Book Review: Commentaries for Biblical Expositors

rosscupWhat are the three best commentaries on the Book of Isaiah? Where can I find a devotional on Romans? How can I compare a premill and amill approach to Revelation? Whatever kind of commentary you’re looking for, Commentaries for Biblical Expositors will help you find it fast.

This book is a goldmine for students and teachers of the Word. It’s like a Consumer Reports for Commentaries — a no-holds barred review of every major evangelical commentary on the market.

After a brief introduction, Rosscup gives an overview of Commentaries on the Whole Bible (pp. 20-35). “Synthetical” is a way to group more general, survey works and “Analytical” refers to more in-depth, technical commentaries. The author then moves to Commentaries covering the entire Old Testament (pp. 36-38) and on the Penteteuch (pp. 39-40). Finally, we get into the meat of the book with a concise review of every commentary on every book of the Old Testament (pp. 41-195) and New Testament (pp. 196-351).

Here’s a sampling of the kind of content you’ll find inside. This comes from Rosscup’s review of John Stott’s commentary on the Book of Acts:

This evangelical exposition is verse by verse, and it also takes up key questions such as charismatic gifts, signs and wonders, baptism in the spirit, etc. After his introduction, Stott has four divisions … As he usually is, Stott is very articulate in capturing the message, showing the flow, and letting the text come alive. This and the works by Phillips, Kistemaker, McClain, Ryrie, Scroggie and Toussaint are lucid for lay people and also helpful many times for pastors (p. 248).

Now in its third edition (2004), this book should really be re-published every decade or so to stay up to date with newer works being released. (Maybe one of Dr. Rosscup’s protege’s could take up this task?)

Tim Challies has also been doing a great series on “Best Commentaries.” His most recent post was on the Book of Daniel. I usually consult his recommendations too. But it’s really nice to have Dr. Rosscup’s lifetime of learning and thoughtful analysis consolidated into one volume.

We’re all on a budget, and this book will ensure you’re investing your time and money on only the very best commentaries. I can’t think of a better way to spend fourteen bucks.

(I noticed the book may be out of stock right now at Amazon. You can also buy it directly from the publisher, but the price is considerably higher. )

Question: How do you decide which commentaries to buy? Click here to leave a comment.