Step Five – Review of Commentaries

Scholars who have given their lives to the study of the Scriptures and who have written commentaries on books of the Bible can be a valuable resource for you as you seek to understand and apply your sermon text.

Because of this, it is wise to consult several Bible commentaries to see what they say about your text before writing your sermon.

There may also be other books and articles that shed light on the text.

1. Review what several Bible commentaries say about the text.

In carrying out this step, it is a good idea to read both technical commentaries and commentaries that are devotional and focus on life application. Meyer’s Commentary on Matthew on the Bible Hub site is an example of a technical commentary.[1] J. C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels is devotional.[2]

Many older commentaries are available online. I have provided more information on Bible commentaries on this page.

2. Review other relevant literature that sheds light on the text.

A series of books that is helpful for understanding Old Testament texts from a biblical theological perspective is the Gospel according to the Old Testament series published by the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company.[3]

Although it is written for young people, the four volumes in the Promise and Deliverance series by S. G. DeGraaf can at times be enlightening.[4]

When studying texts in the Gospels, it can be helpful to check the Scripture index of The Coming of the Kingdom by Herman Ridderbos.[5] Likewise, when studying texts by Paul, one can check the Scripture index of Ridderbos’ Paul: An Outline of His Theology.[6]