Basic Library Booklist

For a number of years the Seminary faculty has produced the Basic Library Booklist. It is updated every few years, and you can find the 2014 edition here. The Booklist has been specifically designed to answer the question of which books are the best on a particular book of the Bible or theological subject. In the case of commentaries, best means those that are the most helpful in exegesis and exposition, as well as understanding the overall argument of a book. The books are listed in order of importance. The first book listed is the one that should probably be purchased first, though it is doubtful that one commentary would be sufficient for adequate sermon preparation.

Besides commentaries the Booklist also rates books in systematic theology, historical theology, and practical theology. Check out the Booklist and let us know what you think.

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20 thoughts on “Basic Library Booklist

  1. In most respects this is a great list. One suggestion: I expected to see a category for Biblical Theology, but was surprised not to find one on the Booklist. I would have included recent work in this field of study by Vos, Beale, Schreiner, Hamilton, and Wellum & Gentry, for examples.

  2. Bill Combs says:

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. P.S. I would also add the contributions of Goldsworthy and Lawrence to the field of Biblical Theology.

  4. Scott Aniol says:

    I’ve used this list with regularity for over 10 years. Thanks so much for doing it (and for updating it)!

  5. M. Champ says:

    Jenkin’s “Lost History of Christianity” was fascinating for me as I made it through 6 years of theology without being taught much of anything about 1000 years of ‘Christendom’ east of Greece. I think it’d fit well under Medieval Church History.

  6. Issa Haddad says:

    I’ve used this list and still using it. Thank you for posting this list.

  7. John Aloisi says:

    M. Champ, thanks for the suggestion. You are correct that much of the literature on church history gives too little attention to the progress and influence of Christianity in the East.

  8. David Diez says:

    Excellent list,thank you! A couple books that I want to suggest for the future are: Bruce Demarest, “The Cross and Salvation,” for Soteriology; and , Robert L. Thomas, “Understanding Spiritual Gifts,” for Spiritual Gifts.

    Thank you again for your ministry. Soli Deo Gloria!

  9. Good list. Although, I think my book ‘Creation, Fall, Restoration: A Biblical Theology of Creation’ (Mentor, 2009) covers all the material contained in works 3, 4 and 5, and in much greater depth and detail.

    Would be helpful also if you specified what theological errors are contained in the works marked with daggers.

  10. Mark Warren says:

    Bill, thanks so much for sharing and updating the list. It has been helpful to me in my pulpit ministry.

  11. Bob McCabe says:

    Thanks for pointing out the value of your work, Andrew. I have used Creation, Fall, Restoration in my Biblical Creationism class and consider it a helpful source. I did a brief review of your work here:

  12. Don Johnson says:

    I’m currently interested in Judges, in the middle of preaching through it. I wonder about picking Block as the number 1. I have been quite disappointed in him, he is very negative on almost every judge and makes a lot of conclusions based on silence. I think the NICOT edition by Webb is better and I have heard good things about Chisholm. So… maybe this isn’t the appropriate place to ask, but I am wondering why Block is #1. He does provide some exegetical help, but it is increasingly painful to read him as I work my way through the book.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  13. Josh Peglow says:

    This list is the first place I check before buying a book. I have gone through and highlighted which books I own. I wish there was some type of Mark to indicate where this list differs from the past list.

  14. Don Johnson says:

    Yes, I know Block is highly rated, I just don’t understand why. I’ve had others in the NAC series and have liked them. I just don’t get the negativity (although I know the Judges period is a bad time for Israel). Anyway, don’t want to sidetrack this discussion, I appreciate efforts like this and saved the list for future reference. I think it is good to get as much input as possible in commentary selection.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  15. J. J. Sexton says:

    I am a Pastor in Kansas with no formal education. I rely heavily upon these recommendations. I was sorry to see that Hiebert was dropped from the list for 1 and 2 Thessalonians. I am currently preaching through these books and found his commentary the most helpful. He is a solid conservative and dispensational.

  16. Luke says:

    Thanks for the list. I have been working on my theology degree on the west coast and wanted get a solid list of reference material that I could use while I am working on my degree. Thanks for this.

  17. Bill Combs says:

    Pastor Sexton,
    We have taken your advice about Hiebert. He will be no. 5 on the list in an update to be posted soon.

  18. Paul says:

    Note to other interested readers: I noticed that the booklist has been reposted with Hiebert’s volume added under the Thessalonians heading.

  19. J. J. Sexton says:

    That’s great! Praise the Lord and thank you very much for this resource and the great work DBTS is doing.