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Bible Study and Research: Commentaries


Finding Recommended Commentaries

Finding Commentaries - Part 1


Individual commentaries are located throughout the entire biblical studies classification scheme: Genesis commentaries in the Genesis section. Matthew commentaries in the Matthew section, etc. 

Some commentary sets are kept together, e.g., the New Interpreter's Bible (available Online through Ministry Matters database), with PRINT volumes located in BS491-491.3. Single volume commentaries on the whole Bible also fall in this area.

One outstanding commentary series that helps bring historical perspective to Bible study is the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Luther Library has not only circulating volumes (for check out), but also reference volumes, always available in our Reading Room. One set covers 15 volumes of the Old Testament, and another set of 12 volumes covers New Testament books


Finding Commentaries - Part 2


In the library catalog, go to the Advanced Search screen. Change the dropdown menu to search within the subject field.  Enter the [book of the Bible] and the term commentaries.  See the screen shot below.

When the search results appear, note their call numbers which will indicate the area of the bookstacks to browse for commentaries on that biblical book.

Online Commentaries

Hundreds of online Bible commentaries are available through Luther's Library, just search the library online catalog for eBooks and use the word commentaries along with the title of the book of the Bible in your search query.  We also have access to a number of complete commentary series; check out some of those resources below.  

About Commentary Series

Commentaries represent a range of perspectives and approaches to biblical study, and the quality of a commentary can vary within the same series. With that being said, understanding the aims and approaches of series as a whole can aid in intelligent reading. Here are some commentary series held in the Luther Seminary Library:

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture:   Published by InterVarsity Press, the series compiles sayings of Church Fathers as they relate to scriptural passages. 15 volumes cover the OT and 12 volumes cover NT; all volumes available both in the stacks and in the Reference Reading room.

Anchor Yale Bible Commentary (previously Anchor Bible Commentary) - Published by Yale University Press, this series invites Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from multiple nations to develop commentaries focused on sharing contemporary scholarship with scholars and educated nonspecialists.

Hermeneia - Published by Fortress Press, this series presents critical and historical commentaries with a focus on original languages. Aimed at scholars and advanced students, as well as preachers with original language background.

International Critical Commentary - Now published by Bloomsbury Press, this century-old series presents critical exegesis with a focus on original languages. Aimed at biblical scholars and preachers with original language background.

Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching - Published by Westminster John Knox (WJK) Press, this series focuses on the needs of preachers and teachers for accessible scholarship.

New Interpreter's Bible Commentary - Published by Abingdon Press, this theologically-oriented series is aimed at preachers and teachers.

Sacra Pagina - Published by Liturgical press, this New Testament series is written by Catholic biblical scholars with a focus on close exposition. Aimed at biblical scholars, graduate students, clergy, and religious educators.

Wisdom Commentary Series - Published by Liturgical Press, this series represents the first effort to bring a detailed scholarly feminist lens to the Bible as a whole. Aimed at preachers and teachers.

Word Biblical Commentary - Published by Zondervan, this series takes a technical academic approach. Aimed at biblical scholars and pastors comfortable working in original languages.