Biblical Commentaries


Commentaries are resources that explore the biblical texts in depth. Some commentaries cover the entire Bible in one volume. Others are published as multi-volume series, each volume treating one or more books of the Bible. They often contain an introduction that gives some facts about the biblical book(s) as a whole, then systematically go through each chapter or section in very close detail. A commentary will often include research findings relevant to the text, including archaeological findings, linguistic studies, historical records, etc. 

Just as there are many ways to read and interpret the Bible, each commentary offers a different perspective. It is helpful to consult more than one commentary when seeking to read and understand a biblical text more fully.

Subject Headings and Keywords – When initiating searches in the library’s online catalog or online databases, the following search terms may be helpful:

  • Bible Commentaries
  • Bible [insert name of biblical book] Commentaries

It makes a difference how you enter the name of the biblical book. For the majority of biblical books, it is the name as it appears in your Bible. If the book has two parts, like 1 and 2 Samuel, the search terms would be: Bible Samuel (for works on both books); Bible Samuel, 1st; or Bible Samuel, 2nd. Consult the list of biblical books found in the Biblical Studies Shelf Guide for additional guidance.

Reviewed by Our Faculty – Our biblical studies faculty have reviewed the following commentary series and rated their content in the areas of outlines, historical analysis, literary analysis, and considertation of social location.

  • Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries (available in the circulating stacks): good outlines, good historical and literary analysis; mixed reviews on social location
  • Anchor Bible (available as a set in Reference BS 192.2 .A1 1964 .G3; additional copies available in the circulating stacks according to biblical book): excellent historical analysis, basic literary analysis, and rarely includes social location
  • Berit Olam (available in the circulating stacks): good historical analysis and mostly good literary analysis
  • Hermeneia (available in the circulating stacks): good historical analysis, mixed reviews on literary analysis, and rarely includes social location.
  • International Critical Commentary (available in Reference and circulating stacks): good historical analysis, minimal literary analysis, no social location
  • Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (available as a set in Reference BS 491.2 .I52; additional copies in the circulating stacks according to biblical book): mixed reviews on historical and literary analysis
  • The Interpreter's Bible (sets available in Reference and circulating stacks): this is an outdated resource, published between 1951 and 1957
  • New Century Bible Commentary (available in the circulating stacks): mostly good historical and literary analysis
  • The New Interpreter's Bible (sets available in Reference and circulating stacks): excellent outlines, good historical and literary analysis, occasionally includes social location
  • Old Testament Guides (available in the circulating stacks): good historical and literary analysis
  • Old Testament Library (available in Reference and circulating stacks): good historical analysis, mostly good literary analysis, rarely includes social location
  • Readings, a New Biblical Commentary (available in the circulating stacks): good outlines, minimal historical analysis, excellent literary analysis, usually includes social location
  • Sacra Pagina (available in Reference and circulating stacks): mostly good historical and literary analysis
  • Westminster Bible Companion (available in circulating stacks): mixed reviews on historical and literary analysis, rarely includes social location
  • Word Biblical Commentary (available in circulating stacks): good outlines, historical and literary analysis

What's in the Stacks – Here are some additional commentary series available in our collection:

Here are some one-volume commentaries available in our Reference collection:

On the Internet – Our subscription to Oxford Biblical Studies Online (OBSO) allows you to access commentaries from Oxford Bible CommentaryNew Oxford Annotated BibleOxford Study BibleJewish Study BibleCatholic Study Bible, and Access Bible. Click here to visit OBSO's commentary guide, organized by biblical book.* (Must be connected to the LTS wireless network or logged in to OBSO remotely.)


Current Opportunities

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  • Part Time Director of Children & Youth Ministries - Baltimore Other

    Posted: Feb 27, 2015 Grace United Methodist Church seeks a Director of children and youth ministries. This position is a part-time position of 25 hours per week. No additional benefits are included.
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    Posted: Jan 21, 2015 The Feasterville Community Reformed Church (FCRC), located in Feasterville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania is seeking a new pastor. Initially, we are looking for a part-time minister, however, as growth occurs, we would like to switch to full time.
  • Director of Children & Youth Ministries, Baltimore Other

    Posted: Jan 21, 2015 Grace United Methodist Church seeks a part-time director of children and youth ministries.
  • Executive Director - Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation Other

    Posted: Jan 20, 2015 The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C. seeks a deeply contemplative, seasoned, and visionary leader to serve as their next Executive Director. Shalem’s mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership. It is an organization dedicated to developing and supporting contemplative leaders and building a continuing awareness of the importance of contemplative practice in our daily lives. Shalem offers a wide variety of programs and resources for clergy, spiritual directors, lay leaders and individuals who desire to open themselves more fully to God in their daily lives and work.
  • The Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas seeks a Senior Pastor Other

    Posted: Dec 04, 2014 The Cathedral of Hope, a United Church of Christ congregation in Dallas, Texas, with a world-wide reputation for diversity, inclusivity, community service and social justice, seeks a Senior Pastor. The congregation, with an average weekly attendance of 1,000, has a 44 year history of ministry to the LGBTQ community.
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    Posted: Nov 24, 2014 The North Carroll Cooperative Parish is a United Methodist Community of faith in Carroll and Baltimore Counties in Maryland. We are expanding our staff to support a growing, multi-site ministry, and we need innovative ministry leaders to be part of our team.
  • Seasonal Staff for Camp Allegheny of The Salvation Army Other

    Posted: Nov 10, 2014 We are a camp that is highly committed to Christian Camping and every year we search to fill our seasonal staff with employees who are interested in working with children in such an environment. It is a wonderful ministry opportunity for a young person to develop as a Christian in a loving environment as well as being able to take an active role in leading our campers towards a closer relationship with Christ.
  • Full-time Pastor- Sherman Community Church in Sherman, NY Other

    Posted: Oct 29, 2014 Sherman Community Church, located in beautiful Chautauqua County and the Southern Tier of Western New York State, is seeking a full-time Pastor.
  • Ministry Opportunity at First UCC, Quakertown Other

    Posted: Oct 07, 2014 First UCC, Quakertown seeks a person called, gifted, and trained to work with youth, young adults, and modern worship. Deep faith in Jesus Christ as savior, teacher, and example is vital. The church has about 450 members with 145 in Sunday worship. Centrally located church in Quakertown, one block from the high school, and excellent physical facilities.
  • Part-Time Pastor Other

    Posted: Oct 02, 2014 Reformed Church in Manville, NJ is seeking to fill a part-time position as a Pastor.