Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

21 Jul 2014

Basic Library Booklist

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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.

22 Responses

  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. M. Champ

    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.

  3. John Aloisi

    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.

  4. 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!

  5. Don Johnson

    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

    1. Don Johnson

      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

  6. Josh Peglow

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Bill Combs

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

  10. Paul

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

  11. Mike Holiday

    I found this when doing research for study Bibles and accompanying literature. We’re looking to incorporate some type of Biblical study into our homeschool this year. We’ve found a recommendation page for study Bibles for homeschools – – but I’m not sure I agree with it. Any thoughts on what type of Bible you would introduce at a HS age?