A Pastor’s Commentary on 1-2 Peter

1 Peter is my favorite book of the Bible, largely because it was a Bible study on this book by a previous pastor that made me want to become a pastor myself. So, I obtain all the commentaries on 1 Peter that I possibly can. I recently got a hold of this commentary on Peter/Jude. Every commentary that I have seen and worked with in this series has been of great benefit to preachers of the Word. So far, I have worked my way through Genesis, and am currently reading the excellent volume on Daniel. See here for my review of 1 Samuel.

David Helm is on the pastoral staff of Holy Trinity Church, a multi-congregational church in Chicago. He is also the director of Simeon Trust, an organization dedicated to helping pastors preach expository sermons with practical application.

David has written a very helpful commentary that majors on the majors. This is always a good thing in preaching. The payoff on 1 Peter is very helpful indeed, since the (in)famous passage about the spirits in prison is located in chapter 3. I appreciated his sermon on this text, as it was a refreshing approach that sought to major on the main point. There are a myriad of questions surrounding that text, of course, but David Helm concentrates on the fact that Christ is crucified, raised, and ascended, and that therefore, just as Jesus is victorious, so also should we be encouraged, knowing that we will be victorious in Christ as well. 

Helm has a helpful way of reminding readers where in the letter they are (a big picture perspective). See, for instance, the section on pp. 47-49, which details the flow of thought from the first nine verses of chapter 1 into the second major section of chapter 1. He notes the movement from the future (vv. 3-5) to the present (vv. 6-9) to the past (vv. 10-12).

Helm affirms the full plenary inspiration of Scripture in his sermon on 2 Peter 1:16-21, and offers some helpful points about the lamp shining in a dark place, as well as an explanation of how the Holy Spirit carried the authors of Scripture.

Helm does not shortchange Jude, either, with nine whole sermons on the book (80 pages). All in all, a very good preacher’s aid. It should rank with Clowney and Schreiner for practical help in preaching these books.  



  1. G.C. Berkley said,

    July 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Your review certainly makes one want to read the book. What do you think of the Pillar NT commentary on 2 Peter & Jude by Peter Davids, or Kistemaker’s commentary on Peter/Jude. I could also ask about Leighton on 1 Peter, and Manton on Jude for that matter, but maybe I would be pushing it…

    Btw, I love WTS bookstore web site you use for the links. It’s in my top 5

  2. greenbaggins said,

    July 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    So far, I have really liked Davids on 2 Peter/Jude. Kistemaker is always worth consulting. Leighton is probably the best Puritan commentary on 1 Peter, and Manton on Jude is also splendid.

  3. Matt said,

    July 3, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    When I taught thru 1 Peter this spring, Schreiner was very helpful practically, but (surprisingly) so was Paul Achtemeier’s volume in the Hermeneia series. For technical stuff, Karen Jobes in the Baker series was great too (and cheap). For comfort and humor, nothing beats Luther on 3:18-22.

  4. greenbaggins said,

    July 4, 2008 at 10:22 am

    On 1 Peter, my two favorites are Achtemeier and Jobes.

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