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Bible Commentaries for Every Pastor’s Library

Wade Bearden explores some of his favorite Bible commentaries no pastor should be without.

Bible commentaries are so important. As preachers, we carry an incredible responsibility to study and communicate God’s Word effectively, and Bible commentaries will help us do that. In this article, we’re going to highlight commentaries that are not overly technical but provide valuable insights in plain language—perfect for pastors looking to deepen their understanding and communicate with clarity.

1. New Bible Commentary

One volume that every pastor should have in their library is the New Bible Commentary. This commentary is a fantastic resource for pastors looking to communicate effectively to diverse audiences. It cuts through the complexity to get to the heart of what each passage truly means. 

2. Expositor’s Bible Commentary

For those looking for depth without getting bogged down, the Expositor’s Bible Commentary set is a must-have. Spanning both the Old and New Testaments, this set serves as an excellent starting point when diving into a passage. It provides a concise yet profound understanding, making it an invaluable resource for any pastor.

3. Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary

This set not only helps you understand the text but also equips you with language that resonates with your congregation. If you’re struggling to work through a passage of the Bible because it just feels so complex, this commentary set will help you work through that passage and better communicate God’s Word to your people.

4. Tyndale New Testament Commentary

If you’re looking for a quick, easy read that adds a creative touch to your study, consider the Tyndale New Testament Commentary set. While not groundbreaking in every aspect, this set is a valuable addition to any library. Pastors can expect fresh perspectives and hidden gems that enrich their understanding of the text.

5. NIV Application Commentary

Navigating complex scriptures and drawing applicable lessons is made much easier with the NIV Application commentary set. While some volumes may stand out more than others, this set consistently offers insightful ideas for applying biblical passages to our contemporary world, adding a layer of relevance to your preaching.

6. New International Commentary

For a more technical yet easy to understand option, the New International Commentary set (both Old and New Testament versions) is an excellent choice. Ideal for delving into the intricacies of the text, it complements other commentaries like Tyndale and Expositor’s when you want to go deeper.


These are just a few of the commentary sets that we find valuable and continually return to in our own study. As you explore these resources, don’t forget to do additional research when preaching through specific books or passages to find the best commentaries tailored to your needs.

We’re curious to know—what commentaries do you use? Did we miss anything? Your suggestions could encourage fellow pastors on their preaching journeys, so please share your insights below.