Free Bible Study Resources

images6XKT7K70I saw this was posted on Monergism and I felt it was worthy of sharing with my readers. We live on the shoulders of giants and we benefit from the studies of great men of God who pondered God’s word. Today with the benefit of the internet, we can access many of the best bible study resources available online in electronic format including various bible translations, commentaries, lexicons and plenty of seminary courses and sermons. In the above mentioned post, you will have a mixture of all these fantastic resources for free.

I would encourage Christians to use these resources and many others that are available online. Let’s prepare our hearts for a worthy study of the Word of God in 2015.

Commentaries I use: The Epistle to the Hebrews

The Epistle to the Hebrews is without question an essential when it comes to understanding the biblical view of the person of Christ, His atonement and the New Covenant.  Any individual who has not cherished this letter through extensive and careful study is lacking a fundamental key to understanding many of the themes of the Old and New Testament as well as how these two testaments relate to each other.  There are many commentaries available on this letter and to be quite honest, it is the book in the bible to which I own the most commentaries. To suggest only a few will be difficult however I will try to limit the number to only five commentaries.

The first recommendation I would like to make is a massive study to the letter written sometime in the 17th century. An Exposition of Hebrews by Puritan John Owen is a masterpiece and without any question a foundational commentary to have. It is a massive tome with a total of 7 volumes. Owen delves deep into the study of this timeless epistle with careful research and especially pastoral care. You can tell when reading this commentary just how much Owen adored this epistle and cherished every moment of writing these multi volumes. Spurgeon once said of this commentary: “Out of scores of commendations of this colossal work we select but one. Dr. Chalmers pronounced it, ‘a work of gigantic strength as well as gigantic size; and he who hath mastered it is very little short, both in respect to the doctrinal and practical Christianity, of being an erudite and accomplished theologian.” The only difficult thing about this commentary is that it is written by someone living in the 17th century and there are times that you will have to re-read what was written in order to understand what Owen was truly attempting to say. The commentary is also a bit pricey ranging usually over $100 however it is available in electronic form for free on many websites.

The second recommendation I would like to make is, again, from the Pillar New Testament Commentary series. It is written by one of my favorite expositors, Peter T. O’Brien and titled “The Letter to the Hebrews”.  This commentary is certainly far more readable than Owen’s and while the number of pages is significantly less than that of the famous puritan commentary, O’Brien makes good use of the space he is allotted. This commentary has one of the best introductions to the letter available delving into the historical and cultural predicaments of those days. O’Brien also does a fantastic job in dealing with the authorship of the letter weighing the evidence of what we are told and not spending an enormous amount of time on speculation. This commentary is well balanced in providing an exposition of the book with fine scholarship with some expanded thoughts in the footnotes yet allowing space for pastoral care within its pages. If someone is only looking to own one commentary on the book of Hebrews, this would be my suggestion to them.

My next pick is a considered by many as the most used commentary on Hebrews. It is from the New International Commentary on the New Testament series written by F.F. Bruce and called “The Epistle to the Hebrews”. There is a new version of the Hebrews commentary in this series however Bruce’s exposition of the book is still a classic. While I feel it is very similar to O’Brien’s commentary is many ways, this commentary has some unique attributes to it as well. I felt that Bruce did a fantastic job on Hebrews 7 and the priesthood of Melchizedek. Bruce also spends much time comparing translational decisions on key words which I found very useful when addressing certain difficult passages. I find this is a good complimentary volume to the PNTC by O’Brien even though they are quite similar.

My fourth commentary suggestion would be a hefty volume published by Baker Books called “An Exposition of Hebrews” written by A.W. Pink.  The commentary is a massive one volume exposition of approximately 1300 pages. Pink’s commentary is not as scholarly oriented as the previous two recommendations but I feel that for the average individual who wants to understand this glorious epistle, this is the commentary for you. What I love about this commentary is the fact that it delves deep into every theme of Hebrews and one can learn much about the theology without getting overly technical. One drawback about this however is that sometimes Pink tends to get off track and he plays far too often with typology which could tend to be confusing for some. I still believe that this is a tremendous work and worth having especially if you have no real theological background.

I would like to mention one last commentary even though I am doing so hesitantly. There are numerous individuals who suggest this commentary and hail it as the best around. It is, once again, called “The Epistle to the Hebrews” written by Paul Ellingworth from the New International Greek Testament Commentary series. The commentary is probably the most extensively research commentary on Hebrews that I have come across and without a doubt a scholarly masterpiece. The reason why I am hesitant to mention it is because this exposition of Hebrews is not for everyone. It is one of the most technical commentaries I own and unless you are well learned in Greek, Hebrew, Latin and several other languages then this commentary might not be overly beneficial for you. It is, in my opinion, more a grammatical and historical analysis than a theological commentary. I should add that there is a place and an appreciation for this type of volume however it will only truly be enjoyed by those attending seminary or those with extensive training in the original languages.

Commentaries I use: Matthew

I have acquired a decent amount of books over the year while studying the scriptures and also different theology found in the pages of scripture. Commentaries on the books of the bible have been essential to my study of scripture. The Spirit of God has been blessing us through different authors and I have grown tremendously through such volumes. I have been thankful to have been able to have had individuals recommend different commentaries to me and I thought, in return, that perhaps I could share some recommendations for you. Needless to say I certainly welcome your input and recommendations.

In my studies of the Gospel of Matthew, I have come across several different commentaries that I have found useful. My theology has changed quite extensively over the years especially in regards to my hermeneutic in regards to interpreting eschatological passages. I used to hold to a form of dispensational theology but now I have moved on to hold to a form of Covenant Theology. With that said, today I use two main commentaries on the book of Matthew:

This commentary from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series written by D.A. Carson is probably the best I’ve seen to date. It is produced in a two-volume set and runs at about 900 pages between the two books. I have enjoyed many of Carson’s writings but his commentaries are generally his strongest productions. There are good introductions to the historical setting of Matthew, the textual data, arguments for Matthean authorship and much more. I appreciate Carson’s ability to not only give the meaning of a text but also to address counter-arguments to his position. Carson has a good understanding of the greek language and quotes a multitude of scripture to prove his points. This is a must have for any serious student who is going to wrestle through this beautiful gospel.

Another commentary that I use but a little less frequently is The Gospel According to Matthew by Leon Morris which was produced by my favorite commentary series; The Pillar New Testament Commentaries. Morris spends a total of 780 pages going through the passages in Matthew. I find Morris’ presentation of the texts clear and scholarly. Much like Carson, Morris deals with the critical and liberal scholarship of our day but does so with Pastoral care. I would even say that this commentary is more “readable” than Carsons and for a person who doesn’t want too much greek and theological terminology that this commentary is just what you’re looking for.