Several months back, almost 6 to be precise, I finished up a series on building a theological library focused on Old Testament commentaries. I had meant to carry right on to the New, but one thing lead to another, and well here we are picking up the NT many months later.
Much like I did with the Old, I’ll be giving a short list of the top commentaries for each book. Challies is kind of stealing my thunder, but you’ll find we make many of the same recommendations. I’ll finish my series before his, but he is offering more commentary on the commentaries than I am. Instead I’m offering meta-commentary on the types of commentaries you find in each series.
So for instance, much like the Old Testament commentaries, the following series have corresponding volumes in the New:
- Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (TNTC)
- NIV Application (NIVAC)
- New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT)
- Word Biblical Commentaries (WBC)
Most of what I said in the summaries about these series also applies when it comes to the New Testament. In terms of my general familiarity, I had the entire WBC series on the NT, but sold several of the volumes. I had gotten a subscription through CBD which made each volume like $20. I then paired down what I kept to only the highest rated volumes (which I’ll share later). I’ve found the TNTC volumes helpful and have the complete collection (Old and New) in Logos. I currently don’t have any NIVAC NT volumes and only a couple of NICNT ones (Hebrews and Romans), but a few of each of those sets are on my radar.
In addition to these series, there are several that only have volumes in the New Testament:
- Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT)
- New International Greek Text Commentary (NIGTC)
- Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)
- Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT)
Of these, the PNTC series is probably the most accessible, while the ZECNT is best suited for sermon development (or teaching). The BECNT is fairly technical, but not as much as the NIGTC which is specifically commenting on the Greek text rather than commenting on an English translation and bringing up language issues as needed. In Logos, I have the entire PNTC and NIGTC series (minus the most recent Romans update in PNTC, but I have that in print). I have most of the BECNT in Logos (except for a few of the most recent publications, but they’ll be added to the fold eventually) and have the entire ZECNT series in hard copy thanks to Zondervan (which means you can expect some reviews in the coming weeks/months).
That’s kind of a general lay of the land. For the average person, I’d recommend TNTC and NIVAC commentaries. For someone wanting to dig a little deeper, I’d go with a PNTC or NICNT volume. If you’re a teacher or pastor, BECNT, NIGTC, WBC, and ZECNT should be on your consultation radar as you do your exegesis. There are a few other commentaries I’ll end up recommending that are either part of another series not mentioned, or not part of a series at all. Next week we’ll start with the Gospels and go from there. It’ll probably look something like this: