Matthew Montonini who blogs at New Testament Perspectives did a three part interview with J. Ramsey Michaels on his new NICNT commentary on John. Here is Part I. Part II. Part III. There is lots of good stuff.
Here is one part that stood out to me in part one:
3) You have written commentaries on 1 Peter, Revelation, Hebrews, and a more popular level commentary on John’s Gospel. Could you give a glimpse on your process in writing a commentary, particularly with regards to your latest?
I work with the text and only the text at first, trying to discern the narrative flow, and forming my own impressions of what is going on. Only when I have formed these impressions and spotted the areas in which I still have significant questions do I turn to the commentaries and secondary literature to see to what extent these authors have the same impressions I do. Sometimes one or more of them changes my mind, sometimes not. As I go along, I notice if something I discover compels me to modify what I said earlier. Early on, I develop some sense of how long this thing is supposed to be, and try to tailor my comments accordingly. I have been pleasantly surprised that they usually come out to about the right length or detail – even though I confess, this one is a tad long.
Well, yeah, you could say that! lol! I think the good professor provides a good example of how we as pastors and or students of the Bible should be working with the text – work the text first on your own so far as you can, then consult other works.