First Commentary Set

Brian LeStourgeon


Every pastor should have a ready reference commentary for basic bible study. One or two volume commentaries are great for beginning Sunday school teachers, but are not sufficient for an educated ministry leader. You should have at least one volume for each book of the Bible to which you can refer for educated answers to questions that pop up in the regular ebb and flow of ministry. Each of the following commentaries is selected as a good first commentary. This library evaluates selections and determines which volumes best fit the following criteria:
  • Evangelical, Conservative while providing reasonable arguments for positions.
  • Evidence of scholarly competence.
  • Current – nothing prior to 1985.
  • Interested in helping the reader comprehend the meaning of the text as we have it.
  • Lucid, engaging prose.
  • Good technical / expositional balance (“semi-technical”), Good footnote balance.
  • Helpful to a pastor’s study. Useful for preaching and teaching. This does not mean that I select commentaries that do the “application” for me. I choose commentaries that help me understand the meaning of the text in such a way that I can confidently shape my sermon/lesson and apply the text to my congregation (and most often, to me).
  • Good commentaries (for this list) strike an engaging balance among grammatical explanation, contextual meaning, and biblical theology.
No one will agree with all of my selections, but if you value the criteria above, you should not be disappointed with any of these volumes.

Many of these commentaries are available from Logos Bible Software.
Add available commentaries to your library with discount

Mathews, Kenneth A. Genesis. 2 Vols. NAC. Broadman & Holman, 1996. Genesis Genesis : ranked 3
Selman, Martin J. 1 & 2 Chronicles. 4 Vols. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 2008. 1 & 2 Chronicles 1/2 Chronicles : ranked 3
Waltke, Bruce K. The Book of Proverbs. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 2004. The Book of Proverbs Proverbs : ranked 1
Oswalt, John N. The Book of Isaiah. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1986. The Book of Isaiah Isaiah : ranked 1
Block, Daniel I. The Book of Ezekiel. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1997. The Book of Ezekiel Ezekiel : ranked 1
Stuart, Douglas. Hosea - Jonah. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1987. Hosea - Jonah Hosea : ranked 1
Joel : ranked 1
Amos : ranked 1
Obadiah : ranked 1
Jonah : ranked 4


Top Commentaries by Book Top Commentaries by Series Forthcoming & Unreleased Commentaries
Pentateuch History Poetry Prophets Minor Prophets
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1/2 Samuel 1/2 Kings 1/2 Chronicles Ezra/Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi
OT Primary Source Material OT Canon OT Textual Criticism OT Hermeneutics OT Introductions OT Theology OT Theological Dictionaries OT Archaeology Hebrew Lexicons Hebrew Grammars (Introductory) Hebrew Grammars (Intermediate) Hebrew Grammars (Advanced) OT Backgrounds OT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias OT History and Religion Ancient Near Eastern Histories Israelite Religion OT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Documentary Hypothesis Deuternomic History Other OT Studies and Issues
Gospels/Acts Pauline Epistles General Epistles
Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1/2 Thessalonians Pastoral Epistles Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter/Jude Johannine Epistles Revelation
NT Primary Source Material NT Canon NT Criticism NT Textual Criticism NT Hermeneutics NT Introductions NT Theology NT Theological Dictionaries NT Archaeology Greek Lexical Analysis Greek Lexicons Greek Grammar (Introductory) Greek Grammars (Intermediate) Greek Grammars (Advanced) NT Backgrounds NT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias NT History and Religion NT Near Eastern Histories NT Church History / Apostolic Period NT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Jesus and the Gospels Synoptic Gospels and Surrounding Issues The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting Pauline Studies Johannine Studies Petrine Studies Lukan Studies Other NT Studies and Issues
Systematics Subjects
Systematic Theology Bible/Bibliology Doctrine of God/Theology Humanity/Anthropology Sin/Harmartiology Jesus Christ/Christology Holy Spirit/Pneumatology Salvation/Soteriology Angels and Demons/Angelology The Church/Ecclesiology End Times/Eschatology Israel/Israelology Rewards/Misthology Other Systematics Biblical Theology Biblical Hermeneutics Biblical Canon Scriptures and Revelation Narrative Themes Prolegomena Trinitarianism Sacraments Providence/Soveriegnty Heaven and Hell Worship Theology Ethics Origins Apologetics Worldviews/Philosophies Biblical Archaeology Environmental Issues Ancient Near Eastern Theology Modern Near Eastern Theology Judaism Messianic Judaism Church History (incl. Post Apostolic) Historical Theology Second Temple Judaism Other Theological Subjects
Christian Life Ministry
Workplace Home Anxiety / Depression etc. Technology Prayer / Intercession Bible Study Cultural Issues Other Life Issues Mission / Evangelism Church Growth Preaching Church Leadership Discipleship Pastoral Care Biblical Counseling Worship Praxis Other Ministry