Why Pastors Need Commentaries

June 09, 2016

by Kent Hughes

Any of us that have preached understand that through the centuries there have been great preachers and great exegetes. You need to be willing to stand on the shoulders of others. When somebody says to me, “I’ve gone to seminary. All I need is my lexicon and my Greek and Hebrew Testament and I’m ready to go”—a knot goes off in my mind. The arrogance of thinking you can’t learn from others, or that others understand things that you wouldn’t even dream of, is just beyond me.

Now at the same time, I think that commentaries need to be respected and disrespected. In other words, you need to understand that your own work—thinking clearly—may be, at times, as good as the commentators. Or you may be right when the commentators are wrong.

Then you need to think about commentaries in the sense that you can have a critical commentary that is written from a particular viewpoint, which sees everything through that lens, and really nullifies all the research that is going on. You need to understand the lens that it is going through. . .

. . .continue reading on Crossway.

Kent Hughes

Dr. Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of practical theology at WTS.

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