New American Commentary (NAC)

The New American Commentary series has been printed by the B&H Publishing Group since the early 1990’s. NAC commentaries have been well-reviewed for their accessibility and conservative biblical theology. They are known for being helpful to pastors and Bible teachers. [1] The authors of the NAC series are mostly conservative Baptists and many are associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

new american commentary
Old Testament volumes have a blue cover design

The New American Commentary series has its roots in the mid-19th century Broadman Bible Commentary series. The Broadman series was not well-reviewed within its denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, as some authors offered liberal theological interpretations of the text and others came to critical conclusions. [2]

The Broadman series was not well-reviewed outside the Southern Baptist Convention either. Author and theologian D.A. Carson has called it “not particularly insightful, frequently bland, sometimes speculative.” [3] 

In 1987 Broadman Press announced a new commentary series “that would evidence a commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and a faithfulness to the classic Christian tradition.” [4] In 1991 the Mark commentary by James Brooks, and the Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon commentary by Richard Melick, were the first volumes published. Commentaries continued to appear until 2014 when the 1 Corinthians volume by Mark Taylor was published. Baptist professor and theologian, E. Ray Clendenen has been the General Editor of the series since 1992.

NAC volumes are not considered technical in nature, so readers without training in the original biblical languages can thoroughly utilize these commentaries. However, the authors’ exegesis and theology are based on the original languages, so there are in-depth explanations about certain words and phrases as it relates to understanding the meaning of each passage. The English translation provided in NAC volumes comes from the NIV, yet authors sometimes suggest alternative translations as the text is explained.

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

Reviews of the New American Commentary Series

Many individual volumes in the NAC series are considered among the top commentaries for their subject area as rated by biblical scholars and theological journals.

Among Old Testament volumes, Kenneth Mathew’s Genesis commentary has been widely praised since its release in 1996 (Volume I: Gen. 1:1-11:26) and 2005 (Volume II: Gen. 11:27-50:26), as has Douglas Stuart’s Exodus commentary, published in 2006.

With regard to New Testament volumes, Craig Blomberg’s Matthew commentary is considered among the best, and so too is David Garland’s 2 Corinthians commentary.

Interviews from the NAC Series on Best Bible Commentaries

new american commentary series
New Testament volumes have a red/maroon cover design

I am pleased to have conducted question-and-answer interviews with authors from the NAC series. Previews of the interviews are pasted below. Please click the link to read the Q & A’s in their entirety:

Craig Blomberg on his Matthew commentary:

“Authors were encouraged to end sections of commentary with brief applicational insights, and preachers or writers ought not try to apply the biblical texts to others until they have applied them to themselves first. I suppose the Sermon on the Mount is perennially the most challenging, convicting, and edifying part of this Gospel for many people, and wrestling with the many different approaches to the Sermon down through history enabled me both to solidify my views of Jesus and social ethics and confirm several of our family’s ministry commitments as a result.”

David Allen on his Hebrews commentary:

“Life’s problems can only be met and solved by clear thinking about Christ’s High Priesthood and finished work of atonement, which is the doctrinal heart of the letter. My spiritual progress in my Christian life is grounded in my understanding of the person and work of Christ. Christ is my anchor of hope and guarantees the certainty of my eternal destiny amidst life’s currents of circumstances that crisscross one another in endless complications. Jesus Christ: the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8.”

Old Testament Volumes in the New American Commentary Series

Links go to Amazon.

Genesis 1–11:26 and Genesis 11:27-50:26 – Kenneth A. Matthews | Published: 1996 and 2005

Exodus – Douglas K. Stuart | Published: 2006

Leviticus – Mark F. Rooker | Published: 2000

Numbers – R. Dennis Cole | Published: 2000

Deuteronomy  Eugene H. Merrill | Published: 1994

Joshua – David Howard Jr. | Published: 1998

Judges, Ruth – Daniel Block | Published: 1998

1st and 2nd Samuel – Robert D. Bergen | Published: 1996

1st and 2nd Kings – Paul R. House | Published: 1998

1st and 2nd Chronicles – J. A. Thompson | Published: 1994

Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther – Mervin Breneman | Published: 1993

Job – Robert Alden | Published: 1993

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Song – Duane Garrett | Published: 1993

Isaiah 1–39 and Isaiah 40-66 – Gary V. Smith | Published: 2007 and 2009

Jeremiah and Lamentations – F. B. Huey | Published: 1993

Ezekiel – Lamar Eugene Cooper | Published: 1994

Daniel – Stephen R. Miller | Published: 1994

Hosea and Joel – Duane Garrett | Published: 1996

Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah – Billy K. Smith and Frank S. Page | Published: 1995

Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah – Kenneth L. Barker and Waylon Bailey | Published: 1997

Haggai and Malachi – Richard A. Taylor and E. Ray Clendenen | Published: 2004

Zechariah – George Klein | Published: 2007

New Testament Volumes in the New American Commentary Series

Matthew – Craig L. Blomberg | Published: 2001

Mark – James Brooks | Published: 1991

Luke – Robert H. Stein | Published: 1993

John 1–11 and John 12-21 – Gerald L. Borchert | Published: 1996 and 2002

Acts – John B. Polhill | Published: 1992

Romans – Robert Mounce | Published: 1994

1 Corinthians – Mark Taylor | Published: 2014

2 Corinthians – David Garland | Published: 1999

Galatians – Timothy George | Published: 1994

Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon – Richard Melick | Published: 1991

1st and 2nd Thessalonians – D. Michael Martin | Published: 1995

1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus – Thomas Lea and Hayne Griffin | Published: 1992

Hebrews – David L. Allen | Published: 2010

James – Kurt Richardson | Published: 1997

1 and 2 Peter and Jude – Thomas R. Schreiner | Published: 2003

1, 2, 3 John Daniel L. Akin | Published: 2001

Revelation – Paige Patterson | Published: 2012


Footnotes:

  1. https://voice.dts.edu/review/revelation-new-american-commentary-patterson/
  2. http://equip.sbts.edu/publications/towers/towers-issue/2016/june-july-2016/broadman-bible-commentary-controversy-genesis-conservative-resurgence/
  3. D.A. Carson. The New Testament Commentary, Fourth Edition. IVP Press, 1993. P. 19
  4. From the “Editor’s Preface” found in any volume in the NAC series.