Suggested Reading

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Recommendations for Commentaries 


Order of Contents

Reading Lists
More Reading Lists
Reading Lists of Older, Well-Known Figures
Older Reading Lists
Newer Reading Lists
Libraries of Reformed Theologians
Bibliographies of Particular Authors



Reading Lists






More Reading Lists

A Seminary Reading List

by the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).  This is the best of the best of theology from the older writers.

An Advanced Library for Ministers

by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon, at A Puritan’s Mind

A Lifetime’s Reading List

Entitled Books for People of the Book, by R. Andrew Myers

Reformed Systematic Theology

by Rev. Sherman Isbell.  This top-notch ‘course of readings’ in 31 subsections covers the first third of the topics in systematic theology up through General Revelation, Scripture, Apologetics, the Attributes of God, the Trinity, Predestination, and Creation. 



Reading Lists of Older, Well-Known Figures  (chronological order)

Baxter, Richard – What Books Especially of Theology should one choose, who for want of money or time, can read but few?  from his Christian Directory (1673) Question 174, pp. 921-9

Baxter was one of the most well read (and prolific) authors of his day.  Andrew Myers has written a helpful article (9 pages) giving further background information on the (sometimes otherwise unknown) authors that Baxter lists and further of their works.  

Edwards, John – A Catalogue of Some Authors who may be Beneficial to Young Preachers and Students of Divinity  1705   7 pages

Edwards (1637-1716) was a reformed Anglican, the son of Thomas Edwards who wrote ‘Gangreana’ in the 1640’s.

Mather, Cotton –  A Catalogue of Books for a Young Student’s Library, in Manuductio Ad Ministerium: Directions for a candidate of the ministry. Wherein, first, a right foundation is laid for his future improvement; and, then, rules are offered for such a management of his academical & preparatory studies; and thereupon, for such a conduct after his appearance in the world; as may render him a skillful and useful minister of the gospel  1726, pp. 148-149

Wesley, John – A Christian Library: consisting of extracts from and abridgments of the choicest pieces of practical divinity which have been published in the English tongue, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 2930  HTML  1749

This is not a bibliography, but an anthology.  Large extracts from the best practical works from Church history are given in full, in roughly chronological order.  Here is the Table of Contents:

1 – Early Church; John Arndt, ‘True Christianity’
2 – John Fox, ‘Book of Martyrs’
3 – Fox; Samuel Clark, ‘Supplement to Fox’s Martyrology’
4 – Clark; Bishop Hall; Robert Bolton

5 – Bolton; John Preston
6 – Preston; Richard Sibbes; Thomas Goodwin
7 – Goodwin; William Dell; Thomas Manton; Isaac Ambrose
8 – Ambrose, ‘Looking unto Jesus’
9 – Ambrose; Jeremy Taylor; 
10 – Nathaniel Culverwell; John Owen
11 – Owen; John Smith
12 – Smith; Bishop Sanderson
13 – Sanderson; John Worthington; Bishop Ken
14 – Joseph Alleine; Samuel Shaw; Shorter Catechism
15 – Samuel Clark, ‘The Lives of…’
16 – Clark; Rutherford, ‘Letters’; Anthony Horneck
17 – Hugh Binning; Matthew Hale; Simon Patrick
18 – Patrick; Richard Alleine
19 – Dr. Cave; John Bunyan
20 – Cowley; Dr. Goodman; Robert Leighton; Bishop Beveridge
21 – Isaac Barrow; John Brown; Matthew Poole
22 – Richard Baxter
23 – Tract; Molinos; Henry Moore; Stephen Charnock; Dr. Calamy; Henry Scougal
24 – Dr. Annesly; Richard Lucas
25 – Edward Reynolds
26 – Dr. R. South; E. Young; Howe; Juan D’avila; Parson
27 – Tillotson; John Flavel; Henry Hammond
28 – John Howe; Phillip Henry; George Trosse; John Eliot
29 – Lives of; Joseph Alleine; August Franck
30 – Norris; Johnathan Edwards

Willison, John – Recommended Sabbath Reading, from his A Treatise Concerning the Sanctification of the Lord’s Day  d. 1750

Murphy, Thomas – Recommended for a Minister’s Library  1877  from Pastoral Theology, pp. 144-147

Murphy (1823-1900) was an Irish-American Presbyterian who died in New Jersey.  Murphy’s Pastoral Theology is a classic.  Andrew Myers, in this article, has provided links (for one’s convenience) to many of the works in Murphy’s recommended list of books.




Older Reading Lists and Bibliographies  (alphabetical order)

Bickersteth, Edward – The Christian Student: Designed to Assist Christians in General in Acquiring Religious Knowledge, With a List of Books Suitable for a Minister’s Library  1829  645 pages

Darling, James – Cyclopedia Bibliographica: A Library Manual of Theological and General Literature, vols. 1 (Subjects), 2 (A-H), 3 (I-Z)  1859

This is perhaps the most exhaustive bibliographical collection up to its day, including all of the older theological literature (reformers and puritans included).

Free Church of Scotland – Proposal for the Foundation and Formation of Libraries in the Manses of the Free Church of Scotland; With a Catalogue of Books, Revised and Recommended by William Cunningham and James Buchanan

Hurst, John Fletcher – Literature of Theology: A Classified Bibliography of Theological and General Religious Literature  1896  618 pages

Orme, William – Bibliotheca Biblica: A Select List of Books on Sacred Literature; With Notices, Biographical, Critical, and Bibliographical  1824  516 pages

This is one large annotated bibliography in alphabetical order by author.

Weidner, Revere – Letter to a Pastor who wishes to Invest $200 in books pertaining to Old Testament Study   4 pages

Weidner was a major Lutheran O.T. scholar and systematic theogian.




Newer Reading Lists

Barber, Cyril J. – The Minister’s Library  (Baker, 1974) 376 pp.

Barber was the person who headed up Klock & Klock publishing, which has reprinted some of the best Christian theological literature in modern times. 

Beeke, Joel & Randall J. Pederson – Meet the Puritans: With a Guide to Modern Reprints

Beeke, Joel – A Reader’s Guide to Reformed Literature: An Annotated Bibliography of Reformed Theology (Reformation Heritage Books, 1999)

Martin, Robert – A Guide to the Puritans (Banner of Truth, 1997)

Monergism – Reader’s Guide for the Christian Life

Duncan III, J. Ligon – ‘The Theological Student’s Books: Suggestions for Building a Core Library’, an appendix to Herman Witsius, On the Character of a True Theologian



Libraries of Reformed Theologians  (in chronological order)

The Library of Heinrich Bullinger

The Library of Michael Wigglesworth

Wigglesworth was a New England puritan, known for his poem on the Day of Judgment.

The Library of the Mather Family

The Library of Thomas Shepherd

The Library of Jonathan Edwards

Smyth, Thomas – The Beginning of the Smyth Library & The Sale of the Smyth Library  in Autobiographical Notes, Letters and Reflections, pp. 111-132 & 495-506

Smyth (1808-1873) was a southern presbyterian elder and theologian in Charleston, SC at Second Presbyterian Church, alongside James H. Thornwell, John L. Girardeau and John Adger.  He had a renowned library; one of the largest personal libraries in America at the time.

The Library of David Hay Fleming

Fleming (1849-1931) was one of the preeminent historians of the Scottish Church. 



Bibliographies of Particular Authors

Richard Muller

Bibliography of Works by Richard Muller  by R. Scott Clark 

Dr. Richard Muller is one of the world’s leading reformed historians.  The bibliograpy is chronologically arranged and is current through 2012.

Articles by Richard Muller  15 articles at Galaxie Software Electronic Publishing.

You can read these 15 articles from WTJ, JETS & TRINJ for $5 a month.

Muller’s Page  has 14 downloadable articles of his if you sign up for a free account.





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Recommendations for Commentaries