Caveat: Some of the commentaries below have "jettisoned" a literal approach to the interpretation of Scripture and have "replaced" Israel with the Church, effectively taking God's promises given to the literal nation of Israel and "transferring" them to the Church. Be a Berean Acts 17:11-note!
("Jehovah is Salvation")
See Excellent Timeline for Isaiah - page 39
Judgment & Character
Comfort & Redemption
|Holiness, Righteousness & Justice of Jehovah||Grace, Compassion & Glory of Jehovah|
"A throne" Is 6:1
"A Lamb" Is 53:7
Explanation - The following list includes not only commentaries but other Christian works by well known evangelical writers. Most of the resources below are newer works (written after 1970) which previously were available only for purchase in book form or in a Bible computer program. The resources are made freely available by archive.org but have several caveats - (1) they do not allow copy and paste, (2) they can only be checked out for one hour (but can be checked out immediately when your hour expires giving you time to read or take notes on a lengthy section) and (3) they require creating an account which allows you to check out the books free of charge. To set up an account click archive.org and then click the picture of the person in right upper corner and enter email and a password. That's all you have to do. Then you can read these more modern resources free of charge! I have read or used many of these resources but not all of them so ultimately you will need to be a Berean (Acts 17:11+) as you use them. I have also selected works that are conservative and Biblically sound. If you find one that you think does not meet those criteria please send an email at https://www.preceptaustin.org/
Be Comforted (Isaiah) by Wiersbe, Warren - Always worth checking. Literal.
Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament - 1608 pages. Dallas Theological Seminary - Literal. Isaiah written by John A Martin. (About 100 pages of commentary)
James Rosscup - Martin briefly defends unity by Isaiah, then provides a succinct, carefully-studied and clear commentary following a good outline. On problem passages he often offers views and reasons, but is brief due to his limitations of space. On the Servant Songs he provides logic for seeing fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and in many texts he argues for realization in a future earthly millennial era, after the Second Advent. He sees many passages fulfilled in Old Testament days and is quite specific about historical details that match these. Cf. also the related book he and his father wrote: Alfred Martin and John Martin, Isaiah: The Glory of the Messiah (Chicago: Moody, 1983).
Isaiah Prophecies Promises Warning by W.E Vine. Recommended resource which takes a literal approach.
James Rosscup - Though this helpful work of a premillennial nature is somewhat brief, it often refers to the original text and observes the syntax. It contributes to the student who has other works which get into the details more at length.
The Book of Isaiah. Chapters 1-39 by Oswalt, John N.
Cyril Barber - This is a very extensive, scholarly and generally reliable commentary, discussing the historical background, unity, date, and authorship of Isaiah's prophecy. Oswalt assesses the prophet's theology under four topics: the nature of God; humanity and the world; sin; and redemption. He follows this with a lucid exposition. Pastors will find his handling of the text most helpful.
Servant's Place - This is a very detailed study of the social, economic and political background of the nations including Israel and Judah that are mentioned in Isaiah. Oswalt is very uneven in his eschatological viewpoint and often allegorizes passages that many scholars see as clearly premillennial.
Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament (Volume 2 - Isaiah - Malachi) by Unger, Merrill Frederick. Literal.
The Gospel of Isaiah by Allan A. Macrae
James Rosscup - The President and Professor of Old Testament at Biblical School of Theology in Hatfield, PA wrote this. He was one of Dr. Robert Dick Wilson’s outstanding students. The work is not a commentary but a book elucidating themes in Isaiah 40:1–56:8, showing the interrelation of thoughts and the development of themes, based on the original Hebrew. The section has more verses cited in the New Testament than any other Old Testament passage of its length. Several portions of Handel’s Messiah came from here. The chapter on Cyrus as God’s instrument has many good insights (cf. p. 29), as do the discussions on Isaiah 40 and the several chapters on the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 41–53, and the thoughts on chapters 54–56.
Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament by Wiersbe, Warren W 113 ratings - Potentially very helpful for preachers. Literal. Conservative. Vintage Wiersbe comments.
"Even the most difficult Scriptures come alive as Warren Wiersbe leads you book-by-book through the Old Testament and helps you to see the "big picture" of God's revelation. In this unique volume, you will find: • Introductions and/or outlines for every Old Testament book • Practical expositions of strategic chapters • Special studies on key topics, relating the Old Testament to the New Testament • Easy-to-understand expositions that are practical, preachable, and teachable If you have used Dr. Wiersbe's popular BE series, you know how simple and practical his Bible studies are, with outlines that almost teach themselves. If not, you can now discover a wonderful new resource. This work is a unique commentary on every book of the Old Testament. It contains new material not to be found in the BE series.
James Rosscup - A thorough analytical treatment of a pre-millennial nature which some have regarded as one of the finest broad studies on Isaiah.
Understanding the Old Testament Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah by Scripture Union
Isaiah : Bible study commentary by Garland, D. David
James Rosscup - A handy premillennial survey of Isaiah, holding to the book’s unity, using a good outline, giving a competent overall view of the book and comments on some key passages.
The prophets of Israel by Wood, Leon
A thoroughly conservative work, very clearly written, in two sections, prophetism and the prophets. Wood under the first division goes into the identity, meaning of “to prophesy,” function, the Holy Spirit and prophecy, and other aspects. In the second, he discusses in some detail prophets before Samuel, Samuel, monarchy prophets, and the writing prophets from the ninth century to post-exilic days. This is a fine book that gives the student or pastor a much better, integrated understanding of the prophets behind the prophetic books.
Note: The first 4 resources have no time restriction and allow copy and paste function: they all approach interpretation of Isaiah from a literal perspective, taking the promises to Israel as to the literal nation and not to the church like so many modern commentaries that spiritualize and/or allegorize Isaiah's prophecies!
(1) KJV Bible Commentary - Hindson, Edward E; Kroll, Woodrow Michael. Over 3000 pages of the entire OT/NT. Well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective. Pre-millennial. User reviews - it generally gets 4/5 stars from users. - 372 ratings
Very well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective user reviews
The King James Version Bible Commentary is a complete verse-by-verse commentary. It is comprehensive in scope, reliable in scholarship, and easy to use. Its authors are leading evangelical theologians who provide practical truths and biblical principles. Any Bible student will gain new insights through this one-volume commentary based on the timeless King James Version of the Bible.
(2) The King James Study Bible Second Edition 2240 pages (2013) (Thomas Nelson) General Editor - Edward Hindson with multiple contributing editors. . 3,194 ratings. Pre-millennial. See introduction on How to Use this Study Bible.
(3) NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version Study Bible (formerly "The Nelson Study Bible - NKJV") by Earl D Radmacher; Ronald Barclay Allen; Wayne H House. 2345 pages. (1997, 2007). Very helpful notes. Conservative. Pre-millennial. 917 ratings
(4) The Wycliffe Bible Commentary - only the New Testament (for OT see below to borrow) - 1126 pages. (1971) Everett F Harrison - Editor of New Testament. Uses the KJV. Strictly speaking not a study Bible, but short notes are similar. KJV text in left column, commentary notes in right column. The comments are generally verse by verse, short, conservative and to the point. Pre-millennial. Isaiah comments by Gleason Archer.
Rosscup - Conservative and premillennial scholars here have been experts in their fields. The work contains brief introductions and attempts to give a verse-by-verse exposition, though it does skip over some verses. The treatments vary with the authors, but as a whole it is a fine one-volume commentary for pastors and students to use or give to a layman.
Rosscup goes on to add these comments on Gleason Archer - Archer has packed a lot of good material into this commentary and is very helpful in historical and cultural details as well as the interpretation of difficult phrases. He takes a premillennial covenant viewpoint, so it is nothing unusual for him to refer prophecies concerning Israel to the church (ED: WOE! See What is replacement theology / supersessionism?)
Believer's Bible Commentary - OT and NT - MacDonald, William (1995) 2480 pages. Conservative. Literal. Often has very insightful comments. John MacArthur, says "Concise yet comprehensive - the most complete single-volume commentary I have seen." Warren Wiersbe adds "For the student who is serious about seeing Christ in the Word."
Rosscup - This work, originally issued in 1983, is conservative and premillennial, written to help teachers, preachers and people in every walk of life with different views, explanation and application. The 2-column format runs verse by verse for the most part, usually in a helpfully knowledgeable manner, and there are several special sections such as “Prayer” in Acts and “Legalism” in Galatians. The premillennial view is evident on Acts 1:6, 3:20, Romans 11:26, Galatians 6:16, Revelation 20, etc.
Jensen's Survey of Bible - Old Testament and New Testament (online) by Jensen, Irving 140 ratings (NT) 133 ratings (OT) This is an outstanding resource and a great place to begin your study on any book of the Bible.
HCSB Study Bible : Holman Christian Standard Bible - General Editor Jeremy Royal Howard (2010) 2360 pages. Conservative. Good notes. Include Holmans excellent maps. One hour limit
Life Application Study Bible: Old Testament and New Testament: New Living Translation. Has some very helpful notes especially with application of texts. 4,445 ratings One hour limit
The David Jeremiah Study Bible - (2013) 2208 pages. 2,272 ratings Logos.com - "Drawing on more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah has compiled a legacy resource that will make an eternal impact on generations to come. 8,000 study notes. Hundreds of enriching word studies"50+ Essentials of the Christian Faith" articles.
ESV Study Bible - The discerning reader must understand that the ESV notes are not always literal in eschatological passages including those that deal with the future of the literal nation of Israel.
Example: In comments on Isaiah 35+, which speaks of the future Messianic kingdom, here is the ESV note on Isa 35:5, 6+ Then...then - "The prophet points to the promised future, inaugurated in the first coming of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:16–21; 7:18–23) and fully consummated at his second coming (Rev. 21:4; 22:1–5)." Notice how this comment completely skips over the 1000 years (mentioned 6 times) in Revelation 20+, and goes to the New Heaven and the New Earth! The ESV comment continues "Isaiah contrasts God’s people (NOTICE AVOIDANCE OF MENTION OF THE NATION TO WHOM THIS PROPHECY WAS GIVEN - ISRAEL!), suffering now but destined for heightened powers of enjoyment in a new world...." Commenting on the "highway" in Isa 35:8+ the ESV spiritualizes the passage writing "God’s pilgrim people (AGAIN ESV AVOIDS SAYING "ISRAEL"!) are led forward to Zion, singing their way into their eternal home." Numerous other examples could be cited, but these examples should give you a sense of the non-literal bias. Be a Berean (Acts 17:11+)!
More hard sayings of the Old Testament by Kaiser, Walter C
Back toward the future : hints for interpreting Biblical prophecy by Kaiser, Walter C.,
The Old Testament in contemporary preaching by Kaiser, Walter
The uses of the Old Testament in the New by Kaiser, Walter C
Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill
Toward Old Testament ethics by Kaiser, Walter C.
Toward an Old Testament theology by Kaiser, Walter
The promise-plan of God : a biblical theology of the Old and New Testaments by Kaiser, Walter C - Excellent.
The Messiah in the Old Testament by Kaiser, Walter C
Unger's bible handbook : a best-selling guide to understanding the bible by Unger, Merrill F
Rosscup - A former Professor of Old testament at Dallas Seminary, evangelical writer of many scholarly books, did this in his late years. He has sections on each Bible book, archaeology, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, between the testaments, the four gospels, epistles of Paul, how the Bible came to us, Bible statistics, outline of church history, creation stories, Ur of Abram’s day, Egypt, Assyria, the Chaldean empire, demonism, miracles, Bethlehem, Dead Sea scrolls, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome, etc. The work includes more than 20 charts and 30 maps and has color sections. Unger has good material at some points in surveying passages, dealing with certain problems, etc., and handles the long-range prophecies in a premillennial way. Often he is very cursory.
Here is another link to the TWOT which has no time limit on use and does allow copy and paste. Can be downloaded as PDF.
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel. Well done notes explaining cultural/historical aspects of the texts with color pictures. Interesting resource to supplement your study of the major prophets.
NIV Archaeological Study Bible (2005) 2360 pages 950 ratings- Has the full text of the Scripture with study notes at bottom of page. Pages are dark and slightly blurred but still legible. Comments are historical, cultural, and archaeological.
Archaeology and the Bible - OT and NT - only 123 pages. No division by books. Strictly confines itself to discussion of archaeology.