentary
Revelation Verse by Verse (by Dr Anthony Garland)

 

Commentary on Individual Verses:
Matthew 26:41

Luke 13:24-30  Luke 13:24

John 3:30

John 19:30

Acts 16 Commentary 

Acts 17 Commentary, Acts 17:11

 

Galatians 2:20

Galatians 5:16  Galatians 5:17 Galatians 5:18;
Galatians 5:19 Galatians 5:20; Galatians 5:21
Galatians 5:22
 Galatians 5:23; Galatians 5:24;
Galatians 5:25; Galatians 5:26  

Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:8 Galatians 6:9   Galatians 6:10

Galatians 6:14

 

1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Cor 6:19;   1 Cor 6:20

1 Corinthians 9:24; 1 Cor 9:24; 1 Cor 9:26; 1 Cor 9:27

1 Corinthians 15:9; 1 Corinthians 15:10

1 Corinthians 10:13
1 Corinthians 13:4; 1Cor 13:5;  1Cor 13:6; 1Cor 13:7; 1Cor 13:8

1 Corinthians 15:1; 1Cor 15:2;  1Cor 15:3; 1Cor 15:4; 1Cor 15:5;    
1 Corinthians 15:6; 1Cor 15:7:  1Cor 15:8

1 Corinthians 15:58

 

2 Corinthians 3:1  2Cor 3:2  2Cor 3:3  2Cor 3:4  2Cor 3:5  2Cor 3:6 2Cor 3:7  2Cor 3:8 

2 Corinthians 3:9  2Cor 3:10  2Cor 3:11  2Cor 3:12  2Cor 3:13  2Cor 3:14 
2 Corinthians 3:15  2Cor 3:16 2 Cor 3:17  2Cor 3:18


2 Corinthians 4:1; 2Cor 4:2; 2Cor 4:3 ; 2Cor 4:4; 2Cor 4:5; 2Cor 4:6; 2Cor 4:7; 2Cor 4:8

2 Corinthians 4:9; 2Cor 4:10; 2Cor 4:11; 2Cor 4:12; 2Cor 4:13; 2Cor 4:14; 2Cor 4:15;

2 Corinthians 4:16; 2 Cor 4:17; 2Cor 4:18


2 Corinthians 5:1 2Cor 5:2 2Cor 5:3 ;  2Cor 5:4 ;  2Cor 5:5 ;  2Cor 5:6 ;  2Cor 5:7;

2 Corinthians 5:8 ;  2Cor 5:9  ;   2Cor 5:10 ;  2Cor 5:11 ;  2Cor 5:12 ;  2Cor 5:13 ;

2 Corinthians 5:14 ; 2 Cor 5:15 ;  2Cor 5:16 ;  2Cor 5:17 ;  2Cor 5:18 2Cor 5:19 ;

2 Corinthians 5:20 2Cor 5:21

 

2 Corinthians 7:1

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

2 Corinthians 12:9;   2 Corinthians 12:10

2 Corinthians 13:5

 

1 Timothy 4:7-12

 

James 1:1; James 1:2; James 1:3; James 1:4; James 1:5; James 1:6; James 1:7;

James 1:8; James 1:9; James 1:10; James 1:11; James 1:12; James 1:13;

James 1:14; James 1:15; James 1:16 ; James 1:17; James 1:18; James 1:19 ;

James 1:20; James 1:21; James 1:22; James 1:23; James 1:24; James 1:25;

James 1:26; James 1:27

 

James 2:14 James 2:15 James 2:16 James 2:17; James 2:18;

James 2:19; James 2:20; James 2:21; James 2:22; James 2:23;

James 2:24; James 2:25; James 2:26

 

James 4:4   James 4:5   James 4:6    James 4:7

James 4:8    James 4:9    James 4:10

Reference Search Tool

The purpose of the Reference Search Page this page is make multiple Bible related Search Engines available for quick and easy access. Utilizing the various search engines you can search various conservative preachers so that their sermons function much like a commentary. I would especially recommend the Bible Bulletin Board (sermons from Spurgeon, et al), John Piper, Ray Pritchard C H Spurgeon and  Ray Stedman)

RefTagger by Logos

RefTagger is a free web tool which converts all the Bible references (eg Acts 17:11) on your website, blog, etc, into active verse popups. Hover over the verse for popup in your choice of various translations (see below). You can even copy and paste the Biblical text in the popup box. When you click the link, the verse can be read in context which is always advisable if you have time, for context is king in interpretation! This tool is used extensively on preceptaustin to encourage you to read the actual words of God rather than just the Scripture annotation (see Isaiah 55:10, 11, Lk 1:37ASV).  Click here for other RefTagger features and instructions on how to add it to blogs, etc.

You can set your site to your favorite default translation [eg, NAS is used at preceptaustin.org], but even with the default set, there are two ways in which your visitors can popup specific verses in different translations...

(1) By adding the abbreviation for a version to a Scripture annotation. E.g., Ep 2:8KJV, Ep 2:8NKJV, Ep 2:8ESV, Ep 2:8NIV, Ep 2:8NLT.

(2) By adding a Bible Option box (click and scroll down) on a single page or on your entire website. The Bible Option box allows the reader to choose the version they prefer to read in the popup. E.g., in the dropdown box choose ESV and click "Save". Now hover over the Scripture links. Note that some versions such as the Amplified are still not activated as of Jan, 2009. If you check the box labeled "Libronix" it will add a small box which links to Libronix software if you have that Bible software on your computer (Available at Logos.com.)

Berean Bible Study Freeware - Sola Scriptura

Berean Bible Study Freeware - ESV, NAS, NKJV, NET,  KJV, et al - all free - Numerous publishers have generously licensed the Berean Bible study freeware to allow no-cost downloads of their modern English Bibles.

Free bundle with ESV, NASB, NKJV, KJV, and other Bibles. (about 10 MB) See the downloads page for various Bible translations such as the ESV, KJV, NASB, NKJV, and others (from 1.4 to 1.9 MB each, including software, complete Bible, and extensive documentation).

Quick to learn and use -- Verse lookups and super-concordance searching are simple with the Minimal Layout. Additional capabilities are available with the Standard Layout and References Layout. Word/phrase searching is extremely fast, intuitive, and very flexible to find what you are looking for. Even on older computers, BerBible is running very soon after you start it, and searching is nearly instant.

Versions for Pocket-PC's, Palm, and other smart-devices available that are generally much faster than alternatives.

InstaVerse

InstaVerse is a free download. It is a nifty, easy to download and install (no restart), simple to use Bible Verse pop up tool that will allow you to read every cross reference in this study quickly, in context and in the Version you prefer (Note: Only KJV is free with this download but you also download the free copy of Bible Explorer {View list of free books} you can then download  the excellent, literal English Standard Version {ESV} for free and that will be available in Instaverse. Other popular versions are available for purchase) When you hold the mouse pointer over the Scripture reference, the passage pops up immediately and can even be highlighted. InstaVerse works anywhere on the Web as well as offline in Word for Windows, in email such as Outlook, etc. It can be enabled or disabled easily. Note it won't work if there is not a space between book name and chapter (Mt1:1 won't pop up but Mt 1:1 will)

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK)

This excellent conservative resource was compiled by Dr. Reuben A. Torrey around the turn of the 20th century and to this day consists of over 500,000 cross references, the most comprehensive collection of Scriptural cross references available in a single resource.

You might be asking...

"Well, how does this resource qualify as a commentary?"

You have probably heard the axiom that Scripture never contradicts Scripture and thus is always the best commentary on Scripture (see discussion - Compare Scripture with Scripture). Therefore as you study God's Word develop the habit of taking a few moment to check for pertinent TSK cross references that can aid interpretation. (Click here for a discussion and example of the use of TSK reference system in the interpretation of the Bible.)

Respected Bible expositor Dr. John MacArthur speaks very highly of the TSK noting that it is

"The one book, aside from the Bible itself, that I value most in my studies."

You might be asking...

"Why not simply use my Bible's marginal cross references?"

There are at least 3 reasons you want to supplement your Bible's "built in" marginal references with with the TSK:

1) TSK generally has far more cross references per verse than your average Bible marginal references.

2) TSK references are more "relevant" to the particular verse in question than those found in most reference Bibles (Click example ).

3) TSK has more Old Testament cross references on the New Testament and thus helps integrate the New with the Old , which is important because "the Old is the New concealed" and  "the New is the Old revealed." (See related study of Typology - Study of Types) Remember the Scripture will never contradict itself.

Keep in mind that as excellent as Torrey's cross references are, they were composed by a man and thus will be tainted with his theological bias.

There are numerous web sites with the TSK resource available but one of the most comprehensive sites available is Studylight. To see the TSK references corresponding to a verse or chapter click "Include Resources". If you type in book and chapter without verse, the search retrieves the complete listing of references for that chapter (in the right margin). Studylight also allows you to set the default translations so that all references are retrieved in that version.

Expository Studies on Romans and Ephesians by Dr. Wayne Barber

Romans - Dr Barber's (Woodland Park Baptist Church) practical, in depth exposition of the Christian's "Constitution" for living the Christ Life.

Ephesians  - Dr Barber's exposition of the book of Ephesians. There are 86 messages with a strong emphasis on how to live the "victorious Christ life". Dr Barber places great emphasis on Major Ian Thomas' guiding principle regarding the "Christ Life"...

You can't.
He never
said you could.
But He can and
He always said He would!

See related resources - Verse by Verse Commentary on Ephesians; Verse by Verse Commentary on Romans

A Testimony of Jesus Christ

Anthony Garland has written A Testimony of Jesus Christ which is a verse by verse commentary on the book of the Revelation from a conservative, futuristic, literal viewpoint. Garland's work is one of the best resources available anywhere on the often controversial book of the Revelation. His straightforward approach will help reveal the Revelation which was God's intended purpose for writing it. 

Click here for links to each chapter and verse of the Revelation (A Testimony of Jesus Christ)

Click here for the free online version of Garland's excellent commentary. This excellent commentary is also available as a free download (click here) for use with the free e-Sword Bible software (see below) or for use with Libronix if you have the Libronix Personal Book Builder reader.

Click Revelation for a listing of commentary notes on each chapter and verse.

Intervarsity Press Commentaries

Currently commentaries are available on New Testament books (click here). Ray Stedman's IVP commentary can be found  here. The commentaries are generally conservative.

The Net Bible Bible Online: OT & NT

Notes attached to each verse function like an abbreviated commentary and word study (Hebrew/Greek) resource. For example above click on the link, enter Psalm in the NET search box and read through Psalm 1 inductively -- then read it again in combination with the NET notes to see what additional insights you glean.

 Let's look at one more example below using the interesting passage Genesis 3:16 after the "Fall" where God is pronouncing the consequences the woman face. You will find this note very interesting especially if you have ever taken the Precept course "Marriage Without Regrets".

(NASB) Genesis 3:16: To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband & he will rule over you."

(NET Bible) Genesis 3:16: To the woman he said, I will greatly increase your labor pains with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband 48 but he will dominate49 you.”

48 Hebrew “and toward your husband [will be] your desire.” The nominal sentence does not have a verb; a future verb must be supplied, because the focus of the oracle is on the future struggle. The precise meaning of the noun tesuqah, “desire”) is debated. Many interpreters conclude that it refers to sexual desire here, because the subject of the passage is the relationship between a wife and her husband, and because the word is used in a romantic sense in Song 8:6. (My note: this is an error - "desire" is actually in Song of Solomon 7:10 not SS8:6) However, this interpretation makes little sense in Gen 3:16. First, it does not fit well with the assertion “he will dominate you.” Second, it implies that sexual desire was not part of the original creation, even though the man and the woman were told to multiply. And third, it ignores the usage of the word in Genesis 4:7 where it refers to sin’s desire to control and dominate Cain. (Even in Song of Songs it carries the basic idea of “control,” for it describes the young man’s desire to “have his way sexually” with the young woman.) In Gen 3:16 the Lord announces a struggle, a conflict between the man and the woman. She will desire to control him, but he will dominate her instead. This interpretation also fits the tone of the passage, which is a judgment oracle. See further Susan T. Foh, “What is the Woman’s Desire?” Westminster Theological Journal 37 (1975): 376-83.

49 The Hebrew verb mashal means “to rule over,” but in a way that emphasizes powerful control, domination, or mastery. This also is part of the baser human nature. The translation assumes the imperfect verb form has an objective/indicative sense here. Another option is to understand it as having a modal, desiderative nuance, “but he will want to dominate you.” In this case, the Lord simply announces the struggle without indicating who will emerge victorious.

Ray Stedman Library

Pastor Stedman's commentaries are devotional, easy to read and filled with practical applications, all from a conservative, evangelical perspective.

Below is a list of most of Ray Stedman's edifying material...

The Power of His Presence: (see below) Mark Mitchell has compiled a full year of devotions based on the excellent writings of Ray Stedman. This resource is highly recommended for your devotional reading this year.
 

Adventuring Through the Bible: 66 messages given over 4 years with each message providing an overview of one book of the Bible. One additional message addresses the 400 silent years between Malachi and Matthew. Available in MP3 format for your Ipod! This resource would be a great supplement to your system for reading through the Bible in a year.
 

Authentic Christianity

Body Life (Revised and Expanded Edition)

Genesis 1-3: Understanding Man

Genesis 4-11: The Beginnings

Genesis 11:31-25:1-8: Abraham: Man of Faith

Leviticus: The Way to Wholeness

Esther: The Queen and I

The Book of Job: Behind Suffering

Psalms of Faith

Ecclesiastes: Is this All There is to Life?

Jeremiah: Death of a Nation

Talking With My Father: Jesus Teaches on Prayer

Matthew 13: Behind History (The Parables of Matthew 13)

Matthew 24-25: What on Earth is Happening (The Olivet Discourse)

Mark 1:1-8:33 The Gospel of Mark: The Servant who Rules

Mark 8:33-16:20 The Gospel of Mark: The Ruler Who Serves

The Gospel of John: God's Loving Word

John 13-17: Secrets of the Spirit (The Upper Room Discourse)

Acts: When the Church was Young

Romans 1-8: Romans: From Guilt to Glory - Volume 1

Romans 9-16 Romans: From Guilt to Glory - Volume 2)

Romans: Reason to Rejoice (2004)

1Corinthians: The Deep Things of God

2Corinthians: Power out of Weakness

Ephesians: Our Riches in Christ
Ephesians 6:10-20: Spiritual Warfare

1, 2 Thessalonians: Waiting for the Second Coming,

Hebrews: How to Live What You Believe

Hebrews, IVP New Testament Commentary Series, 1992.

1John: Life by the Son

Revelation: God's Final Word

Bible Commentary by David Guzik

Conservative brief verse by verse commentary on the entire Bible. Along with the resource by Constable below, Guzik is one of the few entire Bible commentaries from a contemporary writer which is freely available on the internet. The comments on prophecy are definitely conservative, evangelical and literal. As mentioned earlier a good guide to determine whether a given author interprets Scripture literally, is to read their comments on Revelation 20, specifically regarding the "1000 years" mentioned six times (eg read Guzik's notes on Revelation 20) Note that the Guzik's commentary at Studylight.org is not necessarily up to date (e.g., as of June, 2007 there are no commentaries on Ezekiel, and just a sprinkling of the Psalms). Click here for the most up to date collection of Guzik's commentaries. Guzik's commentaries are also available for purchase on PC Study Bible. Guzik's excellent notes are also available free as a Libronix PBB (see below)

Expository Notes on all 66 Books of the Bible

Thomas Constable 7000 page expository work includes notes on all 66 books and emphasizes a conservative, literalist approach to the Scriptures. This work is also available on Libronix software from Galaxie for about $40. Dr Constable's website also includes Van Dine's Bible Analyses which has an introduction to each book (historical context, literary structure, etc).

Some of the Commentaries on the Web written prior to 1900:

The commentaries below freely available on the Web but all are of "older vintage". Although they are generally conservative, these commentaries tend not to be literal (and futuristic) in their interpretation of prophetic passages (Click collection on the Revelation. Scroll down to the categorization by author's interpretative approach to prophecy) (See similar evaluation under Daniel Commentaries)

Adam Clarke's (1760-1832) Commentary on the Bible - Click evaluation of Adam Clarke.

Commentary on the Gospels by John Lightfoot

Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther

Exposition of the Entire Bible by John Gill. Click Spurgeon's assessment of Gill.

Commentary on the Whole Bible by Matthew Henry (See Spurgeon's  critique)

Treasury of David (Psalms) by C. H. Spurgeon.

Highly recommended to supplement your personal study in the Psalms. This magnum opus has no peer. Read the psalms devotionally (and inductively) and then compare your observations, interpretations and applications with Spurgeon's powerful, often pithy remarks.

Jamieson,Fausset,Brown Commentary - Spurgeon  wrote that JFB is

to some extent a compilation and condensation of other men's thoughts, but it is sufficiently original to claim a place in every minister's library: indeed 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 & used it diligently.

Pulpit Commentary (PC) - This is a popular, prolific commentary with brief verse by verse comments plus homilies (sermons) with each verse. Although the Pulpit Commentary is impressive in size and is generally theologically conservative, as with most of the commentaries written prior to 1900, it is not recommended as your primary commentary but only as a secondary resource. One must be especially discerning when reading the Old Testament comments as the PC unfortunately frequently misinterprets the promises to Israel as promises given to the Church. For example, in the PC's commentary on the book of Isaiah, the word "church" is used 827 times, despite the fact that the church is not found in the Old Testament. Paul's "commentary" accurately states that the "church" was "the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages [including Isaiah] and generations" Colossians 1:26! In the commentary on the book of Isaiah there is only a single mention of the "millennium" (and even it is not interpreted correctly) compared with 52 mentions in the highly respected conservative Bible Knowledge Commentary.  In fact, a literal reading of the book of Isaiah reveals it to be replete with direct and indirect allusions to a future time period which correlates very well with the 1000 year, "millennial" period of Revelation 20. If you attempt to read the book of Isaiah from an amillennial (no literal millennium) perspective, many of the chapters cannot be interpreted literally which leads to a strained and often inaccurate interpretation of Isaiah's many prophecies which deal directly with Israel's future, including the believing remnant of Jews and the promised millennial kingdom. For example look at the famous prophecy in Isaiah 2...

Now it will come about that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.

The Pulpit Commentary writes that "the mountain of the Lord's house" is "the Church, the true Zion" which is clearly a misinterpretation.

John MacArthur interprets "the mountain of the house of the LORD"  as a literal mountain, writing that it is a "reference to Mt. Zion, the location of the holy temple in Jerusalem. (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word or Logos)

The Bible Knowledge Commentary agrees that this description "refers to the mount where the Temple was built."

The second allusion to mountains in context however does not refer to literal mountains but is a figure of speech using mountains to refer to a kingdom (as is done elsewhere in the Old Testament - see "great mountain" in Daniel 2:35). In the interest of being "fair and balanced" it is also possible to interpret the first mountain as a reference to the kingdom of Israel as the leading ("chief") kingdom over all the other kingdoms of the earth. Either of these interpretations makes good sense in the context, but to interpret this phrase as "the Church" is nonsense and confuses the meaning of the entire section. 

In summary, although conservative commentaries written prior to 1900 can be very enlightening resources (and many are listed in the book collections on this website), the wise student of the Word, will first perform a careful inductive study of the passage (this caveat is especially true of prophetic passages where specific commentaries can vary "wildly") so that he or she will not misled by the comments in the commentary.

All this said, the Pulpit Commentary (as well as all the commentaries written prior to 1900) can be very useful, but the wise student will...

examine (present imperative) everything carefully; hold fast (present imperative) to that which is good" and "abstain (present imperative) from every form of evil." (See notes 1Thessalonians 5:21; 5:22)

A W Pink's Archive

Pink's commentaries are available for Old and New Testament books and are filled with pointed insights and applications. Pink is always worth consulting if he has written a commentary on the book you are studying. Please see the caveat regarding his works. See also discussion of Approach to Interpretation

Expositions of Holy Scripture by Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910)

Alexander Maclaren was one of Great Britain's most notable and famous preachers. Maclaren published a number of books of sermons and climaxed his ministry by publishing his monumental Expositions of Holy Scripture (click for another source) which consists of expository essays covering most books of the Bible and are characterized by a devotional flavor.

While pastoring the Union Chapel, Manchester (1858-1903), he was known as "the prince of expository preachers." If you are not familiar with Maclaren's style, here are a few of his quotes to whet your appetite (or read his exposition Jehovah Jireh based on Genesis 22:14):

The risen life of Jesus is the nourishment and strengthening and blessing and life of a Christian. Our daily experience ought to be that there comes, wavelet by wavelet, that silent, gentle, and yet omnipotent influx into our empty hearts, this very life of Christ Himself."

"Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all sufficient for everything that I can require."

"Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths He will provide us with strong shoes, and He will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well."

There is nothing more impotent than words which lie dormant in our brains and have no influence on our lives.

Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.

We must have the glory sink into us before it can be reflected from us. In deep inward beholding we must have Christ in our hearts, that He may shine forth from our lives.

"Man's course begins in a garden, but it ends in a city."

"Only he who can say, 'The Lord is the strength of my life' can say, 'Of whom shall I be afraid?'

"Love is the only fire that is hot enough to melt the iron obstinacy of a creatures' will"

"We believe that the history of the world is but the history of His influence and that the center of the whole universe is the cross of Calvary."

"Every life has dark tracts and long stretches of somber tint, and no representation is true to fact which dips its pencil only in light, and flings no shadows on the canvas."

"If you would win the world, melt it, do not hammer it."

Did any of you, parents, ever hear your child wake from sleep with some panic, or fear, and shriek the mother's name through the darkness? Was not that a more powerful appeal than all words? And, depend upon it, that the soul which cries aloud on God, The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, though it have "no language but a cry," will never call in vain.

"Death is but a passage. It is not a house, it is only a vestibule. The grave has a door on its inner side."

E-Sword - Free Bible Study Software Program:

E-Sword is without doubt the best free software available and so it is highly recommended. It can be downloaded at no charge with a large number of helpful resources. It is easy to use and includes a well done online visual tutorial. Most of the current commentaries are generally ones prior to 1900, which means that comments on Bible prophecy are not generally in line with most conservative, evangelical, literalist interpretations. There are some excellent Greek word study tools like A. T. Robertson's Word Pictures (or click here) and Vincent's Word Studies (or click here). Zodhiates Complete Greek and Hebrew dictionary is available but cost about $40. Similarly, the NASB is available at a cost of about $20.

Bible Explorer - Another free Bible program is Bible Explorer (very similar to Wordsearch) which has a lengthy list of free Bible translations, commentaries, etc (Click to see the list of free books). Note that the Bible versions will also function with InstaVerse.

Libronix Bible Study Software

If you are looking to purchase the best Bible software product available, one that "does it all" you should consider Logos Bible Software, which is now in a format called "Libronix". Libronix is easy to use and even those not familiar with computer software can utilize it to perform in depth Bible Study. There are currently thousands of books and resources available for Libronix and that list is expanding at a rapid pace, but be careful [Acts 17:11-note] as some of the newer releases are not written from a conservative, evangelical viewpoint. If you want a Bible software program that is at the "head of the class", you should consider Libronix. Yes, Libronix is more expensive than other Bible software, but you can obtain a respectable library for under $300. You can also download a few books and the search engine at no charge which would allow you to experiment with the program's functions (Click here and follow the instructions).

Free PBB Books: There is also an expanding list of free books (some are true Christian classics) for those who have a version of the program that "reads" PBB (personal book builder) books (note that the free download above does not have a "PBB reader key"). Click  for more information on Personal Book Builder. Click here for a list of free PBB books (scroll down and go through the pages to see the books)  that are available as of June, 2007.

Note that the free PBB books function only on Libronix and not the entirely revamped Logos Bible Software 4!

Other Bible Translations (especially the Amplified Version):

Although you may not have thought of different versions of the Bible as potential "commentaries", you might be surprised at the insights that can be gleaned from reading a passage, paragraph or chapter studied using a different version. In this regard I would highly recommend the relatively literal Amplified Version which can function much like a "mini-commentary", often expanding the meaning of the passage. To help you use this version as a "mini-commentary", be aware that the Amplified Version uses parentheses - ( ) - to identify an alternative Greek or Hebrew definition of the preceding word or phrase. In other words, you can take these alternative "definitions" and substitute them for the preceding word or phrase and it would still be a relatively literal rendering of the original Greek or Hebrew text (e.g., using John 3:3 in the Amplified Version in the box below, practice "substituting" some of the words in parentheses for "born again" and for "see" and see if that doesn't help amplify the meaning of this familiar verse). On the other hand when you see a notation in brackets - [  ] - this represents more of an explanatory or amplifying comment on the preceding word or phrase to help and helps clarify the meaning of the passage. In contrast to the notes in parentheses, the notes in brackets represent words that are not present in the original Greek or Hebrew text.

See the chart below to compare the literalness of various translations, keeping in mind that the more literal the translation, the closer it follows the original Greek or Hebrew and the less interpretative it is.

In regard to using other Bible versions to aid your study of a passage, do not restrict your study to a paraphrased version. Paraphrased versions represent a restatement of the passage with the goal being to give the meaning in another form and thereby can aid one's comprehension. As noted in the chart below, paraphrased versions are the least literal and the most interpretative. Note especially that "The Message" should be used with caution and discernment, because it is a loose and free paraphrase and some passages are very far removed from the meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew (in my opinion). On the other hand, the New Living Translation is a paraphrase which can be highly recommended.

Most of the versions listed below are freely available on the internet and one can easily compare passages in different versions at sites like Studylight.org. Try a simple comparison to see how the Amplified version functions as a "mini-commentary". First click Studylight.org. Then type in John 3:3, selecting NASB (or NIV) in parallel with the Amplified Version. For fun, also check the box entitled "Highlight Variations". Now, can you see how the Amplified version can potentially aid understanding of a given passage? Note if you type in John 3 (actually that gave an error but typing in John 3:1-36 was successful), you retrieve a comparison of the entire chapter. See the example below with variations highlighted (from Studylight.org):

NASB

AMPLIFIED

John 3:3    Variant Word Count: 4
 

Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is R126 born again F41 he cannot see the R127 kingdom of God."

 

 
John 3:3    Variant Word Count: 16 (45%)
 

Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.

 

Another source for parallel passages is Biblegateway.com which allows more versions to be compared but does not highlight variations.

BIBLE VERSIONS
COMPARISON OF LITERALNESS

MORE
LITERAL

LESS INTERPRETATIVE
MORE WORD FOR WORD

MORE
PARAPHRASE
MORE INTERPRETATIVE**
MORE CONCEPT FOR CONCEPT

YLT

NAS
ASV

Amp
ESV

KJV
   NKJV
       RSV
NRSV
   NAB
NIV
 NJB
NCV
ICB
NLT Phillips
GNT

CEV
    
TLB Msg
NAS   = New American Standard
Amp   = Amplified Version
ASV   = Authorized Standard Version 1901
ESV   = English Standard Version
RSV   = Revised Standard Version
KJV   = King James Version
NKJV = New King James Version
YLT   = Young's Literal Translation
NRSV = New Revised Std Version
NAB   = New American Bible
NJB    = New Jerusalem Bible
NIV     = New International Version
NCV    = New Century Version
ICB     = International Children's Bible
NLT  = New Living Translation
Phillips = J B Phillips Paraphrase
GNT  = Good News Translation
CEV  = Contemporary English Version
TLB  = The Living Bible
Msg   = The Message

** MORE INTERPRETATIVE: For the most objective, non-biased and "pure" inductive study, do not use paraphrased versions as your primary resource for they provide no way to determine whether or not the translator's  interpretation of the original Greek and Hebrew is accurate. The more literal versions such as NAS, ESV, KJV, NKJV more accurately  render the words of the original biblical authors and are therefore recommended for inductive Bible study. Although more literal, the Amplified is not recommended as your primary text, but can be helpful once you have done your study because in many verses it functions like a "mini-commentary". Consultation (after your own inductive study) with some paraphrases (e.g.,  NLT and Phillips) may also yield insights into the meaning of the passage. Note that the NIV is a thought-for-thought (dynamic equivalence) translation which can be helpful for new believers, but it is not recommended for in depth bible study because of the inconsistent way in which it renders the Hebrew and Greek texts. In some cases, the NIV includes significant interpretation which leaves the reader without any indication of the other possible ways to understand that particular verse. Although every translation has some degree of interpretation, the NAS is the least interpretative of the modern translations. The NAS also has the advantage over the NIV in that it identifies words in italics that are not present in the original language but which have been added by the translators to make the passage more readable. Several other versions also use italicized words (ASV, Darby, KJV, NKJV, YLT) to signify words and phrases added by the translators to clarify or smooth out the reading. This feature helps one know when they are standing on solid ground (words not in italics) or "thin ice" (italicized phrases). Note that popular versions like the ESV, NIV, and NET Bible do not use italics (although sometimes they include notes to help explain the specific rendering.)

 

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke (1760-1832) is the author of a commentary on the entire Bible that is found on many websites as well as computer Bible programs. Clarke was a Methodist, a Wesleyan, and an Arminian, (e.g., Clarke "suggested that although God can know all future events, He chooses not to know some events beforehand" Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, page 808). He did not always interpret Scripture literally and so was amillennial (did not believe Messiah would reign 1000 years in His earthly Kingdom) (to quote Clarke on 1000 years - "I am satisfied that this period should not be taken literally" [see comment on Rev 20:4] - he interpreted Revelation as a Historicist) which led him to interpret the church as fulfilling many OT promises to Israel.

He was influential in the development of the doctrine of entire sanctification (or "Christian perfection"). Although Clarke affirmed the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, thus holding to a belief of "plenary dynamic inspiration" (idea of every thought inspired), he fell short of a belief in the "plenary verbal inspiration" (every single word inspired) (Bibliotheca Sacra: Volume 125, p 163, 1968).

In summary, Adam Clarke can be a useful commentator but in view of some of his beliefs you again are advised to Be a Berean when utilizing his material, of which he has a commentary for every book of the Bible!

Although I respect the work of the developer of Studylight.org, it is noteworthy that his description of Adam Clarke gives no warning to the unwary of some of the beliefs of Clarke. Instead Studylight.org describes Clarke as the...

"Author of one of the most respected interdenominational commentaries ever written, Adam Clarke shows his Godly respect for the Bible as well as his courage to give his opinion on many difficult and controversial questions other commentaries often avoid."

Please understand that my synopsis is not meant to be critical but informative, and you will encounter Clarke's comments a number of times on preceptaustin.org because he does offer some excellent insights on specific passages. The wise reader will however read his notes with an awareness of his basic beliefs and his approach to the Scripture.

William Barclay

William Barclay's New Testament commentaries are no longer available on the internet. Barclay's commentaries are discussed on this page not because they are theologically conservative but because they often contain useful insights and illustrations, especially in regard to Greek words and Greco-Roman culture. The potential danger with using Barclay's material is that he did not hold orthodox views concerning such non-negotiable topics as the virgin birth and deity of Jesus,  the way of salvation, eternal judgment, etc.

For a balanced critique of the Barclay's theological aberrations click here. The discerning student would be well advised to read this review so that they would be better able to read his commentaries with due caution. (See related resource Is Your Interpretation Supernaturalistic, Naturalistic, Existentialistic, Dogmatic?)

A W Pink

Arthur Pink (1886-1952)

is often described as an eccentric. He didn't really fit in anywhere. Converted to Christ out of a theosophical background (the New Age movement of his day), he became a student of Puritan thought. But his efforts at pastoring churches and evangelization were not successful. Nor did his books sell. A monthly magazine that he edited called Studies in the Scriptures, never topped a circulation of 1,000. The last sixteen years of his life, he spent on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in virtual isolation, having no formal association with any church...He seemed to take pride in his "persecution," although some of the men he disagreed with were among the greatest Christians of the century. (Christian History Institute)

In the interest of balance and fairness another source writes that...

There is a difference of opinion among Christians today as to the value of a study of his life. Many regard him as an eccentric while others see a spiritual quality reflected in his life marking him out as a unique servant of God, one who would be used in the service of the kingdom of God long after he had departed this life. (Banner of Truth)

In contrast to the Arminian beliefs of Adam Clarke, Pink was a staunch Calvinist (in simple terms one who holds a belief in God's complete sovereignty - see Pink's landmark work The Sovereignty of God), he countered a growing trend toward acceptance of Arminian views. Pink has a writing style which is both doctrinal and devotional.

On the other hand, the informed reader who consults Pink's commentaries (he is frequently quoted on preceptaustin.org) should be aware that he is a notable example of a commentator who approaches the Scriptures leaning heavily on the supernaturalistic approach (see also allegorical interpretation) Pink frequently discusses "types" (other than those the Bible itself specifically designates as "types" - see understanding of symbols and figures) in which he uses an Old Testament event, personage or institution and associates it figuratively with some truth in the New Testament.

Donald Campbell, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, in reviewing Pink's work, The Life of David, Vols. I & II, comments that..

In his desire to be practical and helpful, the author sometimes is extreme in his typical applications (e.g., 1,148, 216ff). Dispensationalism is attacked as a hindrance to typology (1, 275). (Bibliotheca Sacra. Volume 115, October, 1958. Dallas Theological Seminary)

Therefore, good Bereans are advised to be aware of Pink's supernaturalistic approach to the Scriptures lest one take away from a passage a meaning that God never intended. Remember that the most efficacious application of Scripture is predicated upon an accurate interpretation, lest one be misapply (see application) the Scriptures.

In summary, A W Pink's commentaries can be an excellent resource with the caveat that the reader be cognizant of Pink's tendency toward a supernaturalistic approach in interpretation. (See related resource Is Your Interpretation Supernaturalistic, Naturalistic, Existentialistic, Dogmatic?)


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Last Updated July, 2013

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