I’m returning to my great books series with a list of some of my favorite concise commentaries on the whole Bible. These are resources I highly recommend to people looking for a somewhat brief (but still thorough) explanation of virtually every passage of Scripture in the Bible.
The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur
John MacArthur has spent about thirty hours per week studying the Scriptures during his lengthy tenure as a Pastor and Seminary President. He has an acute insight into every passage on which He comments. He’s trustworthy, conservative, and treats the Bible with high esteem and respect.
Bible Knowledge Commentary (2 Volume Set), edited by Walvoord and Zuck
This was one of the first set of commentaries I obtained when I entered ministry. Just two volumes cover the entire Bible verse-by-verse. Various professors from Dallas Theological Seminary contributed and it’s a masterful work.
Adventuring Through the Bible, by Ray Stedman
I’ve been printing Ray Stedman’s sermons off the internet for a long time, to keep as a reference on a given passage. Now his commentary is collected together in this single volume. He’s highly practical, easy-to-read, and deeply spiritual.
The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, by Warren Wiersbe
When I can’t get the sense and flow of a passage, I turn to Warren Wiersbe! He’s a master of taking a single literary unit and conveying its major principles in a practical way. You can’t go wrong with Dr. Wiersbe.
Matthew Henry wrote his commentaries on Scripture a looong time ago, yet his language is surprisingly easy to understand. Though it seems a man writing so long ago might not touch our daily lives, I continue to be inspired by his spiritual applications of texts. I continue to use my six-volume set, one of the first such commentary sets I ever bought. This one-volume would suffice for most students of Scripture.
These are just five. I could go on, and perhaps will later. If you’ve found one particularly useful, feel free to mention it in the comments. I will moderate based on my doctrinal convictions though.