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A Commentary Philosophy

July 2, 2009

I saw over at Between Two Worlds that Ligonier Ministries has put out their top 5 commentaries for every book of the Bible.

There’s a number of philosophies about how to use commentaries. Some use them to interpret the text for them since they are the “experts.” My philosophy is that we must master the text ourselves, and I think you can almost always tell when someone is regurgitating another’s information in a sermon. Having mastered the text, we then come to the commentaries to compare our conclusions with theirs just as you would talk to a friend about your thoughts on a passage if he had written a paper on the same text the week before.

If the commentaries give us our conclusions and the urgency of the main idea of the text has not grasped our hearts, we will not preach as men consumed with the revealed truth we’ve graciously discovered through study.

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