Skip to Main Content

Biblical Commentaries

General Information






Commentaries explain scripture of the Bible verse-by-verse or section-by-section in detail. There are dozens of Biblical commentaries available that vary greatly in detail of coverage, analysis and intended audience. Commentaries can consist of only one volume or multiple volume sets. 

It is important to keep in mind that commentaries vary in affiliation or perspective. As in all theological scholarship, authors of commentaries typically reflect distinct theological orientations, shaped by their denominational identities, current place of employment, and other factors. When selecting commentaries, it is therefore advisable to pay attention both to relevant biographical factors for the author as disclosed in the blurb for a given commentary, and also to the publisher (asking, for example, whether it is affiliated with a particular denomination, a university press, etc.). Being aware of the author’s and/or press’s theological or ideological biases can help the user of the commentary to be more a more discerning reader.

Below are the general types of commentaries that can be found in the E.M. White library.


Critical, Technical or Exegetical commentaries are scholarly works that examine passages in great detail. Varying viewpoints, fine technical points, literary styles, or critical theories may be discussed in these commentaries. Critical commentaries are based on the Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic text, which may require an understanding of the original languages. These titles are typically written by Biblical scholars and theologians.

Examples include:



Semi-technical commentaries are somewhat less technical than the commentaries described above. However these still go into great detail, and the authors do not assume readers know the original languages.

Examples include:

These commentaries are intended to be a resource in sermon preparation or pastoral care. Working ministers are the targeted audience for these titles.

Examples include:



Devotional or Applicational commentaries are designed for laity or general readers, which focus on the meaning of the text and life applications. These titles are often used to aid in Bible study groups.

Examples include (not owned by library):

  • The 365 Day Devotional Commentary
  • BE Series Commentary
  • Opening Up the Bible

Additional Resources