140+ Bible Commentaries for Sale

[Update: This collection has been sold and two alternate buyers are standing by.]

Happy Friday blog readers!

As I mentioned yesterday on Twitter I am selling off more than 140 of my Bible commentaries. This is a large portion of my personal commentary library, a library I painstakingly and selectively built over many years. By design, the collection is a well rounded mix of exegetical, expositional, and devotional works. It has served me well.

I’m selling the collection for two reasons: first, in the last two years I’ve been slowly transitioning most of my reference works to digital platforms (mainly Logos 4), and second, my personal library continues to grow, and has maxed out the room I have for bookshelves.

This would be a bulk sale and due to the size of this collection it would also need to be a local sale. I live in Gaithersburg, Maryland, so most likely the buyer will be from Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc. If you have friends in the area, please let them know about this.

Download the specifics here.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!


Pillar NT Commentaries

In my opinion, the Pillar New Testament Series is one of the finest commentary sets available today. And recently Milton Essenburg, longtime editor at Eerdmans, posted the “inside story” on how the series began. In that short history he quotes from a 1992 letter he received from D. A. Carson, who would become the series editor. Carson writes:

Ideally, the Pillar series should be first-class exegesis capturing the flow of the argument, with sufficient interaction with the secondary literature to ensure that the work is current, while at the same time reflecting unselfconscious warmth, a certain spiritual vitality that shows itself in the form of expression and in unobtrusive application. [ht]

The series excels in each of these areas, making it a wonderful resource for pastors preparing sermons and for a much wider audience of Christians looking for reliable advanced resources to boost their own devotional study of the New Testament (I’ve been using the Hebrews commentary of late).

You can read the “inside story” here.

And here’s a list of the current and forthcoming volumes in the series:

  • 1988, Romans, by Leon Morris
  • 1990, John, by D. A. Carson
  • 1992, Matthew, by Leon Morris
  • 1999, Ephesians, by Peter T. O’Brien
  • 2000, James, by Douglas J. Moo
  • 2000, 1, 2, 3 John, by Colin G. Kruse
  • 2001, Mark, by James R. Edwards
  • 2002, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, by Gene L. Green
  • 2006, 2 Peter and Jude, by Peter H. Davids
  • 2008, Colossians and to Philemon, by Douglas J. Moo
  • 2009, Acts, by David G. Peterson
  • 2009, Philippians, by G. Walter Hansen
  • 2010, 1 Corinthians, by Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner
  • 2010, Hebrews, by Peter T. O’Brien
  • no date, Luke, by Peter M. Head
  • no date, Romans, by Colin G. Kruse
  • no date, 2 Corinthians, by Mark A. Seifrid
  • no date, Galatians, by D. A. Carson
  • no date, Pastoral Epistles, by Robert W. Yarbrough
  • no date, 1 Peter, by Scott J. Hafemann
  • no date, Revelation, by D. A. Carson

Review: Logos Bible Software 4

In the past decade electronic Bible software has advanced radically. From the day in 2002 when I first installed BibleWorks 5.0 on my PC, I’ve watched Bible software develop at an impressive rate.

For nearly a year I’ve been running Logos/Libronix software and about two weeks ago I made the upgrade to Logos 4 Platinum on my MacBook Pro (currently in Alpha stage development). As a researcher I need a software program that is quick, intuitive, flexible, and well stocked with top-quality resources. And the new Logos 4 delivers on all these fronts.

I have logged over 30 hours so far on Logos 4, and I see four benefits that make it stand out: (1) the stock of high quality resources, (2) the flexible guides and searches, (3) resource ranking and clustering, and (4) improved access to my print library. Let me unpack each of these four benefits.

Benefit 1: Stock of high quality resources

Logos is unique when it comes to the breadth of resources available. You can see the full list of resources that come with the Platinum software package here. For me, these are just a few of the most helpful resources:

English Bibles
• English Standard Version
• Holman Christian Standard Bible
• New International Version

Interlinear Bibles
• ESV English–Greek Reverse Interlinear of the New Testament
• ESV English–Hebrew Reverse Interlinear of the Old Testament

Bible Commentaries
• Pillar New Testament Commentary (10 Vols.)
• The New International Greek Testament Commentary (13 Vols.)
• Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (8 Vols.)
• Baker New Testament Commentary (12 Vols.)
• New American Commentary (37 Vols.)
• Bible Exposition Commentary (23 Vols.)
• Bible Knowledge Commentary
• Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 Vols.)
• Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (14 Vols.)
• Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament (10 Vols.)
• The United Bible Societies’ New Testament Handbook Series (20 Vols.)
• The United Bible Societies’ Old Testament Handbook Series (21 Vols.)

Bible Reference
• Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (4 Vols.)
• Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
• Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
• Encyclopedia of Christianity (Vols. 1–4)
• The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, rev. ed.
• Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

• Studies in Dogmatics by Berkouwer (14 Vols.)
• God, Revelation and Authority by Carl F. H. Henry (6 Vols.)
• Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (3 Vols.)
• Oxford Movement Historical Theology Collection (10 Vols.)
• Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge
• Systematic Theology by Augustus Strong (3 Vols.)

Church History
• Early Church Fathers (37 Vols.)

Original Language Lexicons
• Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon
• Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (3 Vols.)
• A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed.
• Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 Vols.)

And 25 ancient texts and morphology resources are built-in (including NA27, LSGNT, and BHS). The amount of works, and the quality of those works, in the Platinum edition of Logos 4 is very impressive. In regards to NT commentaries, Logos 4 Platinum is unrivaled.

The list of available resources grows daily, allowing users to tailor Logos 4 to their specific needs and interests. Logos offers books they’re considering digitizing on their pre-publication program to gauge user interest. It’s one of the many ways in which user preferences are pulled into development.

Benefit 2: Flexible guides and searches

The search power of Logos 4 is impressive due to the creative use of eight distinct guides and search formats. The user can choose a specific mechanism based upon what will work best in a particular search.

The guides arrange the library’s data into four categories:

1. Passage Guide (great for accessing commentaries)
2. Exegetical Guide (great for digging deeper into a single passage and original language work)
3. Bible Word Study Guide (great for digging into lexicons on a particular word)
4. Custom Guides (great for mixing features from 1–3)

The searches are similar to the guides, the difference being that they don’t organize data in groups. The search options include:

1. Basic Search (library-wide searching or searching of particular portions of your library)
2. Bible Search (searching one, or more, or all, of your Bibles)
3. Morph Search (searching for particular Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek words or morphological categories)
4. Syntax Search (searching for particular syntactical patterns in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Bibles)

The different guide and search mechanisms allow the Logos software to reconfigure based upon wide variety of user intent.

To illustrate I’ll show you how I access my collection of commentaries through the “passage guide” (click the following image for a larger view). I’ve typed “John 3:16” in the search bar and all the available commentaries are listed in the top left box (A). My favored commentaries will rank highest, a feature I’ll explain later. I’ve selected three commentaries which all open to the exact spot I need. They include the Baker Exegetical Commentary by Andreas Köstenberger (B), the New American Commentary by Gerald Borchert (C), and of course Don Carson’s commentary in the Pillar series (D). Notice on Carson’s commentary I have opened up the drop-down outline of the book, making it easy to see where I’m at in the overall book. For this photo-op I’ve opened two other handy utility windows, an ESV Bible (F) and a handy little information window that automatically looks up whatever my cursor hovers over (D). In this case my cursor was hovering over a reference to Ex 34:6–7. Click on the picture for a larger view:

And by using this 6-window format, and due to the well-designed tab system, I can comfortably keep 20–40 books open on my desktop at the same time.

So that was in the “passage guide” function. Studying and comparing commentaries could not be easier. In the “basic search” I was surprised at how easy it was to re-find particular paragraphs within my library. Imagine walking into a library, removing a book off the shelf and reading a paragraph, placing the book back on the shelf, leaving and returning to the library in a week and attempting to find that same paragraph again. How easy would it be to find that page? Nearly impossible. Yet I’ve been constantly surprised how easily I can search the entire library to re-find paragraphs (even footnotes!) that I only remotely remember seeing previously. The access to information and the speed at which that information is available is very impressive.

This leads me to the third benefit.

Benefit 3: Resource ranking and clustering

Hosting over 2,000 books on my MacBook Pro is really handy (1,200+ in Logos). But it can also become a befuddled mess. The sheer quantity of information returned in search results can be overwhelmingly unhelpful. Let’s face it, not all books are equally useful on every topic.

To counter this problem, Logos 4 allows users to rank Bibles, commentaries, reference materials—really all the books—based upon user preference. Users can assign a star rating from between 0–5 on each resource. And search queries can be restricted to certain star levels. And this factor is why certain commentaries ranked higher than others in the screenshot I showed you earlier.

Also, users can also create customized collections of texts through tags. For example, all of my resources authored by D.A. Carson are tagged “DAC.” In the search query I can very quickly select this tag and limit my results only to the books in this collection.

These two options—ranking and clustering—bring a great deal of speed and focus to custom, library-wide, searches.

Benefit 4: Improved access to my print library

Still about half of my total library is comprised of printed books lined on shelves and I don’t intend to get rid of these books any time soon. One of the surprising benefits of Logos 4 was the amount of footnotes and references I noticed in my electronic research that pointed me back into my print library. Because of this, and because of the amount of relatively new reference works in Logos 4, I benefit more from my print library than ever before. Like I said, this was a surprising fruit of Logos 4.


This review on Logos 4 Platinum could continue on for a few more pages but I’ll stop now. There are dozens of other little features and functions that make Logos 4 a breeze to use. DV, I will take a closer look at these features and functions when work on the Mac version of Logos 4 is completed in the fall.

The bottom line: Logos 4 has taken a big stride forward in making premium Bible scholarship accessible to students of the Bible. And in the hands of discerning readers and wise pastors it will bless the Church in a big way.

Pillar NT Commentaries

Commentaries comprise at least one third of my library. Books that help you better understand the text of Scripture are worth the investment in my opinion. And of all the sets and series that I own I think the Pillar NT series is probably my favorite all around.

In his Guide to Biblical Commentaries (8th ed., 2009) John F. Evans writes this about the Pillar set:

The volumes available are strongly evangelical, well grounded in scholarship, insightful, and warmly recommended. I regard a good half of the series as first choices for pastors: Carson on John, Peterson on Acts, O’Brien on Ephesians, Moo’s two volumes on Colossians-Philemon and James, and Davids on 2 Peter-Jude. … Carson’s editorial work helps keep the standards high. (p. 22)

The series just expanded with the recent addition of Peter T. O’Brien’s anticipated commentary on Hebrews (note: I buy every commentary by O’Brien). For a limited time Westminster books is now offering O’Brien’s commentary at a generous 45% discount ($50.00 / $27.50).

And if you buy at least two Pillar commentaries, Westminster is offing an added 10% discount (offer ends March 9).

Here are the other titles in the series:

  • Matthew by Leon Morris — $50.00 / $30.50
  • Mark by James R. Edwards, Jr. — $50.00 / $31.50
  • John by D. A. Carson — $48.00 / $30.72
  • Acts by David Peterson — $65.00 / $39.65
  • Romans by Leon Morris — $45.00 / $27.00
  • Ephesians by Peter T. O’Brien — $44.00 / $28.16
  • Philippians by G. Walter Hansen — $44.00 / $28.16
  • Colossians and Philemon by Douglas J. Moo — $44.00 / $24.20
  • Thessalonians by Gene L. Green — $45.00 / $28.80
  • James by Douglas J. Moo — $34.00 / $20.40
  • 2 Peter and Jude by Peter Davids — $36.00 / $23.76
  • Letters of John by Colin Kruse — $34.00 / $21.76

Electronic book searches for sermon preparation

tsslogo.jpgToday’s post is for communicators who know the clarity a John Owen quote brings to a complex biblical topic or the punch a C.H. Spurgeon quote adds to application points. My goal today is to encourage evangelists, authors, bloggers, preachers in their work of reaching lost souls and edifying redeemed souls.

I will address various related questions: Are electronic books and printed books friends or enemies? How can I find the best electronic books? How do I search those works effectively? How do I find quotes on my topic? How do I best handle the quote in hand?

I regularly express my appreciation for paper books AND electronic books when it comes to sermon preparation. A useful library balances both. Electronic books provide a technological enhancement to printed books. Sometimes I want to search the Works of John Owen in a jiff (electronic), and sometimes I want to chain off several weeks to ice pick my way through an entire volume (printed). The electronic text enhances the printed copies by making them easier to navigate, but reading the full text of Communion with God on a computer screen would surely lead to a hyper-extended retina.

Continue reading

Book review: John Gill’s Exposition of the Old and New Testaments

Book review: John Gill’s Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (9 vols)

Everyone in history lives within a historical context. I love Meet the Puritans by Beeke and Peterson primarily because it offers biographies to introduce the context behind the best Puritan writers.

Now for some specific context. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to signal a shift away from Roman Catholic traditionalism towards a thoroughly biblical theology. This reformation burst on the scene and continued to develop with the Puritans that followed. This Reformation and Post-Reformation period stressed the fact that understanding divine realities demands faith, the illumination of the Spirit and divine revelation (God’s Word). In 1588, William Whitaker wrote,

“It is only the external light of nature that is required to learn thoroughly the arts of philosophy; but to understand theology aright, there is need of the internal light of the Holy Spirit, because the things of faith are not subject to the teaching of mere human reason” (Disputations on Holy Scripture, p. 364).

Unfortunately, this emphasis upon the preciousness of God’s Word and the primacy of its divine truth did not last unhindered.

The Enlightenment – with the rise of mathematics, science and philosophy – introduced a new “rational” interpretation upon divinity. Beginning around 1725, the rise in “rationalism” attempted to reduce faith to what can be proven with philosophy and reason. Truth no longer rested upon faith, the Spirit and revelation, but upon “demonstrable evidence and rational necessity.” Clearly, this was a serious break from the former traditions.

Needless to say, the rise in “rationalism” brought significant biblical compromise into the church by de-emphasizing the Word and faith-filled, Spirit-illuminated interpretation. In their place was erected a philosophical understanding of divinity. But philosophical interpretations of divine truth, Paul tells us, simply miss the point of the biblical gospel (1 Cor. 1:18-2:16).

John Gill

It was in the midst of this rise in rationalism that some writers stood faithful to a Spirit-led, literal interpretation of Scripture as the sole object of faith. One of the most prominent of these men was Baptist John Gill (1697-1771).

Gill was a prolific author and well-known Old Testament scholar. An excellent overview of John Gill’s life and works comes to us in a sermon Spurgeon preached on August 16th, 1859 at the laying of the first stone of the new Tabernacle building. You can read the entire sermon at CCEL. Here is an excerpt,

“A man of profound learning and deep piety, he was notable as a divine for the exactness of his systematic theology in which he maintained the doctrines of grace against the innovations of Arminian teachers. His Body of Divinity has long been held in the highest repute. As the fervent exposition of an entire and harmonious creed, it has no rival. His famous treatise entitled The Cause of God And Truth, obtained for him the championship of the Calvinistic School of Divinity.”

The eulogy delivered upon Gill’s death by Augustus Toplady reminds us that Gill was both forceful and intellectually skillful.

“That his labors were indefatigable, his life exemplary … if any one can be supposed to have trod the whole circle of human learning, it was this great and eminent person. His attainments, both in abstruse and polite literature, were equally extensive and profound, and so far as the distinguishing doctrines of grace are concerned, he never besieged an error which he did not force from its stronghold, nor ever encountered an adversary whom he did not baffle and subdue.”

The Commentary

John Gill’s commentary is nine volumes long, including six volumes on the Old Testament and three on the New Testament. At first glance this specific printing is superb! The facsimile printing comes in a larger book format and in higher quality cloth binding than expected.

Gill follows the traditional commentary style of a short summary of the book, summary of each chapter, and then commentary on each individual verse following up to the next chapter.

John Gill was a forefather of the Metropolitan Tabernacle we now most associate with Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon, who spent much time reading and critiquing commentaries, is quick to say that he was unaware of a better commentator of the Old Testament. Gill’s greatest asset was his expertise as a Hebrew scholar.

Spurgeon had his criticisms as well. He wrote publicly that Gill used too many straw-man arguments and held loose interpretations of the Parables. Spurgeon wrote,

“Very seldom does he allow himself to be run away with by imagination, except now and then when he tries to open up a parable, and finds a meaning in every circumstance and minute detail; or when he falls upon a text which is not congenial with his creed, and hacks and hews terribly to bring the word of God into a more systematic shape. Gill is the Coryphaeus of hyper-Calvinism, but if his followers never went beyond their master, they would not go very far astray.”

But the bottom-line, Spurgeon writes, is that “the world and the church take leave to question his dogmatism, but they both bow before his erudition [learning] … For good, sound, massive, sober sense in commenting, who can excel Gill?”

At another place, Spurgeon considered this commentary “remarkable for the copiousness of its glossary, the brilliance of its argument, his apprehension of prophecy, and the richness of his Hebrew scholarship. His preparations for the pulpit having, as is well known, furnished the materials for the press, we can but reflect on the priceless value of his ministry.”

In other words, the obvious power of his public preaching endures through the press. This was not a man addicted to scholarship, but a man driven by the conviction to preach through the whole counsel of God. His commentaries exemplify what was certainly a “priceless ministry.”


It is encouraging to see publishers incorporating electronic books with printed books. This is a trend we see have recently seen Crossway pull off with great success.

This commentary set from The Baptist Standard Bearer comes bundled with a CD-ROM of The Collected Writings of John Gill, which includes the full text of his commentary, nearly 100 of his sermons and his many books (including the massive, 2,000 page Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity and the 1,000 page The Cause of God and Truth). It makes a very helpful and handy complement to the printed commentary because it makes searching and copy-and-pasting of Gill’s material very easy to incorporate in sermon prep.

The set also includes the Life and Writings of the Rev. John Gill, D.D., a short biography written by John Rippon.


Richard Muller writes of Gill that he “stands as perhaps the most erudite [or learned] of the eighteenth-century Dissenting theologies in the tradition of the older orthodoxy” (Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, 3:150). “Erudite” being the same word used by Spurgeon.

There seems to be a consensus that Gill’s writings are firmly founded upon solid biblical scholarship. He shows a deep level of understanding with Scripture, allowing the bible to interpret itself. His wealth of insight into the Hebrew language, tradition and culture soaks both the Old and New Testaments. John Gill’s commentary is an excellent work, worthy of the beautiful edition now available.

Now 240 years later this work stands as an ebenezer of one man’s faithfulness to preach through the entire bible in light of a culture encouraging men and women to judge divine reality through empty philosophical “rationalism.” He was and remains through his works “a star of the first magnitude amidst surrounding darkness” (Spurgeon).


Title: John Gill’s Exposition of the Old and New Testaments
Author: John Gill [1697-1771]
Boards: cloth (maroon, guilded)
Pages: 7,370
Volumes: 9
Dust jacket: no
Binding: Smyth sewn
Paper: normal
Topical index: no
Scriptural index: no (unnecessary in commentary)
Text: facsimile of 1809 ed. (London: Mathews and Leigh)
Extras: Comes with CD-ROM of Gill’s extensive writings in digital format and Life and Writings of the Rev. John Gill, D.D. by John Rippon, clothbound, published by Gano Books.
Publisher: Printed in 2006 by The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc.
Price USD: $300.00/$250.00 from Vision Forum
ISBNs: none