A Few of My Favorite Things

I was talking to my pastor the other day about what books he was using in preparation for his sermon series going through the book of Acts. It got me thinking about go-to resources. There are several resources that are the first ones I reference when I have a question or need further insight on the Scriptures. So, I decided to share with you some of my go-to resources, and I hope you will do the same and share your go-to resources in the comment section.
Calvin’s Commentaries
You don’t have to be a Calvinist to appreciate Calvin’s handling of the Scriptures. Arminius himself recognized Calvin’s skill when he said, “…he (Calvin) excels beyond comparison in the interpretation of Scripture…”. I find that Calvin’s Commentaries are approachable, easy to understand, thorough, and applicable. I always appreciate hearing what he has to say.
Most anything by John Piper
Ever since being introduced to John Piper’s ministry, I’ve truly appreciated his insights into the application of Scripture to life. While I like referring to Piper in my studies, there is one title that truly changed my life in a tangible way and I include it among the most influential books in my life. The Supremacy of God in Preaching, fundamentally changed how I approached the ministry of preaching. Even though years have passed since I last picked it up, I often meditate on this quote from page 24:

“The true usefulness of our preaching will not be known to us until all the fruit on all the branches on all the trees that have sprung up from all the seeds we’ve ever sown has fully ripened in the sunshine of eternity”

I was first introduced to this series when the church I attended in Richmond, VA, was going through 1 Corinthians and the pastors, among other resources, were reading together through Fee’s commentary. I later encountered the NICNT when I was taking a course on the book of Hebrews, taught by Simon Kistemaker. He assigned FF Bruce’s commentary from the collection. Since adding the series to Logos I’ve enjoyed having access to the entire collection. It is scholarly, without being overwhelming, and provides commentary on every verse… something Calvin doesn’t always give me.
Horae Homileticae
Prior to working at Logos, I had never even heard of Charles Simeon. Boy was I missing out! If Simeon was alive today, I’d certainly subscribe to his podcast. I thoroughly enjoy both the content and format of Homileticae, and find that I go to Simeon when I want a more bird’s eye view of a passage.
Your turn
Sure, there are other titles that I love and use often… but the above four are probably the ones I go-to most often. So, what about you? What are your go-to resources? Leave them in the comment section below (and provide a link to them on Logos.com so people can find them and have a look!).


  1. Scott Marsh says

    My go-to resource is the Tyndale OT and NT Commentaries that I had in print and now have on Libronix. Ever since Bible College I have relied on the Tyndale commentaries for their substantial yet understandable treatment of the text, and through that set I have come to appreciate the scholarship of such authors as Leon Morris, John Stott, Joyce Baldwin, Derek Kidner, and others. I have always said that if I could only have one set of commentaries, it would be the Tyndales. I am so glad they are now on Libronix!
    Another set that I really like but is not available through Logos (not yet, anyway–hint, hint!) is an out-of-print series called A Bible Commentary for Laymen. These are generally more expositions than true commentaries, from the likes of Ray Stedman, Stuart Briscoe, and John MacArthur. But I like to refer to them after doing the more technical study on the text to “come back to earth” where most of my congregation actually live!

  2. That sounds very similar to a list of my most used resources. I find WBC, Baker exegetical, Baker (Hendriksen & Kistemaker), anything in the Pillar series, MacArthur, Lenski (So long as water isn’t mentioned), Spurgeon sermons, & Boice to be go-to’s. I’m so glad that I’ll finally have the Expositor’s Bible Commentary in Logos. That’s quickly gonna become a go-to series.
    I too am very greatful for Simeon. Excellent purchase

  3. Well, I’m going to be the first brave person to post. I really enjoy the PNTC, it’s a very practical set and seldom do I find disagreements on the comments it contains – especially when it comes to Mark 16:16. I also love the Classic Greek NT Commentaries and the great emphasis it places on the original – especially when it comes to Acts 2:38 a very controversial verse now days, but interpreted correctly by Thomas Ethelbert. The rest of the series by H.B. Sweet, F.F. Bruce, Lightfoot and others is excellent. They fall under the category of commentaries that comment on the text. Last but not least, Baker’s Exegetical Commentary — I find that very practical also and the format is great and simple (the only thing on this set is that I wish it would open “on the right page” – for some reason if I type a specific verse on the passage guide, it always takes me to the beginning of the chapter and I have to scroll down to get to the comments on the verse I want -e.g. I want 1 Peter 5:8, but the commentary opens on 1 Peter 5 and I have to scroll down through all the notes prior to verse eight to get to verse 8…I hope I’m making sense). And one set I’m learning to appreciate is the NIGTC – a bit too technical for me, but it has a lot of good information. Oh yes, and how can you not love Charles Simeon – if I’m on the go, he’s the one I turn to to get quick ideas on practical texts of the Bible. And last (this time is for real) the College Press NIV (OT, NT). A friend of my has some print copies and they are nicely done. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a hold of those some time soon; at least the O.T. to start with, since I already own a lot of N.T. commentaries.
    Anyway, besides the CP NIV I wish I could get my hands on the NICOT/NICNT that you mentioned. I’ve heard a lot of great things about them.
    By the way, the best thing about all this sets, is that they all fit in my laptop and the “twin set” in my office computer…hehehe…Great!
    Thank you and have a great day!

  4. Praise the LORD!!!
    I love the great masters of the past and start with Matthew Henry and then maybe a little Spurgeon or Andrew Murray. From here I let the LORD lead.

  5. Jeffrey Kran says

    I enjoy Jacob Neuser Mishnah, Biblica Hebraica and the Greek Texts, as well as The Bible Commentary by DA. Carson. How about an electronic version of an Orthodox Siddur (Jewish Prayer Book) for us Jewish Studies students?

  6. You know what would be nice? It would be nice for the NICOT/NICNT to be sold by individual volumes. Many times you’re just interested in a certain volume (e.g. 1 Corinthians, Mark, etc.) and not the whole set, especially with a price tag like the one sported by both the OT & NT series as a set.
    Other than that, my faves are: NIGTC, NAC, Pulpit Comm. & Commentary on the NT use of the OT by Beale & Carson(ever since I bought this one during the 12 Days of Logos sale, I’ve been using it almost every day).
    Great interactive post!

  7. Well…
    For the NT: Because I can’t afford NICOT/NICNT…lol…
    I use Calvin’s commentaries, Baker Exegetical, Baker NT, the New International NT commentaries, and whatever separates I have also.
    For OT….I’m rather thin on resources and I hope Logos’ prepubs helps me in that regard…Usually, I use NAC, or the Pulpit series, or the Exegetical commentary by Elwell.

  8. It really depends on the book I’m working through. This post talks about the commentaries I’m using as I go through John.
    Since I wrote that post I’ve added Ridderbos and RC Sproul’s Expositions. In Logos, MacArthur, NAC, Lenski, Baker, BECNT, Pillar and now TNTC always get a look.

  9. Good mention with Baker (Hendriksen & Kistemaker). I didn’t put that on my list, but I certainly go to them a lot as well. I took several classes with Kistemaker at RTS-O and really appreciate his wisdom and insight. Love Dr. K’s work on Hebrews. That is one of the only paperback commentaries I still own, and that’s because I had him sign it for me.

  10. AH! I totally forgot to mention Commentary on the NT use of the OT. What a great resource and help.

  11. I use the WBC very thorough. The New American Commentary set was particularly useful for the book of Genesis and I still use for other books as well.
    I really like Witherington’s Social Rhetorical treatment of several books of the New Testament, I was very thankful to have picked it up on prepub the last day. I had bought the print version of his treatment on 1 Corinthians and was about to preach through the book of Acts and on what I thought was a whim looked for it in Logos and to my surprise it not only was but was on the last day of pre-pub. I was thankful to saved some change there.
    I like Alexander Maclaren expository sermon set but I only have it in printed form. He was a master with words.
    But I am still learning some of the new commentaries that are in this gold set along with some of the commentaries I picked up in the E-Bible set, I like Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Commentary because it sometimes gives me another angle to view a passage with its illustration.

  12. Dale Durnell says

    Regularly (as in — they are pinned to the shortcut bar in L4) I have readily available and constantly use:
    Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (the Old and New Testament) series — got mine before WJK bailed on Logos;
    Preacher’s Commentary — been using the paper version of this since before seminary;
    The WBC (absolutely, of course);
    Both the Anchor Bible Dictionary and the Anchor Bible Commentary — the ABD is definitely a must have; the ABC and the WBC were referred to as “big boy” commentaries by a seminary professor (who shall remain unnamed). He recognized the value of Barclay for creating something for Sunday on a late Saturday night after a hard week, but he felt the ABC and WBC were for serious exegesis.
    And to round them out, I regularly refer to the JPS Torah Commentary and Black’s New Testament Commentary (got hooked on both in seminary — and I’m so grateful that they’re available in Logos).
    Just my two cents —

  13. Yeah, Anchor is my typical go-to dictionary and, while I don’t go to it a lot, I really like the JPS set. Helps give a different but helpful perspective.

  14. I’m all about the IVP dictionaries http://www.logos.com/products/details/1516

  15. Joseph Grigoletti says

    Many good things said. I love Baker’s commentary, and for a Christ like application I still think there is nothing better than Matthew Henry. For the old testament, I find the classic Keil & Delitzsch useful though not 100% sufficient. I like preaching commentaries such as the McArthur set, Sproul’s books, Someday, when I have enough money I would like to buy the James M. Boice commentary set. But I find Carson and Beale’s Commentary on the NT use of the OT to be an absolute treasure, and Spurgeon’s notes and sermons are useful. These books are not available in Logos, but the Collected writings of John Murray (I hope these as well as his commentary on Romans are published via logos someday!) Also I regularly use the Confessions of Faith (3 forms of unity, westminster standards, and the ecumentical councils) for good precise doctrinal formulations.

  16. I’d like to add two of my favorites! M. R. DeHaan and Monty Mills. Excellent conservative KJV sources!

  17. Does anyone use the NIV Application Commentary as a go-to source?

  18. Brian Gilbert says

    My go to’s are I will have to say the esv study bible which is the best study bible I have seen, from their the IVP Bible Background Commentaries, Zodhiates Greek Dictionary, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, William Hendriksen commentary on Revelation. NT use of the OT by Beale and Carson. ESV Reverse Interlinear. I also always love to look at the Calvin Commentaries (even as a non calvinist) Can not forget the classic Vines Dictionary.

  19. Those and the New International Commentaries are still my go-to resources!

  20. Stephen t hart says

    Hendriksen & Kistemaaker’s “New Testament Commentary” is an absolute gem. For critical commentaries, I use Word Biblical on Logos, but sometimes also appreciate the old Meyer’s NT commentaries.

  21. nicky crane says

    first port of call UBS Translator’s handbooks, then Bible Speaks Today (NT only – I’d love to have that for the OT too). Then Cornerstone commentaries. Now Tyndale. Have ordered Expositor’s Bible commentary, which I have on Pradis but had stopped using as I found it unwieldy. There is just one problem – with all these helpful commentaries, I need to spread my study of a short passage over 2 days! I’m much enjoying the Lexham Discourse Bible Greek NT and hope the OT will be out soon.

  22. I’m a little surprised not to see Wiersbe on any of these lists. I’m not done until I’ve see what he has written. It is not as valuable on the exegetical side as other commentaries but it is very helpful on the exposition side.

  23. Wow! I totally forgot we had Stott’s work in Logos. I’m adding that to my wish list.

  24. nicky crane says

    PS. my ubs recommendation did not come up with a link, Try The United Bible Societies’ old Testament Handbook Series, and The United Bible Societies’ New Testament Handbook Series. That’s the one I open first.