A. E. C. is a Lutheran pastor.
Education M.Div, Concordia Seminary; M.Th. University of Glasgow
Moses and the Deuteronomist: A Literary Study of the Deuteronomic History : Part 1 : Deuteronomy/Joshua/Judges (Indiana Studies in Biblical Literatu) (Pt. 1). Indiana University Press, 1993.
Brilliant and insightful narrative critique
Proverbs. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2009.
Steinmann's commentary is certainly conservative: he accepts Solomonic authorship, believes the book was completed by editors between 686 and 457 B.C., and asserts the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit. While this may be a reason for many readers to reject it and look for something more critical, those readers would do wisely to consult this volume. No Proverbs commentary offers the wealth of insight on the Hebrew language that this one does, and perhaps no other book connects Proverbs so beautifully to Christ's atoning work. It is, without a doubt, a unique and fascinating contribution to Proverbs studies.
Bailey, Daniel P. ed. Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Eerdmans, 2018.
There is no "fluff" in this magisterial work by veteran scholar Peter Stuhlmacher. It is a condensation of a lifetime of careful work on the New Testament. With this English translation, it will become the standard for NT theology into the century.
Hurst, L. D. ed. New Testament Theology. Oxford University Press, 1995.
Published a decade after his death, Caird's NT theology is masterful. I consistently return to it and find its insights to be more judicious, balanced, and insightful than other comparable NT theologies.
Matthew 1:1-11:1. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2006.
Professor Gibbs' commentary deserves to be high on this list. Two of three volumes have been published, and along with Luz's three-volume work this is one of the very best works on the first Gospel. Gibbs is such a close, careful reader of the text. Nothing goes unnoticed and nothing gets ignored. He also does an excellent job of connecting themes across the Scriptures and shows especial attention to Old Testament connections. The attention he gives to Hebrew words/concepts is very helpful. In everything, Gibbs also shows great concern for the Church and her preaching task, keeping Christ front and centre throughout this work.
Matthew. 3 Vols. Herm. Fortress Press, 2005.
This is simply one of the most thorough and brilliant Matthew commentaries currently available. Luz, while still closely dealing with the Greek text, includes an incredibly learned review of Matthew's reception history throughout the Church's life. It is just a tour-de-force of exegesis, Church history, and even art history - a volume that certainly will not disappoint the exegete who feels a strong connection with past Christian interpreters.
The Acts of the Apostles. ECS. Epworth Press, 1996.
Dunn's Acts commentary is a compact distillation of a commentary, filled with subtle insights, provocative questions, and necessary background information that other commentaries twice its size do not even have. Dunn also reads Acts in a way that respects its brilliance and close connection to the rest of the NT.
1 Kings. BO. Liturgical Press, 1996.
Walsh's commentary stands out as being exceptionally attuned to the narrative of 1 Kings. It reads more like a work of literary criticism than a biblical commentary, but he is also well versed in all the technical and theological discussions regarding 1 Kings.
Psalms 2: 51–150. Herm. Fortress Press, 2005.
This work by Hossfeld and Zenger is THE most comprehensive and thorough commentary yet published on the Psalms. Replete with illustrations and diagrams while still operating with the remarkably user-friendly format of Hermeneia, it is a delight to use. Even for those not interested in redactional issues, this work is a must-have.
Luke. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1990.
Like Sloyan's John commentary in the Interpretation series, this work by the eminent preacher and teacher Fred Craddock frequently serves as a mere summary of the text rather than an interaction with it. I found it to be of very limited use in my preparation for preaching or teaching Luke.
John. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1987.
Unfortunately, this is one of the weakest volumes in the interesting Interpretation series. It offers little homiletic aid and often is a mere restatement of the text. Sloyan is more of an expert in Catholic education and the liturgy than he is in the Johannine literature.
1 and 2 Kings. BTCB. Brazos Press, 2006.
Christ-centered, well-written, unpretentious, and occasionally brilliant, Leithart's theological commentary on 1/2 Kings is a must for pastors, teachers, and students. It is a commentary written from within the Church's tradition to the people of the Church for their benefit.
I Kings. AYB. Yale University Press, 2001.
Cogan's work pays careful attention to the 1 Kings text and is probably the best technical commentary in English on the book to date. It is clear and well-written. Until the 1 Kings commentaries come out in the Hermeneia and NICOT series, this is probably the best choice for a pastor or scholar who needs an in-depth, historical and grammatical commentary. Cogan also interacts with other Jewish scholars (ancient and modern) who are often overlooked by Christian scholars. I combine this with Leithart's excellent theological commentary on 1/2 Kings where he continually and brilliantly looks at the OT through the lens of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of John. SP. Liturgical Press, 1998.
Francis Moloney is a John expert and Catholic priest who currently teaches at Catholic Theological College in East Melbourne, Australia. This commentary is the fruit of many years of research and reflection on the fourth Gospel. I greatly enjoy using it and definitely recommend it to others because of Father Moloney's careful attentiveness to the narrative of John. He helps the reader of John see the powerful Gospel for what it is: a unified story that has been written "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name" (20:31). Moloney's commentary is also technically informed without being bogged down by lots of other scholars' opinions. Each section deals with a pericope in a holistic way, relating the theology and narrative developments back to the whole story in John, and only after that does Moloney look at textual issues in the final verse-by-verse portion of the pericope section. This technical portion often refers the reader to other scholars' writings without long quotations that would detract from the flow of the narrative. Moloney looks at the opinions of Brown, Barrett, and Schnackenburg frequently. As a Lutheran, I greatly appreciate Moloney's words on John 6 about the miraculous and real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Throughout this commentary Moloney allows his sacramental, Catholic views come out without compromising his excellent scholarship. Overall this is a very fine commentary.
Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. Cistercian Publications Inc, 1989.
This is an essential work for any student of the Acts of the Apostles. Bede was a genius and a careful interpreter. He quotes from the Fathers (including Arator, a sixth century sub-deacon) and usually interprets passages allegorically. This commentary fills a significant gap by showing how Christians for the first thousand years received, interpreted, and valued the Book of Acts. I used this work to supplement modern Acts commentaries at a college Bible study, and the students were always intrigued by and appreciative of Bede's profound moral and spiritual insights. There are three extant commentaries on Acts from the ancient Church: this one by Bede (710), a collection of 55 homilies on Acts by John Chrysostom (first mentioned by Cassiodorus in 514), and the verse by verse commentary by Arator (544).
Luke. 3 Vols. Herm. Fortress Press, 2012.
I cannot praise Bovon's Luke commentary enough. It is magnificent. Bovon is so erudite and insightful, and this thorough commentary shines with his style, brilliance, and most importantly, his Christian faith. Bovon writes from a moderately critical perspective. He deals with Wirkungsgeschichte in volumes 2 and 3 more than in volume 1, but he still does a very good job. His handling of the text's reception history is to the point and covers the whole range of ancient to modern commentators. This commentary is a delight to read and to utilize.
Mark. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1983.
I find Lamar Williamson's homiletical/pastoral commentary on Mark to be incredibly helpful. He wrestles with the text in a very honest way that you don't find in commentaries that merely seek to explain the logic of a passage. His conclusions are often open ended and though provoking. I had to preach on Mark 11 (triumphal entry) for Advent I and Williamson opened my eyes to the passage in a very deep way that other Mark commentaries did not come close to doing. For preaching and teaching, this commentary is solid.
The Book Around Immanuel: Style and Structure in Isaiah 2-12. Eisenbrauns, 1996.
In this excellent book, Rev. Dr. Andrew Bartelt (professor of Old Testament exegesis at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) presents us with his modified and updated doctoral dissertation that he prepared under David Noel Freedman at the University of Michigan. Bartelt outlines the purpose of his study when he writes, "This study is borne by the confluence of two streams of recent research: the study of Hebrew poetry, especially studies of poetic stylistics, and the type of literary investigation that has come to be called rhetorical criticism." This book is therefore a painstakingly researched study of Isaiah's poetry in the "Book of Immanuel", or Isaiah 2-12. Bartelt's work is highly technical; it deals with the Hebrew text and not with the history of interpretation or present day applications. Nothing is transliterated. Bartelt actually counts the syllables of every single line of poetry as a means of tracking its brilliant literary structure. He also pays close attention to stress count, verb/subject order, and word count. As a guide to Isaiah's rhetorical style, poetic devices, and authorial intent, this study is unsurpassed. I recommend it for any seminary or graduate course one might take on Isaiah. It could also be helpful to the pastor preparing a careful Bible study on this marvelous book.
Matthew. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1993.
This is a fantastic non-technical commentary. Douglas R.A. Hare seems to be able to pack an immense amount of insight into a short space. His book is filled with numerous insights where other commentaries are silent. He helpfully views the Beatitudes as being descriptive of the state of Christ's disciples rather than prescriptive for what makes a disciple. His insight on the eschatological character of the Parable of the Leaven is also fascinating. These insights are intended for the preacher and teacher, not the scholar. Along with Luz and Gibbs, this is my go-to Matthew commentary.
Acts. 2 Vols. ICC. T&T Clark, 1994.
C.K. Barrett's two volume ICC commentary on Acts is excellent. Barrett explores every facet of the text in a technical yet readable way. His point of view is, as another reviewer has put it, moderately critical, but he always sticks to the problems of the interpretation of the text itself without going into immaterial digressions. Even though these volumes are not exactly inexpensive, they are well worth the cost. This is an invaluable commentary that I will always consult before I preach or teach from Acts.
The Book of Isaiah. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1998.
Oswalt's Isaiah commentary in NICOT is excellent. He writes from a refreshingly conservative and evangelical point of view. His comments are always very thorough without being complicated or recondite. This is a very fine commentary that will be used by pastors and church workers for decades and decades.
The Acts of the Apostles. PNTC. Eerdmans, 2009.
Peterson's commentary is robust and evangelical. The introduction which is nearly 100 pages is quite excellent. His comments focus on the story as it unfolds and the overall theology expressed in the book rather than redaction and text-critical issues. I wish it did not transliterate the Greek, but for some this is preferable.
Genesis. THOTC. Eerdmans, 2008.
This is a fantastic commentary IF you are looking for one that aids your teaching and preaching. The format is excellent; the first half of the book is a succinct paragraph by paragraph commentary and the second part is an overview of major theological themes in Genesis. McKeown in his commentary portion addresses all the major issues and gives some thought-provoking insights to aid the preacher and teacher. He also includes Hebrew vocabulary in actual Hebrew with a transliteration next to it. Too many commentaries pass over the original language, and yet this one, which is not even technical, helpfully includes the Hebrew. There is a very helpful section in the second half of the book that fairly deals with Genesis and modern science.
The Treasury of David (in 3 volumes). Hendrickson Publishers, 1988.
This is an absolute classic. Spurgeon writes beautifully. Often just his introduction to a particular Psalm will give a wealth of insight to the preacher. He also quotes extensively from classic Calvinist and Lutheran commentators which can be interesting and helpful. The Treasury of David is a delight to read devotionally, too. Spurgeon was called the Prince of Preachers for a reason; if he preached the way he wrote, then he was always eloquent and informative and getting to the heart of every issue.
The Message of Deuteronomy. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1993.
This was a disappointment to me. I realize that the Bible Speaks Today series is supposed to be devotional/pastoral, but it didn't offer any original insights or preaching ideas to me. I prefer the Interpretation volume on Deuteronomy and recommend that one if a non-technical, pastoral commentary is desired.
Exodus. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1987.
I thoroughly enjoyed using this commentary in an Exodus class I took. I found it to be well written and easy to follow without sacrificing any depth of scholarship. It dealt well with all the technical details of the Hebrew text, and wrestled with others' interpretations in a succinct, helpful manner. I used hand in hand with Cole, Freitheim, and Stuart. It was my favorite of the four Exodus commentaries.
Colossians. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2003.
This is a robust commentary written by an evangelical Lutheran scholar. It deals with technical details of the Greek text while maintaining a focus on pastoral preaching and teaching insights. The Concordia Commentary series is highly recommended to students of the Scriptures who hold them to be the sacred Word of God.
Isaiah 40-66. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.
Hanson's commentary is disappointing for one major reason: as part of the Interpretation series it is supposed to offer the preacher or teacher homiletical and applicational insights from the text of Scripture as we have it today. Hanson seems to get too bogged down in discussions of II and III Isaiah to actually give the preacher or teacher such insights. When he does, they stem not from the actual text from Isaiah, but from Hanson's historical-critical interpretations of that text.
Galatians. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1986.
Cousar's Galatians commentary is solid. It is definitely one of my favorites of WJK's Interpretation series. It is succinct without being general, deals with all the major issues, and offers a wealth of homiletical insight.
Galatians. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1990.
Excellent. Technical without being boring or abstruse. Useful for students, scholars, and preachers alike.
Acts. IBC. Westminster John Knox Press, 1988.
I love this commentary, but I must say up front that William Willimon's Acts commentary in the Interpretation series SHOULD NOT supplement a technical or historical commentary on the book. It is very brief (at only 197 pages) and does not deal with every verse of Acts. However, as a devotional and homiletical commentary it is very good. Willimon must be a good preacher, because much of this commentary is written beautifully and persuasively. I find it to be extremely useful as the commentary I read either first or last in my list of Acts commentaries. I read it first to get the theological gist of a particular passage, or I read it last to acquire the numerous and brilliant applicational insights from Willimon. The Interpretation series' books are also inexpensive, which is a big plus for me.