Over the past few weeks, I have been asked on several occasions to recommend a commentary on a book of the Bible. My typical response is to encourage people to consult Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary’s “Basic Library Booklist.” This booklist is generally updated every three years and, according to DBTS’s website,
has been prepared to assist students at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in selecting books for their future ministries. It has been specifically designed to answer the question of which books are the best on a particular book of the Bible or theological subject. In the case of commentaries, best means those that are the most helpful in exegesis and exposition, as well as understanding the overall argument of a book. Commentaries of a sermonic and/or devotional nature, though helpful and oftentimes essential for sermon preparation, are not generally represented in this list. The books are listed in order of importance. The first book listed, if available, is the one the student should purchase first. However, it should not be assumed that one commentary will suffice for the task of teaching or preaching through a book. This is almost never the case.
Though DBTS’s booklist is primarily designed to serve our immediate constituency, I have received requests from others who have heard about the list from one of our students or alumni. If you desire to check out the list or download it, go to DBTS’s “Basic Library Booklist.”