5 Stars Out Of 5
Excellent commentary . . . but buyer beware
January 24, 2014
I'm just finishing up my first volume in this set (well, not actually THIS set, but more on that in a minute) and have really gotten a lot out of it. MacArthur's approach is to quote a small number of related verses (from the NASB), after which he provides a bit of commentary on the verses as a whole, then follows that with more detailed commentary on the individual parts. For example, sometimes he focuses on a single word and discusses the meaning of the original Greek with a better (or at least alternative) explanation of what it means than what's in the NASB. That very methodical approach could get dull and repetitive in someone else's hands, but MacArthur's knowledge of the Scripture keeps it interesting. He's not as colorful or conversational as, say, J. Vernon McGee, but he's also nowhere near as "dry" as Matthew Henry.
If you're considering buying this set you're probably already familiar with MacArthur's views, but I should mention anyway that he's a Calvinist and doesn't hide his disagreement with Roman Catholic or Mormon theology, though none of these topics dominate his commentary.
Having said all that, there's one thing that would make me hesitant to recommend this set and caused me to rate it "Average" on "Meets Expectations". When I purchased it, I got the 29-volume set and assumed it covered the entire New Testament, but as I write this review the 30-volume set is now available. As it turns out, I should have paid more attention to the list in the description, because my 29-volume set doesn't include any volumes on Mark and only includes commentary for Luke 1-5 and 6-10. This newer 30-volume set also covers Luke 11-17, and I'm told by Moody that a future volume will cover 18-24, with Mark sometime after that. In other words, as much as I appreciate and can recommend the commentary, if you buy this set now you're either going to have to buy the remaining volumes separately (as I plan to) or be content with some gaps in which portions of the New Testament it covers.