Overview of English Unlocked Bible Commentary
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This is the overview repository for the English unfoldingWord Bible Commentary project.

See the unfoldingWord Bible Commentary Team Information for information about contributing.

See the repository for the Articles and Glossary

Biblical Books Repositories





1 John

2 John

3 John



unfoldingWord Bible Commentary (UBC)

Most languages in the developing world have very few, if any, commentaries on the Bible. Those which do tend to be aimed at a popular level and are not necessarily suitable to be used as tools for serious Bible study. Our goal is to provide a Bible commentary series which is free and open (CC BY-SA) and can be translated into any language in the world where the church desires it. With that purpose in mind, the UBC will have the following guidelines:

  • We will draw inspiration from well-respected, evangelical commentaries on the Bible which are available in English.

  • To prevent plagiarism and to encourage well-roundedness, each person writing text for the commentary will first research at least 5 commentaries (and preferably more). The Project Coordinator will provide a list of specific commentaries from which the volunteer can choose.

  • The text of the commentary will be tagged to show what level it is intended for. To be specific, we will have beginner level text which will explain the biblical text in a way understandable to as many Bible readers as possible, but will also provide intermediate and advanced notes so that churches which are interested in having those level of notes may translate them as well.

  • The text of the commentary will be tagged to indicate when it addresses issues which apply to or answer questions germane to specific beliefs (e.g., Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) and regions (e.g., secular, European, African, Asian) and ethnicities (e.g., Roma, etc.). This will make it clear for the church which part of the commentary text would be most applicable for the type of commentary they want to produce, allowing them to pick and choose what is useful for their particular context. It is expected, however, that the majority of the commentary text will be applicable to all and will not need to be tagged in this way.

  • We will seek to emphasize major evangelical doctrines as expressed in our Statement of Faith ( https://unfoldingword.org/faith/ ). Those doctrines which are secondary will be tagged according to viewpoint (e.g., Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc.). The church can then choose which notes to translate for their commentary. Again, we expect that most of the commentary text will be applicable to all and will not necessarily be tagged in this way.

  • Notes will be written in a way that can be easily understood by non-native English speakers and which will translate clearly.

  • Because the resources used in researching for the commentary will most likely not be available for reference by readers of the commentary once it is translated into other languages, we will not footnote the specific commentaries used in each section, but we will list a general bibliography for the sake of transparency and pedigree.

  • Requirements for contributors to the unfoldingWord Bible Commentary:

    Agreement with our Statement of Faith: https://unfoldingword.org/faith/

    Agreement with Translation Guidelines: https://unfoldingword.org/guidelines/

    Agreement that your work will be released under a CC BY-SA ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ ). See https://unfoldingword.org/license/

    Must be a mature Christian who is comfortable using, comparing and evaluating Bible commentaries.

  • Preferences (though not required):

    Attendance at workshop for training (5 days/1 week) how to write biblical commentary text.

    Formal theological training in Bible study and exegesis is highly recommended.

    Access to a library of 5-15 biblical commentaries to the whole NT, OT or specific NT or OT books on which the volunteer is writing.

    Familiarity with NT or OT commentaries. Good resources for this include:


Carson, D.A. New Testament Commentary Survey. 7th ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013 (or an earlier edition)

Glynn, John. Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2007

Longman, Tremper III. Old Testament Commentary Survey. 5th ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013 (or an earlier edition)

Rosscup, Jim. Commentaries for Biblical Expositors. The Woodlands, TX: Kress, 2003.

  • The Project Coordinator will provide volunteers with sample pages as examples for how the commentary should be written.

Repeated Concepts

  • For more information contact Todd Price at todd@unfoldingword.org.
  • Types of Baptism- John 1
  • Being born again- John 1
  • Jesus as both fully God and fully man- John 1
  • Son of God- John 1