Now that I find myself the Bible professor (at least for the moment) at a new seminary that is mostly online, the question of what commentaries to use surfaces repeatedly. Online students can get any books they need in a day or two through Off Campus Library Services (which are excellent here at IWU). But many would like to know what commentaries to buy on Logos or in hard copy.
Bible teachers almost always stumble at this point. If you're Ben Witherington, you've written a commentary on everything and can just recommend your books. I used to recommend they buy David Bauer's Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry, since he catalogs everything and gives good advice. But I've heard Hendrickson won't let him revise it since they think everything's going online with such things. As much as I'd like to stick it up their nose, they're probably right.
So I was working in Colossians this morning and thought to myself, "Yes, Dunn's Colossians commentary is the one. Forget all the other mamby pambies and go buy his." Scholars will always say, buy by the author more than the series and even then the same author is usually better at some things than others. But who has the money for that?! If you want to be more scholarly, I suppose go with the Word Biblical Commentary. If you want it more for preaching, go with the NIV Application series (realizing it does lean Calvinist at points).
So here's the first of what might turn out to be eventually a list of "Schenck's Faves."
Colossians and Philemon
James D. G. Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996).
People sometimes think I'd be able to tell you right off which one I'd pick for Romans and Hebrews, but alas, I can't decide yet. Ask me to write them and I'll tell you :-)