Living Insights is Pastor Charles Swindoll’s 15-volume bible commentary series. Dr. Swindoll has been a best-selling authors for decades and Living Insights is his relatively-recent commentary project on New Testament books.
If a person likes Pastor Swindoll’s preaching, he or she will like Living Insights commentaries as well.
These books are easy to understand, filled with stories, funny, and focus on applying the text to a person’s life. Volumes incorporate the NASB and NLT English translations. They also have maps, charts, pictures, and other graphics to help visual learners.
Note: See the Bible Commentaries Comparison Chart to see how the Living Insights series compares to dozens of other commentary series.
About Charles Swindoll
Charles R. Swindoll is the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. But Chuck’s listening audience extends far beyond a local church body, as Insight for Living airs on major Christian radio markets around the world. Chuck’s extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped.
Living Insights New Testament Commentaries: Promotional Video
Volumes in the Living Insights Series
The links below go to Amazon, which sells new and used books. Also visit Christian Book Distributors’ Living Insights commentaries page to compare prices.
The style of Mark’s writing is not unlike an adventure movie: fast-paced and action-packed. The Gospel of Mark makes for stirring drama―compelling, inspirational, challenging, and sobering. While the other Gospel accounts often explain the themes and subtext of Jesus’ story, Mark tells a vivid story that shows us what’s important. Jesus is the central figure of this narrative, but Mark intended all followers of Jesus to see themselves in this story. From beginning to end, we will see the Master preparing His disciples and then propelling them forward to encounter challenges they felt ill-prepared to meet. While they rarely understood what was happening, and often lacked confidence in their decisions, they began to realize that following Jesus required neither great intelligence nor heroic bravery, but merely a willingness to do as the Son of God commanded. They learned that being a disciple is primarily a matter of faithful obedience.
Dr. Luke’s carefully researched account shows how Jesus compassionately identified with the neediness of humanity, implicitly placing its emphasis on the Messiah as Immanuel, “God with us.” His Gospel presents a messiah who is never distant or uncaring. Instead, Jesus climbs down from the heavenly realms to enter the clutter and chaos of our fallen world and to subject Himself to our faults and frailties, pains and passions, sorrows and sicknesses.
Luke describes the man Jesus and His ministry in vivid detail. Only in Luke’s account do we see the Almighty wrapped in swaddling clothes and matching wits with the greatest theological minds of His day as a boy. We see Jesus as a minister, healing the diseased in love. He presents Jesus as the perfect God-man who came to save all of humanity, Jew and Gentile alike. Luke’s history is no mere chronicle of a dead hero. This is His Story! And the story of Christ continues today―inviting you to join the narrative and to help write the conclusion.
Luke’s second volume is a book of transitions, documenting the period after the earthly ministry of Jesus, an era like no other in history, a time when God had much to say but spoke less through individual prophets and more through a growing, Spirit-filled community. Throughout this narrative, Luke shows the church challenged, the church guided by the Holy Spirit, and the church triumphant.
I would state Luke’s purpose this way: to demonstrate, from the facts of history, that the church has become God’s instrument for stewarding the new covenant, that the church is guided by His Spirit, and that nothing can prevent Christ from building His church. Acts opens with a question about the kingdom of God and Christ’s commissioning and empowering of the church, and it closes with the assurance that, even under arrest in Rome, Paul continued “preaching the kingdom of God . . . unhindered” (Acts 28:31).
Paul’s letter to the church in Rome has inspired countless believers. In it Augustine finds the seed plot of his faith; it sparks a revolution in the heart of Martin Luther, ignites the mind of Jonathan Edwards, and strangely warms the heart of John Wesley. It is Paul’s manifesto of the new kingdom, declaring our essential beliefs and establishing our agenda as Christ’s disciples. In it Paul shows that the plan of God is more than a mere fire escape through which a few find safety from the flames of eternal punishment. This grand plan is nothing less than the Creator’s intention to bring His creation back under divine dominion, to cleanse it of evil, to redeem, reclaim, and renovate the universe so that it once again fully reflects His glory. It is the gospel―good news to each individual, and the greater news of the return of God’s righteousness to its rightful place in the world.
Corinth was diverse and powerful―a city of commerce, wealth, moral decadence―and was home to a fledgling church made up of both Jewish and Greek converts. As our own culture and churches begin to look more and more like that of the disheveled, self-serving church in Corinth, Paul’s words to them take on greater import and more urgent practicality.
In 1 Corinthians Paul focuses on healthy church life. He confronts a growing number of problems dividing the church―the effects of its diverse membership, persecution, and the corrupt religious and moral culture where it ministered―and he calls believers onward in sanctification and the exercise of spiritual gifts.
2 Corinthians is Paul’s emotional response to the church’s challenges to his authority and teaching. It is a treatise on authentic ministry in all its earthiness and harsh, human realities. This vivid picture of raw but real ministry sheds a stark light on the inferior motives, methods, and messages of false ministers, ending with a plea to return to a path of purity and righteousness.
Galatians is the most personal, in-your-face, no-holds-barred writing from Paul’s passionate pen. Frankly, it reads like a declaration of war! Paul had heard that the Galatian Christians were in danger of falling away from the true gospel of grace by turning to a legalistic approach to salvation and the Christian life. Paul’s simple but profound response is this: Not only is the sinner saved by grace, but the saved sinner also lives by grace.
There was probably no place in Ephesus where a person could stand without falling under the shadow of the temple of Artemis, either physically, spiritually, or economically. From the perspective of a first-century Christian living in Ephesus, that city was a hostile environment. Paul’s letter sets out to reinforce the Ephesian believers’ doctrine and practice with a vital message: Because believers have new life through Christ, they ought to live a new life through the Spirit.
The apostle Paul, Silas, and Timothy had been forced to leave the infant church in Thessalonica after only a brief stay (Acts 17:9-10). After some time, Timothy was sent to check on the church to see how they were. When Timothy returned with good news of their faith, love, and hope, Paul and Silas sent a letter―now called 1 Thessalonians―to exhort and encourage them to continue to live sanctified lives in the present in light of their splendid past and glorious future.
Yet within weeks of writing 1 Thessalonians, something happened. Somehow, unsettling theological tremors caused cracks and fissures to begin to form in the otherwise strong doctrinal and practical foundation of their newly built church. When Paul, got word of the troubles starting to nag the believers in Thessalonica, 2 Thessalonians was written to set things straight―reminding believers to remain faithful and quelling false teaching related to the details of the end times.
Written to Jewish believers who were persecuted and tempted to leave the faith, the central theme of Hebrews is simple but powerful: Christ is superior. As the God-man, Jesus Christ is greater than all the prophets of old; he is also greater than the angels, greater than Moses and Joshua, and even greater than the Law and its priesthood. Jesus is the source of our faith, our hope, and our love.
As the author asserts: “Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. . . . Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14, 16).
The letter to the Hebrews isn’t casual bedside reading. Dense and deep, complex and compelling, profound and practical. Rich in history, vibrant in imagery, eloquent in style, the book of Hebrews has the words to refresh our minds and cleanse our souls.
James and Peter wrote their letters to believers scattered throughout the first-century Roman world. Jewish and Gentile alike, they were battered and bruised, struggling to persevere through hardship, maintain good works, promote peace in their churches, and live patiently in anticipation of the Lord’s return. James wrote to Jewish Christians struggling to walk in the way of Jesus. His letter is a strong exhortation to an authentic faith―a faith that produces genuine works. Peter’s audience too was in dire need of comfort. In his first book, Peter offers a message of hope to those living as exiles yet chosen by God. Over and over Peter reminds them of the foundation of their hope―Christ Himself. Peter’s second letter reads like a last will and testament to believers of every generation―a rapid-fire, urgent reminder warning against false doctrine and moral compromise in the last days. Together, James and Peter offer a compelling portrait of authentic faith.