There is a wide variety of biblical commentaries. Some commentaries only cover one biblical book and some cover the entire OT or NT or even the entire Bible. Some are intended for academic audiences and others for devotional use. Some commentaries are ancient writings from Augustine or reformation writings from Calvin, and others are modern and contemporary. Some are historical and others are theological. Some are dry and technical, and others read more like good literature.
For the purposes of most courses on the Bible and theological topics at Northwestern, reputable academic commentaries intended for undergraduate and thoughtful lay persons in the church are appropriate for exegetical papers or projects. Avoid using devotional commentaries, which tend not to deal with issues of interpretation. Also, while many pre-modern commentaries (such as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, et al.) are available freely online, you should prioritize contemporary academic commentaries from reputable publishers. However, such major historical figures like Augustine or Calvin are appropriate to use in context and in conversation with more contemporary scholars.
This guide introduces: