Bible Speaks Today Commentary Series | Reviews, Theology

The Bible Speaks Today commentary series has been published by IVP Academic since 1968 when Anglican scholar and evangelical leader, John Stott (d. 2011), published the first volume, The Message to the Galatians. Since that time, Bible Speaks Today commentaries have been a favorite of pastors and laypeople because of their expositional nature (many volumes read like sermons or devotionals), their easy-to-use format, and their affordability. Theologically, the series is broadly evangelical.

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The Bible Speaks Today series is complete as of 2015, covering all 66 biblical books. Stott edited the series along with Irish biblical scholar J.A. Motyer (d. 2016). [1]

Stott explained that The Bible Speaks Today series has three purposes:

  • (1) To expound the biblical text with accuracy. The Bible Speaks Today commentaries address the text passage-by-passage, yet most sections involve discussion of individual verses and even single words when they are important to understand the meaning of the text.
  • (2) To relate it to contemporary life. Volumes in the BST series value application suggestions and devotional insights. Many writers, such as Stott, are highly quotable making volumes in this series great for preachers and Bible study leaders.
  • (3) To be readable. BST commentaries are not technical; meaning, writers seldom include in-depth discussion on the details of the original languages of Scripture. Furthermore, authors do not prioritize interacting with current biblical scholarship. [2]

Please see how the BST series compares to dozens of other commentary series on the Bible Commentaries Comparison Chart.

Bible Speaks Today: Reviews

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Stott wrote some of the most well-reviewed volumes in the series such as the Acts commentary, the Romans commentary, and the Ephesians commentary. Motyer also contributed to the series, writing the highly-praised Exodus commentary and Philippians commentary.

In 2014, during a question-and-answer on Twitter, former founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Tim Keller, said the Bible Speaks Today was one of his favorite commentaries series. [3]

The Message of Acts (link below) was recipient of the 1991 Christianity Today Readers’ Choice Award. [4]

The Message of Romans (link below) was one of Christianity Today’s 1995 Books of the Year. [5]

Bible Speaks Today Interview on Best Bible Commentaries

I am pleased to have conducted a question-and-answer on the Malachi volume in The Bible Speaks Today series with author Peter Adam. Here is a preview:

“I often assess how much God loves me by how happy I am, how well my life is going, how well my ministry is going. Many others do the same. We are on the happiness marathon, not the holiness marathon. But the convincing, eternal, and permanently powerful proof of God’s love is the death of his Son in our place, to save us from wrath and judgement. Amazing love!”

Adam’s work as been well-reviewed. In Bible Study Magazine, Jason Brueckner wrote: “Adam continually points us toward the saving work of Christ while reminding us of them. The Message of Malachi will prove a valuable resource for those who desire to preach from Malachi or simply understand it better.”

Please see the entire Peter Adam interview.

Volumes in the Bible Speaks Today Commentary Series

Links go to Amazon.

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New Testament Volumes

The Message of Matthew – Michael Green | Published: 2001

The Message of the Sermon on the Mount – John Stott | Published: 1985

The Message of Mark – Donald English | Published: 1992

The Message of Luke – Michael Wilcock | Published: 1984

The Message of John – Bruce Milne | Published: 1993

The Message of Acts – John Stott | Published: 1994

The Message of Romans – John Stott | Published: 2001

The Message of 1 Corinthians – David Prior | Published: 1985

The Message of 2 Corinthians – Paul W. Barnett | Published: 1988

The Message of Galatians – John Stott | Published: 1984

The Message of Ephesians – John Stott | Published: 1984

The Message of Philippians – J. Alec Motyer | Published: 1984

The Message of Colossians and Philemon – R.C. Lucas | Published: 1984

The Message of 1 and 2 Thessalonians – John Stott | Published: 1994

The Message of 1 Timothy and Titus – John Stott | Published: 2001

The Message of 2 Timothy – John Stott | Published: 1984

The Message of Hebrews – Raymond Brown | Published: 1984

The Message of James – J. Alec Motyer | Published: 1985

The Message of 1 Peter – Edmund P. Clowney | Published: 1989

The Message of 2 Peter and Jude – R.C. Lucas and Christopher Green | Published: 1995

The Message of John’s Letters – David Jackman | Published: 1988

The Message of Revelation – Michael Wilcock | Published: 1984

New Testament Volumes

The Message of Genesis 1–11: David J. Atkinson | Published: 1990

The Message of Genesis 12–50: Joyce G. Baldwin | Published: 1986

The Message of Exodus: J.A. Motyer | Published: 2005

The Message of Leviticus: Derek Tidball | Published: 2005

The Message of Numbers: Raymond Brown | Published: 2002

The Message of Deuteronomy: Raymond Brown | Published: 1993

The Message of Joshua – David G. Firth | Published: 2015

The Message of Judges: Grace Abounding – Michael Wilcock | Published: 1993

The Message of Ruth – David J. Atkinson | Published: 1985

The Message of Samuel – Mary J. Evans | Published: 2004

The Message of Kings – John W. Olley | Published: 2011

The Message of Chronicles – Michael Wilcock | Published: 1987

The Message of Ezra and Haggai – Robert Fyall | Published: 2010

The Message of Nehemiah – Raymond Brown | Published: 1998

The Message of Esther – David Firth | Published: 2010

The Message of Job – David J. Atkinson | Published: 1991

The Message of Psalms 1–72 – Michael Wilcock | Published: 2002

The Message of Psalms 73–150 – Michael Wilcock | Published: 2001

The Message of Proverbs – David J. Atkinson | Published: 1997

The Message of Ecclesiastes – Derek Kidner | Published: 1984

The Message of the Song of Songs – Tom Gledhill | Published: 1994

The Message of Isaiah Barry G. Webb | Published: 1997

The Message of Jeremiah Christopher J.H. Wright | Published: 2014

The Message of Lamentations Christopher J.H. Wright | Published: 2015

The Message of Ezekiel Christopher J.H. Wright | Published: 2001

The Message of DanielDale R. Davis | Published: 2013

The Message of HoseaDerek Kidner | Published: 1984

The Message of Joel, Micah and Habakkuk David Prior | Published: 1999

The Message of Amos J.A. Motyer | Published: 1984

The Message of Obadiah, Nahum and Zephaniah Gordon Bridger | Published: 2010

The Message of JonahRosemary Nixon | Published: 2003

The Message of Zechariah Barry G. Webb | Published: 2003

The Message of Malachi Peter Adam | Published: 2013


Footnotes:

  1. https://www.ivpress.com/the-bible-speaks-today-series
  2. From the “General Preface” found in any volume in the series.
  3. https://twitter.com/timkellernyc/status/493821742268551168
  4. https://www.librarything.com/bookaward/Christianity+Today+Book+Awards
  5. Ibid.