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IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword

OT: John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas , NT: Craig S. Keener
Intervarsity Press


4.5 Stars


To understand and apply the Bible well, you need an understanding of the cultural background of each passage. Only then can you grasp the author's original concerns and purposes. This unique commentary provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible--and richer--Bible study. It includes introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the Bible.

The narratives, genealogies, laws, poetry, proverbs and prophecies of the Old Testament as well as the sweeping panorama of the New Testament books are deeply rooted in history. Archaeologists, historians and social scientists have greatly advanced our knowledge of the ancient world of the Bible. When we illuminate the stories, events, and backgrounds of the Bible, these texts spring to new life.

Based on years of in-depth study, this accessible and bestselling commentary is valuable for pastors in sermon preparation, for Sunday-school and other church teachers as they build lessons, for missionaries concerned not to import their own cultural biases into the Bible, for college and seminary students in classroom assignments, and for everyday Bible readers seeking to deepen and enhance their study of Scripture.


  • provides historical, social and cultural background for every passage of the Bible
  • gathers, condenses and makes accessible an abundance of specialized knowledge
  • enriches your study, teaching and preaching
  • provides expanded explanations of significant background issues
  • offers introductory essays on each book 

John H. Walton (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. Previously he was professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Victor H. Matthews is dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs and professor of religious studies at Missouri State University (Springfield, Missouri). Mark W. Chavalas is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse. Craig S. Keener (Ph.D., Duke University) is professor of New Testament at Palmer Seminary (Wynnewood, Pennsylvania).


"The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament is a treasure of information crucial to enriching your understanding of the Bible. The authors are experts in the field of Old Testament and its ancient Near Eastern world and present the fruits of their research in an extremely accessible way to allow modern readers to bridge the horizon back to the ancient context of the Bible." —Tremper Longman III, Westmont College

"Users of Craig Keener's IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament will be delighted to have a companion volume on a period both more remote in time and exotic in cultural background. . . . This volume . . . fills a need not addressed by any other book I know. It will open the eyes of lay readers to the vast and still largely untapped resources of ancient Near Eastern archaeology and texts for the understanding of the Old Testament. I predict a warm and enthusiastic reception for the book." — Harry A. Hoffner Jr., Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

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Customer Reviews
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword
4.5 Stars
82 Reviews   Submit Your Review

5 stars
Awesome Platform (11/15/2023)
Reviewed by (Sam Adeosun, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria) - eSword Platform is an awesome place for serious minded Pastors who take Bible teaching seriously. This particular book, IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT is so rich that alleviate the pain of the cost. (I live in Nigeria). Keep it up and well done.

5 stars
Reviewed by (Glen Rampton, Quirindi, NSW, Australia) - Only purchased recently however with minimum usage so far is a wonderful asset to my preparation work.

5 stars
Reviewed by (Michael Sallu, Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) - An excellent resource for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of the Bible.

5 stars
Years of usefull info (4/18/2023)
Reviewed by (Lorna Ropbertson, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia) - Years and years of usefull information and I did not realise how good it was untill I lost it due to a new computer I bought. I have had it reinstalled as this resource has been so good that I was absolutly lost without it. Background information gives a whole new insight to the topics you are studying or preparing a presentation.

5 stars
No doctrinal slants so far (11/8/2022)
Reviewed by (Andrew Cast, Cleveland, QLD, Australia) - Really enjoyed his commentary. The information provided is very good, and it seems to my go to commentary at the moment. As one of the other reviewers said it was a very well balanced only stating non-biased interpretation that’s what I found sad far. Doesn’t seem to be any doctrine of bias just seems to state the Scriptures and the events accurately

5 stars
Reviewed by (Patrick Melton, Duncan, South Carolina, United States) - I'm very pleased with IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT because it gives me important background info about the text. I've found it extremely helpful in understanding the setting of Scripture I'm dealing with. I recommend it especially to those seriously wanting to get understanding for sermon preparation.

5 stars
New to IVP (11/8/2022)
Reviewed by (Bart Spencer, Holland, MI, US) - I am new to IVP but the first several times I've employed it in my studies and sermon prep it has proved very helpful in adding substance. The additional historical data has given me a different perspective from which to consider the text. For instance the background information on Ahasuerus in Esther 1 helped me see him in a why I would not were I only to have held solely to the biographical data in Esther.

5 stars
Another Very Helpful Study Commentary (3/24/2022)
Reviewed by (Robert Krickbaum, Alto, New Mexico, USA) - I was not really sure what to expect from this Commentary. It is now one of the first Commentaries I read, simply because it provides a good background to the Scripture I am studying. I highly recommend it in your digital bookshelf.

5 stars
Mind opening into the times of that day (1/3/2022)
Reviewed by (Robert Laws, Dallas, TX, United States) - The book comments provide a richness into the times of the day of the individual books as well as view of what each individual book is meant to convey. This insight provided is a most valuable tool in Bible study. Well worth the investment.

4 stars
Good Info (1/3/2022)
Reviewed by (Bill R Elam, Leesburg, Alabama, United States) - Accurate background info is always a plus when rightly dividing the Word of Truth and discerning God's will.

5 stars
Excellent (1/3/2022)
Reviewed by (Harold Bradford, South San Francisco, CA, USA) - Outstanding product

5 stars
Great! (1/3/2022)
Reviewed by (Robert Salsbury, Fairview, MI, US) - Helps in my understanding the Scriptures.

5 stars
Great Resource! (3/28/2021)
Reviewed by (Ervin Alexander, Orlando, Florida, US) - I have been searching for a long time to have a resource that not only helps me understand the word of God better but how to also applies it. Well, I have to look no more! It has excellent outlines that give a good framework for processing each book of the bible. Commentary from good heavy hitters of the faith. Nothing boring about this resource.

2 stars
Disappointed (3/18/2021)
Reviewed by (John Brennan, Barrie, ON, Canada) - Upon reading the reviews I was excited to get another book with Bible background information. I already have Bible Manners and Customs by Vos which I really like as well as much good background information from my Bible Atlas's. The IVP Background Commentary I found not very good as a commentary nor very good for background information, there are much better and more scholarly commentaries and background books to be had. I find that a way too much interpretation is based on what other cultures did basically insinuating the Israelites just followed other cultures (of course sometimes this could be true) but not to the extent these authors suggest and their commentary weigh too heavily on this premise as well.Now to be fair there are some helpful insights but as stated before there are much better commentaries and books on cultural background. I wouldn't waste my money on this selection again.

5 stars
Another tool in my Bible toolbox (11/11/2020)
Reviewed by (Daniel Juroff, Waukegan, Illinois, US) - A very useful addition to my growing Bible resource toolbox. I like having a variety of tools available, and IVP Bible Background Commentary lends a new perspective to the mix. Knowing historical and cultural contexts to scripture helps foster a better understanding of the nuances of Biblical references. As usual, I take advantage of eStudySource's frequent discount offers, making this a real bargain, as well.

5 stars
Highly Recommended (11/11/2020)
Reviewed by (Blasio Gonsalves, Hounslow, London, United Kingdom) - Highly Recommended! For any further Bible studies in minute details I personally go to this background commentary and get educated myself and others.

4 stars
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword (10/22/2020)
Reviewed by (Lester Sellers, Grand Bay, AL, US) -

I still think that the software is very valuable and useful. I PURCHASED Biblesoft program on 5 1/4 floppies and then every time an upgrade, from the floppies to version 5 on CD's and paid many HUNDREDS of dollars. E-Sword is my preferred program and I don't use Biblesoft now. THANK YOU
C0016 is useful but not 100% since I have done extensive study relative to Biblical history. It is useful because the information is all in one place and quickly accessible.

5 stars
Excellent study tool (10/22/2020)
Reviewed by (John Diller, Hartville, OH, United States) - Great tool to assist in study of scripture. This study tool helps with the foundational principle of what did the original writer say and what did the original reader understand.

5 stars
Long-time Fan (5/14/2020)
Reviewed by (Kelly McClelland, Orlando, United States, US) - I was an early purchaser of the NT book when it came out. I used it often in my lesson preparation as a Bible College and Seminary teacher and student. I often seek historical context for a passage or theme using the NT book. Now I have it more readily available in the e-Sword version and I am thrilled. I share my study methods with a large adult SS class now and use it in my coaching ministry to missionaries and other ministers. Highly recommend it for brief and to the point insight in the background of scripture passages and how it expands one's understanding!

5 stars
Good Source (11/24/2019)
Reviewed by (Scott Cawthon, Monroe, WA, US) - Excellent source material

2 stars
Not what I expected. (7/27/2019)
Reviewed by (Kenneth Zdrodowski, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US) - I think they try to avoid key issues that may seem contradictory. mostly New Testament.

5 stars
Great Resource (7/27/2019)
Reviewed by (Maureen Le Roux, Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa) - Great resource to help with Bible study and preparing sermons!

5 stars
Excellent purchase (6/3/2018)
Reviewed by (John Pickbourne, Swinton, Lancashire, United Kingdom) - Clear concise commentary giving ample background information on the Biblical text.

5 stars
IVP Background Commentary OT (6/3/2018)
Reviewed by (Enoch Oakes, Redcar, CLEVELAND, United Kingdom) - Only had it a couple of weeks so a bit early to give any great judgement, but what is particularly good is that the comments "line-up" exactly with the verse - very useful background comments. Thanks to the authors.

5 stars
Very good sorce (4/16/2018)
Reviewed by (Chan Smith, bedford, ky, US) - Very good source of information. I love this commentary and I have wanted it for awhile now. I am very glad I got it.

5 stars
Excellent resource (4/16/2018)
Reviewed by (Chuck Moore, Minden, Nevada, United States) - I use my IVP Bible background daily and it's terrific! The insight it lends to the Biblical text is worthwhile and enlightening. It really helps you understand the text at a deeper level.

5 stars
Great and unique resource (12/15/2017)
Reviewed by (David Boud, Folsom, CA, US) - This commentary gives a lot of insight into the customs and culture of the period you're reading about. I'd never known that the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim (See John 4:20) had been destroyed by a Jewish king due to the Jewish contempt for the Samaritans and the differences in the way they worshiped God. As you go along you will discover a lot of similar tidbits as well as explanatory commentary on the text as seen in a standard commentary. I highly recommend the IVP for both old and new testaments. David

5 stars
IVP Bible Commentary Review (7/1/2017)
Reviewed by (Karen Brocco-Kish, Medina, OH, United States) - Excellent commentary. I am more able to visualize life in Bible times

3 stars
Reviewed by (Richard Shade, Erie, PA, USA) - The Old Testament background seems much more in depth than the NT. I study the Bible from a Hebraic perspective. The NT seems more based on Christian doctrine rather than on actual Hebraic background.

5 stars
Very helpful (7/1/2017)
Reviewed by (Greg Barron, Portland, Tennessee, US) - I'm really enjoying the new IVP Bible background tool. It provides me with information pertinent information that other commentaries don't have. Thank you!

4 stars
Very Helpful (7/1/2017)
Reviewed by (C Emerson, Auckland, n.a., New Zealand) - The IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT set is very helpful in trying to put you into the context of the scripture and to get at the reason why the original author wrote what he said for the original audience. This speaks greatly to the meaning and intent of the passage that then allows us to make application for today that's consistent with the original meaning. I did need to get used to the display difference, but I think that was adjusting to iPad APP verses a computer screen display. It's not just aided my understanding of scripture but been a tool to help the students in the campus ministry glean from scripture too.

5 stars
Mike (7/1/2017)
Reviewed by (Mike Lathim, Redmond, WA, United States) - The is a wonderful source for research and study of the bible. Leading a men's bible study this is a great way to get a different view point on the passage I am covering.

3 stars
the Bad and the Good (2/9/2017)
Reviewed by (Gary P, Arvada, CO, US) - While I enjoy the IVP Bible Background commentary so far, I am better understanding a common complaint that the OT commentators spend too much time on the customs and religions of other Middle Eastern nations, showing the similarities and possibly implying a derivation from them. Isaiah 9, especially verses 6 & 7, are grievously deficient, lacking any commentary on the names of the child or the relationships and promises that are contained in these names. In Genesis and other books also seem to focus more on archeology and anthropology than a theological or applicational look at the verses upon which they comment. The NT, written by a different author uses a more standard approach in how he ties all the information into the verse under consideration. Occasionally, I have found the OT commentary to be useful, see Ruth 3 as an example (kinsman redeemer). I have noticed that the general tenor of the commentary at the beginning of a chapter will let me know what to expect for the rest of the chapter; this often allows me to skim for useful bits of information.

3 stars
OT nay - NT yea (2/9/2017)
Reviewed by (Gary Pachal, Arvada, CO, US) - While I have enjoyed the IVP Bible Background commentary so far, I better understand a common complaint of the OT portion. Often the OT commentators spend too much time on the customs of the other Middle Eastern nations, showing the similarities of customs, possibly implying a derivation from them without an iota of actual comment on the text of the verse. Isaiah 9:6 & 7 are grievously deficient, lacking any commentary on the names of the Messiah or the relationships that are contained in these names or what they mean to believers. Genesis 1 and others also focus more on archeology and anthropology than an applicational / theological look at the verses upon which they comment. It feels more like a Reader's Digest version of a bible dictionary than a commentary. The NT, written by a completely different author, approaches the NT as a biblical / theological commentator, not a dictionary writer. I appreciate how he ties many strands of information all into the verse under consideration. The OT is useful in some situations, see Ruth 3 as an example; however, I have learned to skim past the "fat" to get at the "meat" of the text.

4 stars
Good cultural information (12/23/2016)
Reviewed by (Robert Greene, Hanover, PA, US) - Good hermeneutics includes looking at the culture, the customary beliefs, social norms, or the way of life of a particular people at a particular time. The IVP does a good job of giving you insight into the culture of the passages. Understanding the author and the original audience a must for any study. You will find good use from this commentary.

5 stars
Comprehensive Resource (8/7/2016)
Reviewed by (James Fowlkes, Austin, TX TEXAS, US) - This is a very useful resource which is most helpful in clarifying the Bible. Makes the Bible come alive in many ways. I heartily recommend it.

5 stars
Very helpful (9/2/2015)
Reviewed by (Del Gibbons, Chateauguay, QC, Canada) - In the past several weeks since purchasing the IVP background commentary I've used it regularly and found it very helpful.

4 stars
Ease of Use (9/2/2015)
Reviewed by (Machimane Sipho Steyn, Malelane, Mpumalanga, South Africa) - e-Sword has made a huge difference in both my ministry and my life in that it is an ALL IN ONE. Instead of having a number of books on your desk in order to prepare for a sermon or for Bible study pursposes, you have all the resources right in front of you (at the click of a button). The many Bible versions, commentaries and dictionaries also make understanding scripture much easier.

5 stars
Useful and comprehensive (9/2/2015)
Reviewed by (John Barrs, Liss, Hampshire, UK) - e-sword is the most comprehensive bible resource I know that is extremely easy to use. There are other products which have similar capabilities but - for me - they are not as easy to use. And of course, much of e-sword is free. I use it regularly and extensively for research when preparing sermons, services and papers. I particularly like the ease of switching between versions - Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English - especially the search facility in one bible to transfer to another and the floating cross references from the commentary window. As a translator tool it is superb and then the ability to see what different comentators have said is invaluable to check my understandings

4 stars
Reviewed by (James McArthur, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada) - Found these to be very unique and helpful for more obscure details.

5 stars
Great treasure to have (6/2/2015)
Reviewed by (Ram Vandereay, Handan, Hebei, China) - This is an amazing product... I love the insights. I live in China where the availability of products for one to study the word of God is VERY limited, as always I find the sources for e-sword to be of the greatest importance. If you're reading this comment please think about how fortunate you may be to live in a country where you can access the word of God without restrictions.

2 stars
Ivp background (1/21/2015)
Reviewed by (Jordan Emerson, Littleton, Colorado, US) - This is an ok commentary it is on the light side as far as information goes but it is helpful in I look forward to useing it more. Thank you Esword for all the great products!

4 stars
Excellent background source for Bible study (1/6/2015)
Reviewed by (Tim McGrath, Fremont, CA, US) - This commentary gives concise book introductions. IT also only gives hIstorical background information. This is very valuable for the student who wants to make his own interpretation first based on the text.

4 stars
Knowledge at a cursor tip (10/29/2014)
Reviewed by (Patsy Lindo, CHELMSFORD, Essex, United Kingdom) - This resource is an amazing and priceless tool which saves me much time and effort. No need to find a library or a book store. From the comfort of my desktop, within minutes, I have access to more information than I would normally be able to find inside a month. This has made my study more meaningful and will increase the potential to gain increased knowledge and understanding. Patsy

5 stars
Excellent (7/31/2014)
Reviewed by (Kevin White, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) - This is one of the most comprehensive, easy to read volumes I have encountered. Well worth having it in your library

5 stars
A great help in my studies (7/31/2014)
Reviewed by (David Mash, Spalding, Lincolnshire, England) - I have studied the Bible for approaching 70 years and have proved that it is trustworthy and reliable.It is of course more than that because it is the Word of God and therefore infallible.I know that I cannot expect that standard of a commentary but I do expect it to be trustworthy and reliable. This it what I find in the " IVP Bible Backround Commentary OT & NT " its contributors are among the best you will find and I reccommend it as a help to all Bible students.

5 stars
Reviewed by (Ezekiel Odeyemi, Redemption Camp, N/A, Nigeria) - I've used the NT hard copy for many years and I can recommend these products to pastors and students of the Bible. The commentaries are more comprehensive in approach than most others.

5 stars
Excellent Commentary (7/31/2014)
Reviewed by (Enoch Daniell, Fayetteville, GA, US) - I have thee different commentaries. I like this best because it is very detailed, provides some history of the current verses and most important it is by three individuals.

4 stars
Outstanding (4/15/2014)
Reviewed by (Mike G, SW, MI, US) - Very useful commentary. I don't ALWAYS agree with it, but it is a literal gold mine of cultural information that helps me understand better what the Bible would have meant to the original hearers. Highly recommended.

5 stars
Great up to date resource! (11/30/2013)
Reviewed by (Ken Brown, Summerville, SC, ) - Outstanding scholarship. Helps you read the bible in context.

5 stars
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword (11/30/2013)
Reviewed by (Richard Parker, Tellico Plains, Tennessee, US) -

I have used e-sword since it inception, several years ago now. It is a premier bible study / sermon prep program and is very user friendly. With the addition of eStudySource resources it has expanded my research capabilities exponentially. If you are a preacher, pastor or bible study teacher and do not have this resource or have not expanded basic e-sword you would be well served in doing so. The IVP Bible Background Commentary is is a must if you preach expository sermons. It is a great resource for cultural, historical analysis of a text.

5 stars
Great background tool (11/30/2013)
Reviewed by (Kristen Namminga, Rangely, Colorado, US) - This is a great background tool. I have the hard copies of this but it's so nice here to have it in digital form as well.

5 stars
ivp (10/1/2013)
Reviewed by (pete ryan, perth, wa, Australia) - Fantastic Commentary. It has a non religious/denomination view which all commentaries should be. The information opens up the near east in the time of the bible so well. A must for all who really want to study the bible.

5 stars
Great Commentaries (7/25/2013)
Reviewed by (Enoch Daniell, Fayetteville, GA, US) - These parallel commentaries are some of the best I have been able to find. They are great, augment verses and have aided my understanding of scripture and also provides useful information of places and cultures of the Bibical times.

5 stars
Very helpful (7/25/2013)
Reviewed by (Tom Lawrence, Moultrie, GA, US) - The Background Commentary gives insight into your understanding of the culture and history that helps bring clarity to the passage of scripture.

4 stars
Bible Background Commentary (7/25/2013)
Reviewed by (Gerald Gibson, Fairview, TN, US) - I purchased the IVP Bible Background Commentary a few weeks ago. As with all e-sword products I have, it has been a great help in understanding the times in which Christ lived. Also, e-sword as a whole has helped me to understand the meaning of many Bible passages and in preparing adult Sunday school lessons. I tell everyone I come into contact with about e-sword and give them the CD always requesting that they give it back after they have loaded it on their computer so that I can give it to others. Thank you, Rick, for putting together such a wonderful tool to spread the message of our LORD and SAVIOR Jesus Christ.

5 stars
Practical Application (7/25/2013)
Reviewed by (Clyde Bartlett, Mount Olivet, Kentucky, US) - I teach a bible study in a home group setting. Without formal bible training it is necessary to use several commentaries to help understand a particular a passage. The IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword has been a tremendous blessing because it adds real life settings and real life people to each verse that we can apply to our daily living. It helps us to see the scriptures not just as historical fact but truth to be lived. Thank the Lord for people like these authors who devote so much time and effort to help give insight out of His Word to the rest of us and for e-Sword for bringing to us.

5 stars
Reviewed by (Charles Rambeau, Dunn, NC, US) - When I was in Divinity School, I used this commentary in developing sermons and Bible studies. I wanted a copy of it electronically because it provides good background on scripture and will help in my pastoral duties.

5 stars
An appealing easy to use help (4/2/2013)
Reviewed by (Fraser Turner, Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland, UK) - The IVP "Bible Background Commentary," is an appealing and easy useful help for any student of the Word. In some cases it provided information that is not available in some commentaries. I consider this to be an invaluable aid to study, therefore, I have no hesitation in recommending the IVP "Bible Background Commentary."

4 stars
Great Resource (4/2/2013)
Reviewed by (Jim Walker, Alcolu, SC, US) - Another excellent resource for Bible study

5 stars
Great product! (10/28/2012)
Reviewed by (Milt Rodriguez, GAINESVILLE, Georgia, United States) - great product and delivery!

4 stars
Reviewed by (David Stone, Brownsville, OR, US) - Bible background helps to bring better understanding to the Word of God. To learn the way of life for early Israel and the middle east country makes the Bible come to life more.

4 stars
Good Resource! (5/14/2012)
Reviewed by (Filipe Teixeira, Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal) - Good Resource!

5 stars
Excellent (2/15/2012)
Reviewed by (E Strydom, Kranspoort, Mpumalanga, South Africa) - Well Researched and highly recommended.

5 stars
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword PC (12/31/2011)
Reviewed by (Stephen Bowman, Waterford, CA, US) - Very Good

5 stars
Why did I wait so long (12/29/2011)
Reviewed by (Osmer Harris, Azusa, California, US) - I bought this because it was on sale, and I really wanted an electronic version of my hardbacks as I spend most of my available time on the computer. I have been referencing the commentaries extensively since installing them and find them a great help in understanding. They are modern in terminology and easy to understand. I think this was something that I should have invested in long ago.

5 stars
IVPBBC (12/29/2011)
Reviewed by (Patrick Melton, Yamagata City, Gifu Ken 501-2101, Japan) -

As a foreign missionary serving in Japan for over 35 years I've found eStudySource.com one of the best Bible study source helps I have.
I've gotten a lot of background help from IVPBBC. So far I've found it favorable correct on fundamental issues. I highly recommend this source for serious students of the Word of God.

5 stars
Tried & True (12/29/2011)
Reviewed by (Danny Avery, Bridge City, TX, US) -

IVP Bible Background Commentary has been an amazing help to me in my bible study and understanding what's behind the verses on the page. I was introduced to it while with the Navigators and once I saw that it was available for e-Sword through eStudySource I had to get it. I am usually leary of commentaries, but IVP is spot on. It is very well laid out and easy to use as well. Thank you for this amazing tool for a closer walk with the Lord & deeper understanding of His heart. Blessings!

5 stars
On the short list (12/14/2011)
Reviewed by (Kip Havard, Lufkin, TX, US) - This is on my short list of "must have" resources. There simply isn't any other resource like this. If you want to understand the background of each scripture, then this is for you.

5 stars
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT Set for e-Sword PC (12/6/2011)
Reviewed by (Janet Ellen Shen, Yishun South, nil, Singapore) -

I am into Hebraic Torah studies, and this commentary has good insight into Historical backgrounds about Ancient civilization beliefs and practices. Many of which I do not find it in other commentaries.

5 stars
Super (11/10/2011)
Reviewed by (Vladimir Majersky, Backi Petrovac, Vojvodina, Serbia) - I use eSword long time. It has been a great help for my Bible study preparing sermons on a different topics. It is a great advantage to have the whole library in lap top and carry everywhere with me. It is great to have Bible translations even in many languages and be able to compare and use the best meaning. E-Sword is a great tool for me and my ministry. Vladimir

5 stars
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & (11/10/2011)
Reviewed by (Monica Bessinger, Ashburton, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa) - Having access to the quality of commentaries made available at a reasonable price, making the Word that much more real is wonderful. Thank you, it is an amazing tool I recommend it to all my friends.

5 stars
Should have done this earlier! (10/5/2011)
Reviewed by (Florence Jee, Alexandria, Virginia, US) - I am a seminarian and constantly in need of resources for my research and studies. The frustration is when you need something, the library is closed! Another frustration is, you borrowed tons of books (yes, and carrying them back to dormitory) and discover they are not as what you expected. E-sword provides such good resources and they are SO EASY to install (oh yes, FREE), VERY EFFICIENT, responds to you IMMEDIATELY (no exaggeration)to your questions. In a few seconds, I installed what I purchased! Bravo, E-Swrod! IVP Bible Background Commentary is what I needed for my studies and future ministry. Installing this e-book, I do not have to carry all these books when I travel around different places. Furthermore, this commentary is so helpful and serves your needs. I always enjoyed the 'hard copies', now I have my own e-copy! And,I got it during promotion! Yeah!

5 stars
Reviewed by (Michael M, Lenexa, KS, US) - Excellent commentary. I use this extensively in sermon prep.

5 stars
Bible Background Commentary (9/21/2011)
Reviewed by (Bill Boyd, St. John, Indiana, United States) -

Because of a construction accident I am not able to handle {physical} books and commentaries to study God's Word.  The new e-Sword has made my Bible studies a lot simpler for me to use and it is a sheer delight.  I have purchased all of their commentaries and I do not understand how anyone can study the Bible without these tools.  I write Sunday school lessons, Bible studies, and sermon messages to be a help to pastors and churches.

5 stars
Turn the other cheek????? (9/21/2011)
Reviewed by (William Hart, Arlington, TX, United States) - Momma never taught me to turn the other cheek. What's the meaning of Jesus' instruction? His audience surely knew. To us it's "servant leadership" or "time to go up the downstair case". But his audience wouldn't know what this mondern expression means. This commentary is the best e-sword module for cultural context. I syncs nicely (like a commentary as opposed to a Topic Note)and gets to the point quickly. I became an immediate favorite of mine.

5 stars
Must have tool. (8/18/2011)
Reviewed by (Ken Pierce, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) -

This is a must have tool for anyone doing sermon prep or teaching a class. Minutes, sometimes hours are wasted trying to find relevant and interesting background information on a passage. The IVP Background Commentary gives you that time back by having already done the research.

5 stars
Love it (7/28/2011)
Reviewed by (Brent B, West Lafayette, IN, US) -

I LOVE this resource. I've used it before in book form, but I decided to grab the one for e-Sword since it's cheaper and more convenient. It really helps to paint a background of those passages in the Bible that don't seem to click...getting the cultural side of things really helps to understand why people reacted to certain things the way they did.

5 stars
Works Well and Insightful (7/28/2011)
Reviewed by (Dennis Steinmetz, Punta Gorda, Toledo, Belize) -

IVP Bible background works seamlessly with e-Sword and gives me additional understanding into the various Scriptures that I study greatly enhancing my teaching. Certainly a bargain at its current price.

5 stars
Critical Resource (6/8/2011)
Reviewed by (Les Brown, Norco, CA, USA) -

This is the first commentary I look to as I read passages from God's Word. I had already owned the physical copy and purchased the e-sword version so it would sync with whatever I'm studying. It is a brief, but helpful tool in an effective hermeneutic.

4 stars
Great Resource (5/24/2011)
Reviewed by (Cindy Skillman, Rapid City, SD, USA) -

I purchased the New Testament volume of this resource in print before it became available on E-Sword. I was able to give it to a sister who prefers her resources in hard copy. The E-Sword module is so much easier for me to use. I love it. I do wish it had been more specifically attached to the particular verses to which the commentary speaks -- that is, in many cases, the commentary will show up as a large section with individual verses labeled so that you have to scroll down to find the remarks on the verse you want -- but this is a minor issue. The reason I give four stars rather than five is that the information is not as comprehensive as I had hoped. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful resource and goes beyond what I already had available. And of course, it's not always easy or possible to link all sociological commentary to a particular passage or verse, or desirable to included it more than once. A cross reference system would be helpful, but again, a tremendous amount of work, and would doubtless have necessitated a significantly higher price. Overall, I'm glad to have purchased this module and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks for making it available.

4 stars
A Great Tool!! (3/24/2011)
Reviewed by (Michael Scribner, Biddeford, ME, USA) -

I found the Background Bible Commentary to be quite interesting. There seems to be a great deal of historical information included in every chapter that I reviewed I found facts that I had never heard before. It offers great insight into the culture of the time of the writing of the books of the Bible that lend insight into how to understand the structure of the verses and their wordings.
The bible is what you might call a multilevel writing. There are physical fulfillments and spritual fulfillments of prophecies, many times there are dual fulfillments of prophecies. This tool's greatest benefit, as the title suggests is it's ability to add greater insight into the historical facts about the bible, it's writers and world conditions at the time of the writings.
Four stars for a great bible history tool!

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