The Interpretation Bible Commentary is a commentary written for preachers and teachers. 43 volumes covering all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, this commentary is a great resource for your digital library.
Here's What You'll Love About the Interpretation Bible Commentary
All of the scholars who contributed to this commentary were chosen for their experience and expertise in the books for which they write. Each writer offers a helpful introduction to each book that will make you familiar with the author, audience, manners, and customs of the time. The front cover of each volume clearly states “A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching." Regarding the element of interpretation, the editors of this commentary tell us this:
An interpretation in the full sense of the term involves a text, an interpreter, and someone for whom the interpretation is made. Here, the text is what stands written in the Bible in its full identity as literature from the time of “the prophets and apostles,” the literature which is read to inform, inspire, and guide the life of faith. The interpreters are scholars who seek to create an interpretation which is both faithful to the text and useful to the church. The series is written for those who teach, preach, and study the Bible in the community of faith.
Easy to Read — Insight That Is Relevant and Applicable
The Interpretation Bible Commentary gives each passage of Scripture the attention it requires. Many other commentaries can seem like hard work to read. This one is a joy to read. The first chapter of Second Corinthians is where Paul deals with the subjects of affliction, suffering, and comfort. In verse 8 Paul speaks of a personal affliction of his own. Here's a small sample of the commentary regarding this verse:
He mentions one particular suffering of his own (v. 8). We do not know what it was (see on vv. 8–11), but it was an experience that almost overcame his faith. Whatever it was, it came to him in the course of his mission and because of it. Acts tells us of many of the trials he experienced, and he himself lists some of them in 11:23–29. The Corinthians have also suffered, and that again because they are Christians. Paul does not describe their sufferings, but other parts of the New Testament supply glimpses of what they may have been: riots (Acts 17:5–9; 19:28–41), false accusations in court (I Peter 4:15–16), imprisonment (Heb. 13:3), homes and businesses broken up (Heb. 10: 32–34). We are helped to understand what happened when we read accounts of those who became Christians in the missionary expansion of the last one hundred and fifty years and of those who today try to remain Christian under rightwing dictatorships or in communist countries.
Did you notice all the cross-references in this brief paragraph? Each of these are hyperlinks that allow you to instantly read the text being referenced. The Interpretation Bible Commentary also brings the Bible text up to date, making each lesson relevant to your own experiences today.
Click on the yellow “Sample” button underneath the book cover image to read a sample.
The Interpretation series from Westminster John Knox Press is clearly established as a rich resource for teaching and preaching. They have tapped the talents of a varied and esteemed group of contributors, resulting in what is clearly the essential comprehensive commentary series on the Bible. I heartily endorse this material and consider it a resource that should be on every minister’s bookshelf.
The Interpretation series is an invaluable resource for any leader or scholar interested in interpreting the biblical text to the broader church. Its works are essential for pastors, educators, and church libraries.