The NIV Application Commentary series has been a go-to biblical resource for pastors for since Zondervan began publishing it two decades ago. NIVAC volumes are known for being accessible and affordable, but most of all, these commentaries have a reputation for helping the reader apply the biblical text to twenty-first century life. Pastors from various denomination, and professors from diverse theological seminaries, have praised this series for being biblical, relevant, and budget-friendly.
Since the 1990’s, the NIVAC series has been producing commentaries that discuss the first century, in relation to understanding the biblical text, and the twenty-first century, in relation to applying it. It is not the intention of the publisher or the editors to produce technical volumes that dive deeply into the original languages, non-biblical literature, or latest scholarship. Authors may reference these topics, but they are not the focus of the commentaries. The NIVAC series is incomplete and volumes are still being released.
The purpose of the NIVAC series can be clearly seen in the three ways each biblical passages is discussed. First, the author writes about the “Original Meaning” of the passage, which is where exegesis occurs. Next, comes “Bridging Contexts,” in which parallels are drawn between first-century and twenty-first century living. “Contemporary Significance” is third, which is where the author suggests applications, which may include illustrations, quotations, statistics, and other aids that can assist preachers.
Robert Yarbrough’s review in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society of Gary M. Burge’s Letters of John volume in the NIVAC series can be used as a representative example of how authors use the three series-prescribed categories. Yarbrough notes that of the pages in Burge’s commentary “48% are devoted to exegesis, 14% to erecting bridges and 38% to application.” He adds, “This truly is an ‘application’ commentary compared to most, as its title promises.” 
Please see how the NIVAC series compares to dozens of other commentary series on the Bible Commentaries Comparison Chart.
Reviews and Theology of the NIV Application Commentary
Among the best-reviewed Old Testament volumes include John Walton’s Genesis commentary, Roy Gane’s Leviticus and Numbers commentary, Karen Jobes’ Esther commentary, and John Oswalt’s Isaiah commentary. Among the best-reviewed New Testament volumes include Darrell Bock’s Luke commentary, Gary Burge’s John commentary, Douglas Moo’s Romans commentary, George Guthrie’s Hebrews commentary, and Craig Keener’s Revelation commentary.
Theologically, the NIVAC series is broadly evangelical. The authors, who come from various denominational traditions, generally arrive at conservative theological conclusions. However, one particular volume came under criticism after its author was suspended by the seminary where he taught.
Peter Enns, who wrote the Exodus commentary in the series, was suspended by Westminster Seminary in 2005, after the publication of a book, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, which some argue challenges the doctrine of inerrancy.  The book was well-reviewed by notable commentators such as Tremper Longman III and Joel B. Green. It was criticized by notable commentators such as D.A. Carson and G.K. Beale.
The controversy did not directly concern the Exodus volume in the NIVAC series, which is one of the best reviewed commentaries in print today. Nevertheless, some reviewers have suggested not purchasing the volume because of the positions Enn’s takes in his other writings. 
Interviews from the NIVAC Series on Best Bible Commentaries
I am pleased to have interviewed authors from the NIVAC series on Best Bible Commentaries. Please follow the links provided below to read the Q & A’s in their entirety.
Roy Gane Q & A on Leviticus and Numbers
Preview: “The whole writing project personally edified me and drew me closer to Christ, first as I saw the loving character of God reflected in the sacrifices foreshadowing the sacrifice of Christ and in the way he reached out to his people and interacted with them as close as he could get from his sanctuary residence among them.”
Andrew E. Hill Q & A on 1-2 Chronicles
Preview: “I enjoyed writing about King David as a worshiper, and a worship leader. In part, because of the interest one of our sons has in the character of King David. I was also prompted to develop the topics by the work of former students who wrote thoughtful papers on the subject of King David and worship (appropriately credited in the commentary).”
George Guthrie Q & A on Hebrews
Preview: “As I came to the climax of the christology in Hebrews, particularly 9:11-10:18, the decisiveness of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins really impressed me and has continued to be a cornerstone of my own faith.”
Also see: Gary Burge on the Gospel of John
NIV Application Commentary Volumes
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Genesis – John H. Walton | Published: 2000
Exodus – Peter E. Enns | Published: 2000
Leviticus, Numbers – Roy Gane | Published: 2000
Deuteronomy – Daniel I. Block | Published: 2000
Joshua – Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. | Published: 2000
Judges, Ruth – K. Lawson Younger | Published: 2000
1 and 2 Samuel – Bill T. Arnold | Published: 2000
1 and 2 Kings – August H. Konkel | Published: 2000
1 and 2 Chronicles – Andrew E. Hill | Published: 2000
— Ezra (no volume yet) —
— Nehemiah (no volume yet) —
Esther – Karen H. Jobes | Published: 2000
Job – John H. Walton | Published: 2000
Psalms, Vol. I – Gerald H. Wilson | Published: 2000
Psalms, Vol. II – W. Dennis Tucker, Jr. and Jamie A. Grant | Published: 2000
Proverbs – Paul Koptak | Published: 2000
Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon – Iain Provan | Published: 2000
Isaiah – John N. Oswalt | Published: 2000
Jeremiah, Lamentations – J. Andrew Dearman | Published: 2000
Ezekiel – Iain M. Duguid | Published: 2000
Daniel – Tremper Longman III | Published: 2000
Hosea, Amos, and Micah – Gary V. Smith | Published: 2000
Joel, Obadiah, Malachi – David W. Baker | Published: 2000
Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah – James Bruckner | Published: 2000
Haggai, Zechariah – Mark J. Boda | Published: 2000
Matthew – Michael Wilkins | Published: 2004
Mark – David E. Garland | Published: 1996
Luke – Darrell L. Bock | Published: 1996
John – Gary Burge | Published: 2000
Acts – Ajith Fernando | Published: 1998
Romans – Douglas J. Moo | Published: 2000
1 Corinthians – Craig L. Blomberg | Published: 1995
2 Corinthians – Scott J. Hafemann | Published: 2000
Galatians – Scot McKnight | Published: 1995
Ephesians – Klyne Snodgrass | Published: 1996
Philippians – Frank S. Thielman | Published: 1995
Colossians, Philemon – David E. Garland | Published: 1998
1 and 2 Thessalonians – Michael W. Holmes | Published: 1998
1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus – Walter L. Liefeld | Published: 1999
Hebrews – George H. Guthrie | Published: 1998
James – David P. Nystrom | Published: 1997
1 Peter – Scot McKnight | Published: 1996
2 Peter, Jude – Douglas J. Moo | Published: 1997
The Letters of John – Gary M. Burge | Published: 1996
Revelation – Craig S. Keener | Published: 2000
- Yarbrough, Robert W. Source: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 42 no 2 Jun 1999, p 370-372 (subscription required)