Yet again, we are continuing this week to talk about resources that can help you grow in your relationship with Christ by reading the Bible. I’m under the belief that the greatest thing we can do to grow our faith is to make it a regular habit to read and engage with Scripture regularly. Making that a regular practice of your life is so crucial to knowing Jesus better!
Last week, we shared a pretty academic-type resource for you more thinking types, and this week is a similar type of resource; a group of commentaries designed to help you do a deeper dive on the Bible.
If you’re not familiar with what a commentary is, no problem. A commentary is a book or work written by some sort of expert on the Bible or a particular part of the Bible intended to help its readers understand a little more about a particular book of the Bible and how it applies to our lives. Commentaries come in tons of different shapes and sizes. Some commentaries are more linguistically based – they focus on the language of the Bible. Some are more application based and focus on how particular books of the Bible can apply specifically to our lives. Still others are very historically based, and intend to help us understand the specifics surrounding the situation in which a book of the Bible was written. The best commentaries, though, combine aspects of all of those elements.
Many of our ministry staff members at Suncrest will consult a commentary or commentaries when they are preparing to teach or preach, so they can make sure that what they are communicating is what the original author of Scripture intended to communicate to his audience thousands of years ago. When I was writing papers and reports in Bible college, I often consulted several commentaries in order to get a general consensus on what the smartest people in the field of Biblical studies had to say about a passage. If there was a general consensus among them about something, I could usually assume that that particular reading of Scripture was very factual.
If you’re looking to do a deeper dive on a book of the Bible or a certain passage of Scripture, I’d highly recommend grabbing a commentary, or preferably two or three, if possible (some authors are more reliable than others, so having a few different opinions is helpful). You can purchase them online, but you can generally also reserve a few at the local library as well.
Today’s resource, though, is simply an online site that has some free commentaries from College Press available for you to download. College Press is not a highly well-known source for commentaries, but they do have some very reputable authors. Several of my professors in college wrote commentaries for College Press and the editor of the New Testament series was a highly respected scholar who was also one of our graduate professors, so while some of them are a little older, they are still fairly reliable. And what’s more, they are FREE! And who doesn’t love free?
Simply head over to this link and you can see the list of all the commentaries available for download. These are great tools if you’re looking to study a particular book or books of Scripture. But really, they are just good to have on hand for whatever. Yes, they are a little academic, but they can be super helpful if you want to learn more about the Bible.
So head on over and check ’em out! I hope these resources are as helpful to you as they have been for me.
Note: If you’re looking to grab some other commentaries, here are a few of the authors that I would highly recommend you look for, if possible: F.F. Bruce, Douglas Moo, Ben Witherington III, Tom (N.T.) Wright. Certainly there are others that are great, but if you see any of those names, don’t hesitate to pick something up. These guys are beasts when it comes to Biblical scholarship.