1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart. FB. Christian Focus Publications, 2000.
Not as in depth as some of the longer commentaries, but wonderful in its application and easy to read.
Ezekiel. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 1981.
It is a pretty short commentary, especially given the length of the book of Ezekiel, but Taylor does a nice job of providing helpful summaries of the major sections.
Pastoral Epistles. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 2000.
Goes into great detail, but doesn't get bogged down. Best I've encountered on the Pastoral letters.
Joshua, Judges, and Ruth for Everyone. OTE. Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.
I'm not a big fan of this series....skips over quite a bit and didn't provide a lot of new insight to me. But I can imagine it being more helpful and appreciated by someone who is reading Judges for the first time, or doesn't dig into other, more thorough commentaries. Goldingay's approach is finding modern day stories that somewhat parallel the Biblical events and then raising some questions to think about.
Judges. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 2008.
I'm usually not a fan of the WBC series, but I thought Butler did a fine job of engaging the text and also seeing the larger themes and storylines at work. He does spend a lot of time quoting other commentaries, but as I don't have many commentaries on Judges, I actually found that helpful.
Leviticus. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 2008.
Very helpful, and yet still concise look at Leviticus. I appreciated Harrison's explanations of the many somewhat confusing rituals and rites.
Leviticus. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2003.
Very complete work with a thorough analysis of difficult sections in a challenging book. Extremely Christ-centered, which is great, although occasionally I wish he would have written a little more about the immediate context first.
The Message of Deuteronomy. BST. InterVarsity Press, 1993.
I didn't find this book particularly helpful for my purposes. I suppose it could be useful as a devotional read, but as far as engaging the text itself, the content was lacking. Brown doesn't really dive deeply into much; he seems to be more interested in dividing up the text into different sections and finding an overarching theme for each part.
Numbers. DSB. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
This is not a huge book, but it is surprisingly thorough for its length. Riggans hits all the main topics and provides answers to difficult questions, all while remaining readable and concise. I'd certainly supplement this volume with a more in depth commentary, but it would be a great place to start.
Ephesians: The Glory of the Church. EvBC. Moody Publishers, 2001.
Material is okay, but there just isn't a lot there compared to other commentaries. Too brief a treatment. If you need a short but more helpful commentary, use Foulkes.
Ephesians. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2015.
Fantastic commentary that digs deeply into Ephesians from a traditional Lutheran perspective. Full and thorough treatment. Very well done. Would rank it with Hoehner and O'Brien as the best Ephesians commentaries.
Ephesians. TNTC. InterVarsity Press, 1989.
Not as detailed as O'Brien or Hoehner, but for what it is (a brief devotional commentary), this book is a great resource. Foulkes has covered quite a bit of information into a small volume. Very accessible.
Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary. Baker Books, 2002.
Incredibly thorough. Very detailed volume, so if you are not interested in digging deep it will seem laborious to page through. But if you're studying Ephesians, this is a must-have book.
The Letter to the Ephesians [Plagiarism Acknowledged]. PNTC. Eerdmans, 1999.
O'Brien is a top-notch scholar. This volume is complete and scholarly, yet very accessible and readable.
Romans: A Commentary. Concordia Publishing House, 1968.
This is a fantastic little book that is devotional and at the same time filled with useful information. I've never been disappointed when I turn to this volume.
Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide. CP. Zondervan, 2003.
Really enjoyed this style. Four authors with different views get to state their case and respond to the other three viewpoints. This was a pretty good overview of the issue of genocide in the Old Testament, and really, the larger question of how do Christians deal with the Old Testament. The only reason I give it less than 5 stars is that a couple of the viewpoints are mostly indistinguishable from one another, and I felt like all 4 viewpoints left out a couple of salient and relevant points. In short, a fairly concise and excellent read about a difficult subject. Great resource if you're struggling with the relationship between the Old and New Testaments
Genesis. INT. Westminster John Knox Press, 1986.
Brueggemann is a creative thinker and readers of this commentary will come across some helpful gems. But as a whole, I was disappointed by this volume. The author frequently makes assertions about the text ("there is no doubt;"; "it is generally agreed") that are unsupported and in my opinion up for a much fuller discussion than he offers. He seems to occasionally gloss over significant points that don't fit his viewpoint (for example, the consequence of death as a result of sin, p. 42). In addition to all that, he is a proponent of an exilic date for the composition of Genesis, which bothers me, but might not be an issue for others.
The Gospel according to John. 2 Vols. AYB. Yale University Press, 1970.
I've only used Volume I of Brown's set, but I found it disappointing. He makes lots of helpful connections to related scripture passages, but spends too much time (in my opinion) discussing how likely it is that a certain story actually happened and how John may or may not be re-working synoptic material. Interesting, perhaps, but I wanted to hear more about John's text.
Genesis. BTC. Brazos Press, 2010.
In the past I have been an admirer of Reno's writing and insights (specifically in First Things magazine), and this volume is likewise impressive in its thoughtful prose. I don't regret purchasing it because I have enjoyed the reading, but I only have it at 3 stars for two reasons. 1)The format is not my favorite. It is definitely not a technical commentary--Reno skips over large chunks of text at times to get to the parts he finds more interesting. Of course, that leaves me wondering about how certain passages fit into the author's interpretation. 2) I was just shocked to read the suggestion that "death [is] not a new possibility" after the fall, but something intrinsic to the human condition -- an interpretation that seems to fly in the face of Genesis 3:22, not to mention Romans 5:12. At best, he is going somewhere and didn't explain himself well enough (or I didn't understand well enough); at worst it appears to be very bad exegesis from an otherwise helpful scholar.
Exposition of Genesis: Volume 1: Chapters 1-19. Baker Books, 1984.
My book is published by the Wartburg Press (1942), but with the same author and title and assuming it is the same text. An oldie but a good one. I'm not all the way through it yet, but Leupold is solidly orthodox, engages the biblical text without ignoring or explaining away details, and addresses the hard questions in a scriptural and helpful way. I've also been pleased and surprised to find a number of insights that I have not come across in the newer commentaries. Nice resource if you can find it.
Isaiah 40–55. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2011.
Dr. Lessing was one of my professors, so perhaps I am a tad biased, but I've always found his work to be top-notch. His commentary on Isaiah 40-55 is fantastic...complete and well-researched. I especially found his explanation on the progression of the identity of the Servant to be illuminating and helpful.
“Exodus” in Genesis–Leviticus. REBC. Zondervan, 2008.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this commentary very helpful (the Exodus portion is what I was using). For what is seemingly a short commentary (230 pages on Exodus), Kaiser manages to cover a lot of important ground, even interacting extensively with the Hebrew text. Concise and fairly simple to understand, yet still very useful.
The Book of Isaiah. 2 Vols. NICOT. Eerdmans, 1998.
Oswalt is one of the best commentaries on Isaiah that I've encountered. His work is scholarly and thorough, but written in a way that is easy to read and understand.
The Gospel According to John. PNTC. Eerdmans, 1990.
Great resource. Carson tackles difficult doctrines and passages in detail, and yet this is still an easy book to read. Highly recommended.
Luke. 2 Vols. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 1997.
Solid scholarship from a Lutheran perspective. At some places wish it would have gone into more detail....In a couple spots the interpretation felt forced, but overall a good and useful resource.
Luke. 2 Vols. BECNT. Baker Academic, 1994.
Hefty work, and full of useful stuff but I didn't feel like it lived up to the hype given it to previous reviewers. Can't put my finger on the reason, but somehow felt like I should have gotten more out of it based on the size of the books. Solid, if unspectacular.
Hosea. AYB. Yale University Press, 1980.
Most complete and best commentary on Hosea that I've come across
Matthew. 2 Vols. WBC. Thomas Nelson, 1993.
Solid, but unremarkable. I think there are better Matthew commentaries out there.
Matthew 1:1-11:1. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2006.
Excellent and extremely thorough commentary. Gibbs never goes beyond what Scripture explicitly shares. Can't wait for the rest of his work.
Jonah. ConC. Concordia Publishing House, 2007.
Fantastic and thorough exposition of a familiar but often-misunderstood prophet. Lessing's excursuses give detailed study into provocative topics like "When Yahweh Changes a Prior Verdict" and "Sheol."