Craig Blomberg and colleagues provide eleven recommendations for each NT book. What's helpful is that they use three categories: (1) detailed, critical commentaries using the Greek text; (2) more mid-level works using the English text (some with references to the Greek in footnotes); and (3) commentaries that are briefer and/or have a special focus on application. For each category they mark at least one book with an asterisk for priority acquisition.
This can feel a bit overwhelming, so my recommendation would be to start with D.A. Carson's list of "best buys." Here's my rule of thumb for NT commentary buying: if you see the names Carson, O'Brien, or Moo on the cover, it's a good buy!
But back to the Denver list. Another helpful feature is that they have broken down the non-commentary books into ten categories:
- Textual Criticism
- Historical Background (Lexical Analysis, History and Religion, Primary Source Material)
- Dictionary / Encyclopedia
- Jesus and the Gospels
As with the commentaries, they select certain books in each category as top priority for acquisition. ("Others would be good to have if and when finances allow.")
I thought it might be helpful to list below just the "top priority" volumes and provide the links to Amazon. (Remember that the full bibliography includes a number of additional books for each category.)
1. Textual CriticismA couple of notes:
Metzger, B. M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. London & N.Y.: United Bible Societies, 1994.2
Wegner, P. D. A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods and Results. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2006.
Black, D. A. It's Still Greek to Me. G.R.: Baker, 1998.
Wallace, D. B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. G.R.: Zondervan, 1996.
Carson, D. A. and D. J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament. G.R.: Zondervan, 2005.2
deSilva, D. A. An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods and Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004.
4. Historical Background
A. Lexical Analysis
Bauer, W. (Danker/Arndt/Gingrich). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. 3
Brown, C., ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 3 vols. G.R.: Zondervan, 1975-1978.
Louw, J. P. and E. A. Nida. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, 2 vols. New York: United Bible Societies, 1988.
B. History and Religion
Ferguson, E. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. G.R.: Eerdmans, 2003.3
Keener, C. S. The IVP Biblical Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.
Witherington, B., III. New Testament History: A Narrative Account. G.R.: Baker, 2001.
C. Primary Source Material
Evans, C. A. Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background Literature. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2005.
Marshall, I. H. New Testament Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004.
Thielman, F. New Testament Theology. G.R.: Zondervan, 2005.
6. Dictionary / Encyclopedia
Green, J. B., S. McKnight, and I. H. Marshall, eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992.
Hawthorne, G. F., R. P. Martin, and D. G. Reid, eds. Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.
Sakenfeld, K. D., ed. New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 6 vols. Nashville: Abingdon, 2006- . [vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4]
Dockery, D. S. and D. A. Black, eds. Interpreting the New Testament. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001.2
McKnight, S. and G. R. Osborne, eds. The Face of New Testament Studies. G.R.: Baker, 2004.
Beale, G. K. and D. A. Carson, eds., Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. G.R.: Baker, 2007.
Klein, W. W., C. L. Blomberg and R. L. Hubbard, Jr. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Nashville: Nelson, 2004.2
9. Jesus and the Gospels
Bauckham, R. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. G.R.: Eerdmans, 2006.
Blomberg, C. L. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1997.
Wright, N. T. Jesus and the Victory of God. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996.
Wright, N. T. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003.
Dunn, J. D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. G.R.: Eerdmans, 1998.
Gorman, M. J. Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters. G.R.: Eerdmans, 2004.
Polhill, J. B. Paul and His Letters. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999.
Wright, N. T. Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.
- Unless you need it right away, I'd hold off on getting Blomberg's excellent Jesus and the Gospels. The second edition is supposed to be published later this year.
- In the areas of Paul and NT Theology, I'd make Tom Schreiner's two volumes top priority: Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology and New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ.