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
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
- 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
Must be a mature Christian who is comfortable using, comparing and evaluating
Preferences (though not required):
Attendance at workshop for training (5 days/1 week) how to write biblical
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,
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:
- The Project Coordinator will provide volunteers with sample pages as examples for how
the commentary should be written.
- For more information contact Todd Price at firstname.lastname@example.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