Brandel Library

BTS 1850: Introduction to the Bible (Nassif)

Biblical Commentaries

BIble Study Assignment

  • This LibGuide introduces some basic resources for doing Bible study.
  • Many of these are print resources, but an increasing number are also available electronically, in Brandel Library or from off-campus with your NPU logon.

Finding Commentaries in Brandel Library

  • Commentaries on the Bible provide interpretations of Scripture passages, usually for a book of the Bible or portion of a book of the Bible. 
  • You can find commentaries in two places in Brandel Library:
    • the Reference Section (on the 1st floor, behind the Reference Desks)
    • the General Collection (on the 3rd floor).
    • The same classification system applies to both collections, so the call number will be identical, but the location listed in the catalog differs.
    • Reference copies of commentaries cannot leave the Library, so these copies cannot be checked out, but can be read in the Library or portions of them scanned or photocopied.
    • The General Collection copies may be checked out of the Library.
  • The Reference collection contains many of the most important commentaries, so it is a good place to begin your browsing for commentaries.
    • In some cases, we have copies of a commentary in both places, but not often.
  • Only a few biblical commentaries are available digitally as yet, but we are purchasing them as they are published.
    • Separate records in the library catalog are retrieved for the print and the digital/electronic formats (which are marked with an 'eb' at the end of the call number), so it is easy to see when these commentaries are available for your subject.
  • Commentaries are shelved in the order of the Protestant canon (as distinguished from the Roman Catholic canon of the Bible or the order of the Hebrew Bible).
  • Commentaries may be individual, free-standing books or they may be part of a series.
    • Some (mostly older) commentary series are shelved all together, but most series are shelved separately, so that the volumes are in the appropriate section for the book/books/portion of book on which they comment.
  • Call numbers for the Old Testament are BS 701-BS 1830. 
  • Call numbers for the New Testament are BS 1901- BS 2970.

Using Commentaries

  • Commentaries on books or portions of biblical books will assist your study in many ways. They will outline the portion of the Bible on which they comment, they will introduce readers to the language, background, history, setting, themes, and theology of that portion. Most of a commentary is devoted to analysis and explanation of the text of the Bible, usually verse by verse and often word by word.
  • You should use multiple commentaries to provide differing perspectives and understandings of the passages. Multiple commentaries will also help to fill in gaps in another commentary.
  • Be sure to note the books and articles that the commentaries cite, for these are often worth finding so that you may read them. If the commentary authors found these sources helpful, likely you will as well.


Online Commentaries on James

Commentaries on the Letter of James