Last Updated: July 14, 2021
If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best Whole Bible Commentary is, then I’d recommend The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren Wiersbe as the best one.
The whole point of studying the Word of God is being able to grasp the lessons underneath the stories and apply them to your own life. However, the Bible can contain complex passages that may be difficult to understand.
Thankfully, there are helping tools that may help dissect scriptures and offer interpretations. One thing you can use is a Bible Commentary.
Here are the Best Whole Bible Commentaries we will be reviewing:
- The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren Wiersbe
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
- The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur
- New Bible Commentary by Gordon Wenham
- The Tony Evans Bible Commentary
What is the Purpose of a Whole Bible Commentary?
The main purpose of a Bible Commentary is to provide a clearer and deeper understanding of the Scriptures in the Bible. I know what you’re thinking! That sounds like a Study Bible, right? Well, it does. But what makes a Bible Commentary different is its very thorough content.
A Study Bible is a sort of “special” Bible because it has sections that explain certain verses and tools you can use for studying. A Whole Bible Commentary goes over every verse in every book of the Bible and gives thorough explanations for each, which is why it says “whole”. That’s the reason why Bible Commentaries are often sold in volume sets.
It’s called a “commentary” as the authors, you guessed it! These authors “comment” on each Bible passage for in-depth study. A Whole Bible Commentary explains an event, a definition for a word, a synopsis, historical accounts, or an application. Needless to say that these notes are influenced by each author’s perspective and beliefs.
Simply put, a Whole Bible Commentary gives an analysis of the books of the Bible, as understood by its author. The analysis is often by chapter and verse by verse or as a whole passage. A Whole Bible Commentary is used as a complementary tool in Bible study.
Who Uses Whole Bible Commentaries?
Anyone who wants to understand the Scriptures better can use a Whole Bible Commentary. However, as this contains very thorough notes, this is often used by pastors or priests for their Church preaches/sermons. They are also used by nuns for their study and reflection. Professors also use this for research and lessons as well as students that have Bible training (future clergies, missionaries, and counselors). Christians who are readers also are users of this kind of book.
When to use a Whole Bible Commentary
I recommend using a Whole Bible Commentary as a supplementary tool in Bible study. However, as these are written by authors and the content is of course influenced by their own beliefs and understanding, it would be better to read and try to understand the Scriptures by yourself first. If you find that there are passages that are difficult to understand, or you simply want a fresh perspective, then it’s time to use a Whole Bible Commentary.
If you’re a part of a Bible study group, it would help to bring a Whole Bible Commentary especially to take part in the discussion and to reflect on your understanding of the verses.
How to Choose the Best Whole Bible Commentary
As I mentioned earlier, Bible commentaries are very info-packed as the notes are very detailed and are often written per passage. Before you choose your Bible Commentary, consider if you want the complete commentary on the whole Bible. Note that this will probably be more than one book, but a whole set.
On the other hand, you can buy a less comprehensive one – a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible. The analysis is done per book in the Bible making it shorter than verse-by-verse commentaries.
Because you’re probably getting a Whole Bible Commentary to study the Bible, it would be wise to skim through the Whole Bible Commentary you’re interested in. The most common features are pictures, illustrations, maps, bibliographies, book introductions, and historical backgrounds.
I find book introductions very helpful in giving substance to the commentary and notes. Moreover, I also appreciate historical backgrounds as these allow me to scratch through the surface of history. Absorbing the stories helps me put myself back in time and open my mind to another perspective, making Bible study more interesting and easier.
Fit to your needs
But the most important thing to consider when getting your Whole Bible Commentary is your needs. Before you put books into your cart, ask yourself: “What type of a Bible Commentary fits what I need and what I want?”.
A devotional Bible commentary’s purpose is to help the reader reflect upon the Scriptures deeper. This is designed for personal contemplation and is used to apply the Bible’s teachings to personal life.
Often written by more experienced theologists, exegetical Bible commentaries are more technical and are used in the academe. These focus on the context and grammar of the original text of the Bible. Exegetical Bible commentaries are mostly used by pastors and theologists.
Expository Bible commentaries are simply put used to explain the contents of the Bible. These provide notes that are often written comprehensively and verse-by-verse. Compared to devotionals, expository Bible commentaries emphasize discussion rather than application.
These commentaries are “special” as they focus less on theological discussions but socio-cultural events and deliberations. Some may focus on historical accounts, the culture, or biblical interpretation from a certain perspective (i.e. Asian).
Benefits of Reading a Whole Bible Commentary
The first benefit of reading a Whole Bible Commentary is it can provide clarity. As the events in the Bible happened thousands of years ago, many passages may be confusing. Some even use unusual words and/or phrases.
In some cases, it’s the event itself that’s confusing. And this can happen not just to beginners, but even to those who regularly study the Bible. Reading a Whole Bible Commentary can provide a thorough and clearer discussion on those difficult passages.
Another benefit is it can help add perspective as you study your Bible. As I mentioned earlier, the reflections on the Scriptures in Bible commentaries are written by mere humans and are therefore clouded by their perspectives and beliefs.
Although it’s still best to first reflect on the passages by yourself so you can apply them to your own life, it can be refreshing to hear a fresh take from another person. Reading the accounts of authors can also help widen your point of view and break down cultural barriers.
Here are the best Whole Bible Commentaries we recommend.
The Bible Exposition Commentary is composed of six volumes categorized by the books in the Bible. This is a very comprehensive commentary. What’s best about this is it’s very easy to read and understand.
I recommend this as the best commentary of the whole Bible because it’s user-friendly. What I mean by this is it’s suitable for beginners and perfect for those looking for something new without necessarily being overwhelmed.
The Bible Exposition Commentary weighs about 11 pounds and is 9.6 x 6.2 x 8.2 inches in dimensions.
- Thoroughly written and easy to read and understand
- Great complimentary for daily Bible study
- Content is not written to preach and is suitable for casual reading
- The notes are supported by Scriptures so you can keep track of it on the references
- Materials used for printing and manufacture is of great quality
- Print may be too small
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible also comes in a six-volume set. It weighs around 12.44 pounds, which is a bit heavier thus more taxing to carry around. Furthermore, this commentary was first printed in 1922, so the author sometimes uses outdated or deep words.
This commentary offers discussions in classic theology. It is great for those who are seeking to understand the Bible from that point of view. His commentary is aimed primarily at explanation and edification.
- It provides instruction and encouragement
- It can enhance your relationship with God and deepen your understanding of His word
- Worth studying
- Useful for pastors, theologians, and students of the Bible
- Written in an older style
- The font size is small
The MacArthur Bible Commentary gives you a complete commentary on the entire Bible in just one volume. This is great for those just starting to use a Bible commentary. Another perk is that you have everything in just one book. You can easily carry it around when you go to Bible study instead of leaving some volumes behind at home.
Every phrase from the Old and New Testaments is analyzed and discussed, so you can expect this thick book to be very insightful. This complete Bible commentary has a lot of helpful features that can make studying the Bible simpler and more accessible. Some of the study tools included are brief articles with special sections on Jesus’s life and ministry.
- Offers study tools like charts, graphs, and book introductions
- Includes a guide in studying, applying, and teaching God’s words
- Very compact
- Worth the price
- Explanations are not so in-depth as expected
- Content may be similar to the MacArthur Study Bible
This best-selling New Bible Commentary is a one-volume book. It contains 66 detailed commentaries, one for each book in the Bible, in 1468 pages. The notes are written passage-by-passage or verse-by-verse and are based on NIV text. This commentary also features introductions, outlines, and discussions on the development of biblical studies.
This is a reliable commentary for beginners. The New Bible Commentary is easy to navigate and use. In addition, the discussions are comprehensive and insightful.
- Thorough and easy to understand
- Great tool for Bible study
- History and theology are well discussed and references are provided
- Commentaries are shorter
The best quality of the Tony Evans Bible Commentary is that it’s easy to read. This one-volume commentary is based on the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which adheres to the literal translation of the Bible.
The Tony Evans Bible Commentary features book introductions that focus on discussions on authorship, historical background, and purpose. These introductions are then followed by expositions on each passage of the whole Bible.
In each book introduction, a QR code is provided, which you can scan using your phone. This will take you to a series of videos where Tony Evans introduces key themes and gives a brief discussion on the book
- Offers a profound analysis of the Scriptures that are easy to read and understand
- Discussions are sincere, which makes studying the passages interesting
- Uses QR code to view the author’s sermons
- Content may be repetitive
- Discussions can be vague and shallow
A Whole Bible Commentary provides a deeper understanding of the Bible. This is often used by pastors or priests for their sermons, personal study, and reflection.
A Bible commentary can be a helpful tool if you’re looking for a complementary tool in Bible study. Before you head out and purchase yours, make sure to consider the commentary’s content, the features, and the type of Bible commentary.
I recommend The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren Wiersbe as the best one. It has very well-written content that’s easy to read and understand. This Whole Bible Commentary is a great partner for your Bible study as its notes are not preachy and are perfect for casual reading. If you’re looking for clever and meticulous discussions for a practical price, then this is the Whole Bible Commentary for you.