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Esteban Vázquez said in December 19th, 2008 at 5:13 am

Keeping it to commentaries, since there are many works in several areas to which I turn frequently, I would say the NIV Application Commentaries and Calvin’s Commentaries on the Whole Bible. Of all commentaries on my bookshelves, these alone proved unfailing helpful to me in erstwhile duties as a Christian preacher. Of course, I’ve haven’t had the pleasure to look over the NLT Cornerstone Commentaries, so there may be a third “unfailingly helpful” resource out there of which I’m not yet aware! 🙂

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Nick Norelli said in December 19th, 2008 at 7:04 am

I’d have to say that as of late I’ve found myself constantly referring to Craig Keener’s The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament before engaging in any deeper study. It’s a great reference with tons of terse info. As far as series go, you can’t beat those IVP Black Dictionaries. I have five of the eight volumes and I use them all the time; they’re quite thorough and written by some of the world’s best scholars.

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Bob Hayton said in December 19th, 2008 at 7:15 am

I am somewhat limited by my hodge-podge collection of commentaries and reference works. I would say that I probably reference Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology quite a bit. It’s helpful because on various theological discussion topics (spiritual gifts, Calvinism, baptism, etc.) Wayne presents a Biblical discussion that’s fair and balanced. I often find myself agreeing with most of what he says.

Another handy reference for me are my Expositor’s Bible Commentaries that I have on several books of the New and Old Testaments. I do not have the entire series, but I have several of the hardback volumes that have 4 or 5 books covered, and I have some of the softcover volumes that cover 2 or 3 books. In this vein I also like the Tyndale Commentary paperbacks as well.

Of course I use Greek reference tools (and now Hebrew), and other books, but the above two are probably used most often currently.

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Shaun Tabatt said in December 19th, 2008 at 8:37 am

I love the new Avatar. Is there a story behind the duck? 😉

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Shaun Tabatt said in December 19th, 2008 at 8:38 am

This is a first. Thanks for stopping by!

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Shaun Tabatt said in December 19th, 2008 at 8:40 am

Even for a hodge-podge, your library is quite impressive. Although not as impressive as Nick’s library. Most small seminaries and theological schools would start breaking commandments and covet Nick’s library. 😉

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Brian Tabb said in December 19th, 2008 at 8:48 am

The most important Biblical studies tool to me by far is Accordance Bible software, put out by Oak Tree. I’ve been using Accordance since I started grad school in 2003 and spend hours each day doing word searches in the original language, using the interactive maps and timelines, and consulting cross-references and commentaries. If I was on a desert island with electricity and my Accordance powered Mac, I would be amply supplied to exegete for days. Since I’m working on a thesis on the use of the OT in the NT right now, I can give an honorable mention shout out to the Commentary on the Use of the OT in the NT edited by Beale and Carson. It is indispensable!

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Bob Hayton said in December 19th, 2008 at 9:25 am

I second Esteban’s interest in the Tyndale Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series! 😉

I do have one NIV Application Commentary (2 Cor.) and it is excellent.

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Esteban Vázquez said in December 19th, 2008 at 9:55 am

Oh, my pleasure! I mean, you commented on my blog, and you know what they say — you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. 😉

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Michael Ochoa said in December 19th, 2008 at 10:08 am

I would have to say Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. I always wanted this set, borrowed them occasionally from friends, but found a complete set for 25.00 in great condition and so this has become my favorite to use. I also like my Bible Doctrine(condensed or abridged Systematic Theology)By Wayne Grudem, I recently purchased this at a bargain price and refer to it weekly in our family devotions. As a very close second is my Thayers Greek English Lexicon. I just love it’s how comfortable it is to use with my other tools.

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Nancy said in December 19th, 2008 at 10:47 am

Ok, I’m just going to come right out an blow you guy’s away with my top pick….BIBLE GATEWAY! It has every version I will ever look at…lots of Commentary, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and will never give me a wrist sprain on snatching it from the self… and of course, my favorite reference…The Holy Bible on the Holy Bible…*: )

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Nick Norelli said in December 19th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Shaun: You know how when Jesus was baptized the Father spoke from heaven as a dove descended upon him? Well, the can of soda (it’s a Pepsi even though you can’t see the label) is my baptismal water, the Father is speaking from the heavens although this can’t be captured in a picture, and the duck is the Holy Spirit. 😛

As far as my library goes, it’s not all that impressive, especially when you find out what Esteban’s library looks like!

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KAB said in December 19th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Bauer and Danker’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature


Koehler, Baumgartner and Stamm’s The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament

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Jonathan Watson said in December 19th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

I prefer the NIV Application Commentary and the Baker Exegetical Commentary Series. A close third is the Expositor’s Bible Commentary. I find there’s enough breadth between these three to provide a good foundation to work on.

(Best part is that all three are available in electronic format. Logos and Pradis.)

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Brian Kooshian said in December 19th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I use John Gill’s commentary a lot, even though I don’t always agree. When it comes to insights into the Hebrew, he’s one of the best of the old writers.

I also find myself using Cairns’ Dictionary of Theological Terms. I like that it’s concise, and approaches things from a Reformed perspective.

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Charles Savelle said in December 19th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

My two favorite reference works are the Anchor Bible Dictionary and the IVP Dictionaries (Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Paul and His Letters, etc.). There are obviously other options, but I have found that the articles in these two works are consistently well written and informative.

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Nancy said in December 19th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Uh, Nick…we also can’t see the lightning that is about to strike…Really sounds like you need the book…*; )

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Bob Hayton said in December 20th, 2008 at 9:38 am

Wow. I thought there were only four applicants. Shaun likes to stockpile the entries and release all the comments much later, I see! 🙂

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Shaun Tabatt said in December 20th, 2008 at 11:32 am

Surprise! I finally got around to approving the additional comments this morning. 😉 The winner will be announced shortly. As far as reference works go, I’ve been working with A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament from Kregel & using LOGOS Bible Software a lot recently.