When in sermon preparation should a preacher consult commentaries?

Andrew Fuller:

“The method I pursued, was, first to read the text carefully over, and as I went on, to note down what first struck me as the meaning.  After reducing these notes into something like a scheme of the passage, I examined the best experts I could procure, and, comparing my own first thoughts with theirs, was a better able to judge of their justness.  Some of them were confirmed, some corrected, and many added to them… But to go first to expositors is to preclude the exercise of your own judgment.”



  1. Like most advice on the use of commentaries this isn’t sufficiently nuanced.
    Unless you have excellent Hebrew/Greek early use of technical commentaries will help considerably with working out the correct translation fo the words/sentences.
    Such commentaries can be consulted much earlier in the talk writing process without spoiling your own exegesis than the “printed sermon” variety of commentary – such as NIVAC, BST of Focus on the Bible.