Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Christianity What Is a Commentary? Definition, Types, and Uses of a Bible Commentary Share Flipboard Email Print Arthur Neaman/EyeEm/Getty Images Christianity Key Terms in Christianity Christianity Origins The Bible The New Testament The Old Testament Practical Tools for Christians Christian Life For Teens Christian Prayers Weddings Inspirational Bible Devotions Denominations of Christianity Funerals and Memorial Services Christian Holidays Christian Entertainment Catholicism Latter Day Saints View More By Mary Fairchild Christianity Expert General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry." our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Mary Fairchild Updated June 10, 2019 A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture. The earliest Bible commentaries contained narratives or historical accounts of the Scriptures. Types of Commentaries Through a personal narrative, Bible commentaries provide deeper understanding and insight into the Bible and can be used to assist both casual readers of the Bible and those who pursue serious study. Bible commentaries are typically organized passage by passage (book, chapter, and verse) through the Bible. This system of analysis is called “versification” of the biblical text. Commentaries are meant to be used alongside the Bible text to offer deeper insight, explanation, illustration, and historical background. Some commentaries also feature detailed introductions to the books of the Bible. In general, there are four types of Bible commentaries, each useful for the intended purpose to aid in the study of Scripture. Expository Expository commentaries are typically written by pastors and expository Bible teachers who teach verse by verse through the Bible. These commentaries usually include teaching notes, outlines, illustrations and practical applications of the authors' study and teaching on the books of the Bible. Example: The Bible Exposition Commentary: New Testament Exegetical Exegetical commentaries are typically written by Bible scholars and theologians. They are more technical or academic in nature, concentrating on the original languages, context or grammar of the text. These commentaries are written by some of the most knowledgeable theologians in church history. Example: Romans (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Devotional Devotional commentaries are designed to enhance the readers' personal reflection and practical application of the Bible text. They are geared for times of soul-searching and listening for the voice and heart of God through the text. Example: The 365 Day Devotional Commentary Cultural Cultural commentaries are meant to help readers gain an understanding of the cultural background of the Bible text. Example: The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament Online Resources The following websites offer a wide range of free online Bible commentaries: BibleStudyTools.comBibleGatewayBible HubBlue Letter BibleChristian Classics Ethereal LibraryStudyLight.org Most top Bible study software programs today come with a host of valuable Bible commentaries included in their resource bundles. Top Commentaries Try one of the top Bible commentators and commentaries to help answer your questions and narrow down your search for a great study resource. Pronunciation Kah-men-tair-ee An Example in a Sentence Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.