When I begin a new exposition study with the church where I teach, I usually invest in a new commentary. Even if I have a few commentaries on a given book of the Bible, I try to add one more to my arsenal. The reason I do this is to continue to have new influences and teachings weighing upon my thoughts. Doing this continues to challenge my beliefs and views on a text and will hopefully give me some new insights into the text. I am going to begin teaching 1 & 2 Thessalonians in our Sunday morning class in the next week or so, so I was surfing the internet trying to find recommended commentaries. As I was doing this I thought I could be of help to those who do the same and are interested in a quick evaluation of commentaries. There are so many commentaries to choose from and they are expensive. No one wants to spend their hard earned money on a commentary that is not useful or does not fit the intended purpose of the purchaser. Bestcommentaries.com is useful, but there is not a explanation about why someone rated a commentary high or low.
I have been preaching through 1 Peter. Below is my rating of which commentaries I think are the best on the book of 1 Peter. I am giving these ratings from an evangelist’s perspective. That is, the commentary does not merely explain the text, but gives insights into the text and useful information that will help in sermon preparation and class teaching. I do not have all the commentaries that exist on 1 Peter, obviously. I am only making these ratings based upon the commentaries I am using.
1. Baker Exegetical Commentary – 1 Peter; by Karen Jobes. If there is only one commentary to purchase on 1 Peter, this one is definitely the one to purchase. It is a technical commentary to a certain degree, but all the Greek words are transliterated and translated, so the reader is not lost by the use of Greek words. Jobes gives a tremendous amount of depth to the study and is fantastic with her background information. This is also a commentary that is actually enjoyable to read. Most commentaries are a fight of the senses to keep awake as the commentator drones on and on about some point of minutia. Jobes does not do this. Jobes discusses the words and issues that needs to be discussed and presents information that will help, not numb, the mind.
2. Expositor’s Bible Commentary – 1 Peter; by Edwin Blum. This is an underrated commentary series and I have found much useful information from EBC while doing my preaching through 1 Peter. You can purchase this commentary series on the whole Bible for $130 or less. A great deal and it is always useful.
3. New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT) – 1 Peter; by Peter Davids. Very useful, very helpful, and very solid.
4. New Testament Commentary – 1 Peter; by Simon Kistemaker. Also very useful in its own right, but the above commentaries are better.
I will do these reviews as I collect commentaries and I hope it will help others who are looking for good resources for preachers and teachers.