50% off Commentary Sale at Logos

Logos is running a great sale on their top rated commentaries. This includes both the Old Testament series and the New Testament series. Most of these are 50% off retail, I noticed a few a bit more than that. The page is arranged by book of the Bible with some easy navigation at the top. Logos selected their top five (by ratings? by sales?). There are volumes of the Word Biblical Commentary, Anchor Bible Commentary, The New International Old Testament and New Testament Commentary (NICOT and NICNT), a few in the New International Greek Text Commentary series, some International Critical Commentary volumes, a few Pillar New Testament, Tyndale Old and New Testament Commentaries, and a few NIV Application commentaries.

As they used to say on TV, “and many many more.”

Back in 2012 I did a “Top Five Commentaries” series; many of my topic picks are for sale from Logos, so check out what I said seven years ago: Matthew  Mark  Luke   John   Acts    Romans  1 Corinthians   2 Corinthians  Galatians  Ephesians  Philippians  Colossians  1-2 Thessalonians   Pastoral Epistles   Philemon    Hebrews   James   1 Peter   2 Peter & Jude     Letters of John   Revelation

For more recent volumes, have reviewed several of NICNT commentaries, so click through to the full reviews on these volumes.

If you do not have Logos Bible Software download the free Logos Basic or (for a limited time) get Logos 8 Fundamentals for only $49 With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library.

I do not see an expiration date for this sale, but I cannot imagine it will last long. Head to the Sale page and load up on excellent professional commentaries for your Logos library.


Advice on Biblical Commentaries

I am frequently asked my opinion on the “best” commentary available. Often this come from a student who is graduating and a relative wants to buy them a commentary set as they head off into ministry. Sometimes I hear this from pastors who are planning on preaching through a book and want to know what commentaries are the best for their preparation.  For some reason students think that getting the most expensive commentary set they can find is best, but while it certainly makes them most of the generosity of their relatives, it rarely is the wisest decision.

I usually advise people not to buy a full set of commentaries as a single purchase for several reasons. First, rarely does a “full series” of commentaries have equally valuable volumes. While I think that Brown’s commentary on John in the Anchor Bible is a classic, Matthew and Mark and not particularly helpful, and Genesis is not really worth buying. Similarly, Craig Evans’ commentary on Mark in the Word series is excellent, while Ralph Smith’s volume on the minor prophets is not very good. I cannot imagine many pastors buying the full International Critical Commentary, but if they did, the volumes on Genesis and Deuteronomy are so old that they are of little value beyond their place in history. The later volumes in the ICC (Cranfield on Romans, Goldengay and Payne on Isaiah 40-55) are extremely valuable.

The second reason I do not recommend buying a full set of commentaries is that it is unlikely any pastor will make good use of a full set of commentaries in their ministry. A new pastor, for example, might preach through a short book or do a series of Bible studies on a section of the Bible, but never would they use enough of a 30 volume set to make the purchase worthwhile.

A third problem with full sets is that many popular sets come from a single author. It is possible that this will not bother some readers, but a steady diet of the same perspective is not very stimulating. When I graduated from college I bought a full set of Lenski’s commentary on the New Testament. There is nothing wrong with Lenski’s commentary, but the perspective is not always what I need when studying a text. The same is true for the popular MacArthur Commentary.

Aside from looking intimidating on the shelf, there is not much reason to buy a full set of commentaries.

Instead of a full set, I recommend buying commentaries on sections of the Bible you intend to work through as part of your sermon preparation. For example, since I know I was going to be preaching through John over the last year, I collected four of five serious commentaries on John. This allows me to have more than one commentary on the book I am studying and I spent far less than I would have if I had bought a “full set.”

There are some exceptions to this. I have often suggested to new pastors who want a “full set” to look at something like the Expositor’s Bible Commentary from Zondervan. The set is evangelical, if not conservative evangelical. The sections of the set I have used interact with the original languages, but do so in footnotes so that someone without familiarity with Greek and Hebrew (or, failing memory of Greek and Hebrew) can use the reference without difficulty.  With respect, I often recommend this set to youth pastors who have limited time to prepare for Bible studies, or laymen who may be overwhelmed by Cranfield’s ICC volume on Romans.

Another exception might be a full set of commentaries in the Logos library, especially if they are on sale. I bought the full New American Commentary series a few years ago when it was available at a special price. If the deal is good, perhaps a full set is a good buy.  Usually this doesn’t happen very often, though.

Over the next few weeks I plan to work my way through the New Testament and give some recommendations for the “top five commentaries” on individual books. This will allow me to offer my opinion on a number of excellent commentaries, but also allow readers to offer their suggestions for additions to my brief list.


Index for the Top Five Commentary Series

Introduction to Series on Commentaries

On Using Commentaries 

Matthew        Mark        Luke        John        Acts
Romans        1 Corinthians         2 Corinthians
Galatians         Ephesians        Philippians        Colossians
1-2 Thessalonians        Pastoral Epistles         Philemon
Hebrews        James         1 Peter         2 Peter & Jude
Letters of John         Revelation

Conclusion:  Last Thoughts on New Testament Commentaries