Biblical Commentary

JRF's #22 - The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: I Peter by John MacArthur

I found myself referring to this commentary enough during our Community Group's study of I Peter that I decided to go ahead and read the whole thing so I could get credit for it.

This commentary strikes a balance between being devotional, exegetical, and expository.  If you are looking to go deep into the greek grammar or syntax, this is not the techinical commentary you want.  That said, MacArthur provides enough information on the original language to understand the key points and clear flow of Peter's letter.  MacArthur also digs deep enough to satisfactorily explain tough passages such as I Peter 3:18-22.

At times it feels like MacArthur launches into lengthy rabbit trails that only seem to be peripherally related to the passage in I Peter that he is commenting on.  These rabbit trails are of course interesting and edifying but at times were distracting from the study of the actual passage.

Overall, a great tool for studying and heeding a great book of the Bible.


Mark's #26 - The NIV Application Commentary: Philippians by Frank Thielman

I recently completed an eight part sermon series on the book of Philippians entitled Joy Unbound.  To help prepare me for that task, I read this book as one of my resources. I've bought several other commentaries in the series to help with other sermon series.  I generally like, but don't love,  the commentaries, and find them occasionally useful in developing and clarifying my thoughts on a particular passage.

Each book in the series is written by a different author, so their value varies depending on the author.  Nonetheless, each book aims to follow the same basic principles. First, the author works to explain and clarify the original context and meaning of the passage.  From there, the author moves on to explain the timeless truths and potential interpretive pitfalls of the passage.  Finally, the author offers helpful suggestions and personal illustrations for applying the text to the modern listener.  A strength of the series is that it doesn't get too technical, yet it seems to point out important points of grammar and vocabulary when necessary.

As I said, it's a good resource, though not fantastic.  While I was able to gain some insight on the Philippian church and Paul's circumstances, I wasn't particularly persuades by much of Theilman's points of application.