In 2010, I came across a gem of a book called No Condemnation in Christ Jesus by Octavius Winslow, a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon, from 19th century England.
And I wrote a little review.
And writing that review sparked a writing flame that has consumed my heart ever since. That review turned into my own attempt to writing my own expository commentary on Romans 8, which ended up being a 50,000 word treatise.
And from that treatise, comes this blog turned a series of books I like to call Theologicus.
And if I am going to write about the 8th chapter of Romans, why not Romans. And if Romans, why not the entire Bible. If if the Bible, why not the historical creeds and confessions.
All Theologicus is my attempt to show you that Jesus loves you this I know for the Bible tells me so. And this is my humble attempt to tell him how much I love him so.
What do I do with this? Growing up Evangelical megachurch and in the era of the social media influencer, I assume I had to chase down publishing deals and turn these into books.
But you know what? I see guys my own age and younger who have upteen years more experience in ministry, teaching and preaching and putting out books. And to be honest, those are not really the books I keep coming back.
I keep going back to the books written by the really old. The ones who have seen all of life and seen God and put those things together. That is the kind of books I want to write. I want to write the kind of books that I want to read. And I want to write the kind of books that have seen life and God and put that together. I want to see more of the loveliness of Christ and express that to you so that your joy may be full.
And at the moment, Theologicus is not it. Like Calvin's Institutes, it will always be a work in progress as long as Christ keeps me here.
Here just the very small list of resources on Romans that I have found most helpful.
Christian Standard Bible
Holmon Publishing. 2020.
Many times, many teachers, preachers, and small group leaders (myself included) will "cut straight to the chase" and engage the commentary instead of engaging the Word of God. Remember, the commentaries are not without error—they are the observations of the author.
Slow down, pray, read, chew and meditate.
ESV Reformation Study Bible
Commentary & Edited by R.C. Sproul.
Ligonier Ministries. March 16, 2015.
I don't have much to say except this: if I was restricted to one Study Bible, this would be the one. Even if they never make one for the CSB. That is how much I love R.C. Sproul's notes--they will always refer back to historical creeds and confessions.
ESV Study Bible
If I had to pick just one format (hardcover vs. leather vs. paperback vs. digital), I use it way more in my Olive Tree Study Bible than anything else.
Hebrew Greek Key Word Study Bible.
New American Standard Bible 1977.
AMG International. 2008.
Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible.
Life Application Study Bible.
I mention this because in my go-to mobile Bible Study App, Olive Tree, Calvin's Commentaries are my go-to Commentary text of choice when I need clarification on the go. You can get the entire digital set for your phone (and computer) for about $40 from Olive Tree! (Or catch it on sale for $20 like I did.)
No Condemnation in Christ Jesus: As Unfolded in the Eighth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans
Banner of Trust. 1991.
I love this book so much that I purchased an 1st edition 1853 print of this book.
If I had one book to gift outside the Bible, it would be this. If I had one word to describe it: fantastic.
For more of a complete review, read mine here at Goodreads.com.
Romans: An Expositional Commentary
Reformation Trust Publishing. 2019.
If I was forced at gunpoint to choose one commentary for Romans, this would be the one I would keep. Hands down. Not even a second thought. I have read this from cover to cover. Highest recommendation.
A better suggestion: stop reading my drivel and buy this book.
Seriously. Go and get this book. NOW!
The Letter to the Romans (New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT))
I only mentioned the first edition because the second edition came out in 2018 and I haven't gotten my hands on it. This is a standard, el-defacto technical commentary recommendation for Romans. It's so highly recommended across all denominations and Protestant theological convictions, it's almost a generalization. But refer to it just once and you know that it is a generalization because it is true.
New Testament Commentary: Romans: Chapters 1-16
Said it before and I will say it again: Billy H. is my boy for no other reason he tried to buck the Dispensationalism trends going on in Evangelicalism.
Craziest thing, tho. I have several others in his NT set but for some reason, I didn't have his Romans. Had to scoop this off e-Bay.
William S. Plumer.
This dude is pre-Liberalism Princeton Theological Seminary. I have not read through this but those credentials are enough to warrant a place in my library.
Romans: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary)
Holmon Reference. 1995.
Going by what other commentaries I have by Mounce, this stays in my library as well.
Romans (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT Volume 6)
Edited Gerald L. Bray.
IVP Academic. 2005.
I think this entire series is an excellent resource to have on hand if you can pony up the scratch. It's all fine and good to read guys from within the last few centuries. But how about reading commentary from within the first few centuries after the ascension of Christ. You ain't going to read anything shockingly new. But what you are going realize there is absolutely nothing new under the sun and Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Commentary on Romans
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Luther's commentary. It was his desperate mediation on one little famous Habakkukan quote that literally and figuratively hammers the change within the Church and help begun the Protestant Reformation: THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH!
David G. Peterson.
Lexham Press. 2021.