Saturday, December 22, 2012

Biblical Commentaries Online

Biblical Commentaries Online

Links updated August 2011
The commentaries linked to on this page differ widely in their quality and usefulness for different purposes. Some are of a devotional nature, and are designed to help preachers and intelligent laymen. These usually offer little help on technical questions, but they often prove most helpful in guiding readers in larger questions of interpretation. Others are written from a highly critical perspective, and these are usually of no help in important theological matters, but I include them because they are often most helpful in the difficult and detailed questions about word usage and in their discussions of the cultural background. Then, there are many commentaries by learned conservatives who provide good technical help while remaining true to the Christian faith. Many of the commentaries linked to here are more than a hundred years old, and so it should not be taken for granted that the interpretations they present are in line with twentieth-century scholarship. I hope that the reader will find what is useful in all these books while exercising spiritual discernment. — M.D.M.

Advice and Reviews

Commentaries on the Whole Bible

  • Calvin's Commentaries. English translation of the famous reformer's commentaries. Also here.
  • Matthew Henry's Commentary. The best resource I know for traditional Protestant interpretation and application. Also here.
  • Poole’s “Annotations”Annotations Upon the Holy Bible, Wherein the Sacred Text is Inserted, and Various Readings Annex'd … by the Late Reverend and Learned Divine Mr. Matthew Poole (London: Parkhurst, 1700): vol. 1 (Genesis-Isaiah); vol. 2 (Jeremiah-Revelation).
  • Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary. A good concise commentary, much less full than Calvin's or Henry's, but more recent. Also here. Download it in a variety of formats here.
  • John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Though dated in some respects, Gill's (strongly Calvinistic) commentary is especially helpful for theological exposition. Also here.
  • Classic Bible Commentaries, courtesy of E-Word Today. Includes commentaries of Gill, Jamieson-Faussett-Brown, John Lightfoot, Ben Johnson, Matthew Henry, McGarvey and Pendleton, and Luther (Galatians). Also the notes of Darby, Wesley, and the Geneva Bible.
  • Coffman's Commentaries. Conservative and devotional commentary on the whole Bible by a Church of Christ scholar, James Burton Coffman. Useful for beginning students, but rather florid in style, and theologically Arminian.
  • Adam Clarke's Commentaries. Conservative and Arminian.
  • Expositions of Holy Scripture by Alexander Maclaren (1908). We might call this a devotional commentary, but it is written on a much higher level than most devotional works. It consists of expository essays on most of the Bible.
  • The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Not really a commentary, but a collection of cross-references for every verse of the Bible. Scripture is its own best interpreter!

Commentaries on the Old Testament

  • An Old Testament commentary for English readers, by various writers, edited by Charles J. Ellicott, 5 vols. (London: Cassell, 1882-3): vol. 1; vol. 2; vol 3; vol. 4; vol. 5.

Commentaries on the New Testament

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