Top 10 list are dime a dozen, and it is no difference with top 10 list for commentaries. You can find hundreds of them on the Internet specifically on blogs. Scholarly treatments on the subject are few and far between comic specially good conservative scholarly treatments. To complicate matters further most worthwhile works on the subject that are more than 10 years old are very out of date and unfortunately not as useful as they could be. Thankfully most are updated every few years.
One of these well done guide is from Biblical scholar John F. Evans. John Evans treatment titled “A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works, Revised 10th Edition”, published by Zondervan. The great thing about this work is his great attention to detail, and his many comments on thousands of commentaries, having around 50 suggestions for each Biblical book. Not only does he comment on different commentaries but he expands his list to include important reference materials and topical works as well. Evans evaluates the commentaries and other reference works from three perspectives the pastor, the store, and the student. He also evaluates from a personal standpoint, mentioning it sometimes in his comments yet this does not affect the work as a whole never losing its main focus. With this in mind Evans suggests some commentaries which are more critical in nature and not of great use to the pastor, yet to the scholar they remain integral.
Due his affinity to suggest some very critical commentaries you must keep weathered eye on some of his suggestions. Yet he does make it obvious when he suggest a pastor not get a critical commentary for that very reason. Furthermore some of the Works he suggest are less Evangelical in nature then a pastor might want, yet again as with the critical commentaries he makes his suggestions obvious.
Another positive point to this reference work is the wide brush that Evans uses in commentaries suggesting ones from all parts of Christendom. This broad brush approach is very helpful in ensuring a pastor can find commentaries that will not only help him dive deeper into the text but draw conclusions that he might not have found and works that only agree with his interpretation of scripture.
In the end this is an invaluable resource to the pastor, scholar, and student alike. Evans does seem to value reformed works higher than others, for what it is worth, yet that also may be due to the higher quality of reformed commentaries that are available. This invaluable tool serves not only in revealing commentaries for the pastor but does a fantastic job in pointing students and scholars to commentaries that would Aid in their research of a specific topic. An important note is that many of the commentaries that evidence suggests which is why is important for the this work to look into the back appendices which show a barebones library, a suggested library, and a ultimate library for the frugal to the bibliophile pastor.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works
© 2016 by John F. Evans
Page Count: 480 Pages
Publishers Page: http://www.zondervan.com/