In this post, I will share with you several ideas on where to obtain Bible commentaries. Perhaps some of you will find a volume you have been searching for using a method detailed below.
WorldCat – this online search tool will help you locate virtually any book in virtually any library linked to its database (and there are many). There may be a college or public library nearby with the commentary you are seeking. (Tip: some colleges have “community memberships” so that you can check out books even if you are not a student.)
Local libraries – make a trip to your local college or public library and see what they have (for example, my local private college, which has Bible classes, has far more commentaries than my public library).
Personal libraries – Pastors or other friends may have a commentary you can use in their library. If you go this route, be courteous and return the book in a timely manner and in good condition, so you will be a welcome patron in the future. (Perhaps you can even return the favor!)
Local Bookstores – check out local retailers, independent and chains, to see their selection and pricing. They also may be able to order what you’re looking for. (And if it’s fair, consider supporting your local business! Sometimes the person in the store can help you with finding future resources as well.)
Online Retailers – Scripturetruth.com, cvbbs.com, Christianbook.com, monergism.com, wtsbooks.com; also Amazon.com, abebooks.com, alibris.com, textbooks.com, half.com, www.addall.com (metasearches multiple sites!)
Paid and Free options
Kindle books (Amazon’s e-reader – requires Amazon.com account, but you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books; you can read your books for free in the web browser or free pc, android, or iOS app) – I also highly recommend subscribing to the email or social media feed of Gospel eBooks (they post deals and free books each day; some of the discounts are quite substantial and for a limited time)
Google Books – read on web or mobile devices (requires Google account; syncs across devices)
Logos – read on web, PC, mobile devices (requires Logos account; syncs across devices)
Monergism.com – (ebooks for sale and free books on web)
e-Sword.net – full-fledged free Bible study software with some good commentaries available for free
Free on the web (some as webpages, some as PDF or other formats for download)
CCEL (Christian Classics Ethereal Library)
Precept Austin (links to many commentaries)
John Calvin’s commentaries on the Bible (readable, clear, helpful)
John Gill’s commentary (18th century Baptist scholar/pastor)
Grace Gems (a couple of highlights here: J. C. Ryle on the Gospels & Spurgeon on the Psalms, The Treasury of David)
I hope this series on commentaries has been useful. May we wisely use these gifts as helps in our preparation, but never as a substitute for directly engaging with God through the text of His Word and prayer as we seek to know Him better and preach Christ to others.