Suggestions on Using Commentaries


I. For problem passages, consult at least five commentary sources.


II. Know something about the theological persuasion of the author of the commentary you are using.


III. Take advantage of the footnotes and bibliographies found in commentaries.


IV. For commentaries, newer does not always mean better, but newer commentaries will be more reflective of recent scholarship that may advance the quality of the exegesis found in the commentary.


V. Newer commentaries will usually be more “user friendly” than older commentaries.



VI. Not all commentaries in a particular series will be of equal quality.


VII. Do not forget to use journal articles and Scripture indexes when consulting commentary sources.


VIII. Always look for commentaries that state the various options for interpreting a difficult portion of Scripture.


IX. The best commentaries will not only present the author’s interpretation of a passage, but will also provide a detailed analysis as to how the author arrived at his conclusion.


X. When doing commentary studies (consultation in inductive study), always cite the author and source, along with the conclusion of the author and the supporting exegetical rationale that persuaded the author to reach a particular conclusion.


XI. Always feel free to disagree with a commentator on a particular issue, but in doing so, be sure to state why you disagree with a particular author.


XII. When you do agree with the conclusion of an author, be sure to state why you agree with an author, making clear reference to any supporting exegetical rationale that has persuaded you.