Guidelines for Contributors


Don Carson and Tremper Longman III have set the standard in the production of commentary surveys.  In many ways we want to emulate their methodology.


Following Carson and Longman, we would like you to:

  • Order the commentaries alphabetically by author’s surname
  • Record the full title, the details of the (original) publication and the URL
  • Give a short description in 20-50 words
  • Categorise commentaries as being suitable for use by G) general readers, M) ministers or S) scholars; see below
  • Assign a star rating out of 5
  • Chose a “best commentary” for each book of the Bible for each of the three categories above, if possible

Some additional factors that need to be considered are:

  1. Readability

For many in the Majority World, English is a second language.  Overly complex English will therefore be a significant barrier to understanding.

  1. Cultural Setting

Many commentaries are written with a distinct audience in mind, one that may be far removed culturally from the intended readership of the Open Access Commentary Survey.  In order to minimise such problems, the survey does not consider devotional commentaries, but concentrates on exegetical works.

Scope of the Project

  • As said, the project is limited to exegetical commentaries.
  • As well as including (often older) commentaries on the public domain the contributors are encouraged to include (more recent) Open Access commentaries, such as those written by Bob Utley.


The division into the categories G, M and S will inevitably have a subjective element.

As a rule, a commentary will be given an S rating when it:

  • uses Hebrew and/or Greek
  • pays regular attention to textual criticism
  • interacts much with other scholars
  • in its preface/introduction claims to address scholars

A commentary will be labelled M when it includes suggestions for preaching and/or teaching.


There are a number of lists of public domain commentaries on-line.  Here are some good places to start:

If you are unsure whether a commentary is in the public domain, or find a helpful one that is not yet on-line, please contact Rob Bradshaw for advice.

September 2018

Rob Bradshaw

Pieter J. Lalleman

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