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Believer's Bible Commentary: A Complete Bible Commentary in One Volume Hardcover – May 1, 1995
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About the Author
Arthur L. Farstad served as the Executive Editor of the New King James translation of the Bible. Dr. Farstad was a well-respected Greek scholar and theologian having taught at Dallas Theological Seminary in Greek studies. In addition to the NKJV, he served at consulting editor for the New Scofield Study Bible and co-editor of The New Greek Testament According to the Majority Text and served as Editor for the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society. Dr. Farstad went to be with our Lord in 1998.
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The black and blue edition is much thicker than the older orange dust jacket edition. Another reviewer said the second edition "has no updates." But it has 130 more pages, based on Amazon's count (2592-2462=130). Nelson advertises "14 pages of 4-color maps...and other study helps." So charts, maps and diagrams may have increased, but I doubt the commentary has changed, since MacDonald was glorified in 2007.
* The Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC) by Walvoord & Zuck *
Editions: 1983 (NT), 1985 (OT)
NIV translation base.
167 grey-scale illustrations!
1575 pages of OT commentary!
979 pages of NT commentary!
Emphasis on analysis and the original languages.
School of Influence: Dallas Theological Seminary
Frequently quoted and recommended in other Bible commentaries!
Endorsed by Jeremiah, Wiersbe & Swindoll.
* Believer's Bible Commentary by MacDonald & Farstad *
Editions: 1995, 2008, 2016
NKJV translation base.
People and places glossary!
77 grey-scale maps, charts, sketches (1st ed.).
1150 pages of OT commentary.
1183 pages of NT commentary!
Emphasis on devotion and life application.
School of Influence: Emmaus Bible College
Nelson's most popular commentary!
Endorsed by Van Gorder, Wiersbe & MacArthur.
Quotes from the BKC.
* The Moody Bible Commentary (MBC) by Rydelnik & Vanlaningham *
NASB translation base.
Scripture and topical indexes!
80 grey-scale maps, charts, sketches.
1422 pages of OT commentary!
580 pages of NT commentary.
Emphasis on refuting higher criticism.
Superficial coverage of difficult verses.
See my detailed MBC review on Amazon.
School of Influence: Moody Bible Institute
Popular among Moody and Rydelnik fans.
Endorsed by Enns, Jenkins & Rosenberg
Quotes from the BKC.
These next whole-Bible commentaries are based on previously released study Bibles. They are also influenced by Dallas Theological Seminary.
* Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary (NNIBC) by Radmacher, Allen & House *
Published 1999, 1804 pages, 180 illustrations.
Similar to Nelson's NKJV Study Bible.
Many mini articles and timelines.
* The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur *
Published 2005, 2040 pages.
Similar to the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible.
Many illustrations and articles.
Teaches "lordship salvation," not "free grace" theology (e.g. Ryrie).
E-Sword Bible study software, for Windows and iOS, is popular and intuitive. Older commentaries are free. But the newer ones above, will cost ya.
The comprehensive "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable" are based on the NASB and available in e-Sword, websites, PDF and MP3. He was a BKC contributor.
Buy the BBC in whatever format you use most. I've bought the BBC in hardbacks, Kindle, e-Sword and the FaithLife app. Supplement with the BKC and the "New Unger's Bible Dictionary," if you want more info on a verse or topic (e.g. elders).
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - , KJV
"It shall greatly helpe ye to understande Scripture,
If thou mark
Not only what is spoken or wrytten,
But of whom,
And to whom,
With what words,
At what time
To what intent,
With what circumstances,
Considering what goeth before
And what followeth."
John Wycliffe (1320-1384, Bible translator, church reformer, fire martyr)
Copyright CBR of BibleLight Ministries.
But then I ran into Ezekiel and the proverbial brick wall was met. Ezekiel is tough. Like Revelation is tough, Ezekiel is difficult, and understanding ancient symbols from Eastern culture is important. I knew I needed help, and so I bought a commentary. That's how I came to own this book.
It's beautiful. The binding is high quality. I have written and highlighted in it, and the paper is excellent stock for allowing this. So here is a list of the Pros and Cons as I see them. Your mileage may vary.
1.) The introductory articles to the various sections and individual books are wonderful. Seriously, wonderfully good information. The history of the book and the authorship of the book as well as various challenges and responses from different schools of thought on origins of the text are given. These are given clearly and somewhat fairly (though a conservative Dispensationalist bias is both evident and totally disclosed. It's not sneaky or secretive).
2.) Don't even think about choosing this book if you want to have answers to your more difficult dilemmas with Scripture. That is not what this book does. Want commentary on the Midianite virgins in Numbers? The absolute moral depravity of the Patriarchs in places? You will not find this here. At. All. You'll need much more in-depth books for that.
3.) If what you need is something to guide you through a superficial first reading or just to clarify symbols in some of the prophecies and parables? This book will do that VERY well for you.
4.) This book is seriously, unapologetically, and nakedly Dispensationalist and conservative. If that isn't going to work for you...get another book. I am a Lutheran. I love my Baptist and evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ, so I was able to smile at some of the more obvious bits and continue my reading without bother. If you, however, will be frustrated by the constant repetition of dispensation ideology, get another book.
I hope that helps you choose. These were my thoughts on the book. I am now in a place in my studying where I require much more in-depth works to help me along, but I STILL pull this massive tome out for those introductory articles on the books and on the various groupings of books in Scripture. They are worth the purchase of the entire book all by themselves.
Keep in mind that this book is HUGE. You won't want to carry it around with you, but if you keep it on your nightstand or next to the chair where you spend you quiet time in the Word...it can be a really useful addition to your home library.