Occasionally, I have been asked what commentaries I use when preparing for a sermon. There are several that are my favorites, but in this post I will focus on a set that has quickly become one of my favorites.
Several years ago, I received an advertisement in the mail about a new commentary set that was being published, including a softcover sample copy of Titus. I looked through it, saw the beautiful color pictures and sidebars and was impressed. However, when I saw that the commentary for Titus was only fourteen pages long and then I looked at the price, I decided it was not worth it. (Note: this commentary series has been bundled in various sets. The hardcover version has four volumes. Titus is included in Volume 3: Romans to Philemon. In the paperback version I have, Titus is included in a volume including all five pastoral epistles.)
This past Christmas, my wife Zenia and I were browsing a Christian bookstore and found nine out of twelve of the New Testament volumes in paperback version – for only five dollars apiece. This Christmas present has become invaluable to me.
While the verse comments of this commentary are typically short and do not usually go in-depth into doctrinal issues, this commentary excels at providing historical and cultural context that other commentaries may miss altogether or only give a brief allusion.
Since believe it is critically important to understand the historical and cultural context of the scripture when I prepare a sermon, this commentary has quickly become one of my favorites. If you are looking for another commentary set to add to your collection, whether you are a preacher or lay person, I would suggest you carefully consider this set.
How about you? What are your favorite commentary sets, especially when you are trying to learn about the context of the scripture’s story?