One of my go to commentaries when studying Scripture is Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament put out by Baker Academic. Currently I am going through the book of Hebrews with a friend and we utilize James Thompson's commentary in the series.
Most commentaries tend to have the same flow. Most will try to give a bit of background then delve in verse by verse. The difference really comes down to the scope, how much information is going to be thrown at you. In some settings having a critical commentary is useful, other times I need to look at something more pastoral or exegetical. When studying Scripture, I try to get a range and work through them. What I like about Paideia is that each unit is broken down into three sections of discussion: introductory matters, tracing the train of thought, and theological issues.
Each section begins with background information. Trying to help give the literary and cultural context of the passage. Introducing key themes, phrases, or concepts, and then going on to explain what each means. This section will also show how the current section being studied fits in with the wider argument of the book that was introduced previously.
Train of Thought
Here the general overview of the section is given showing the general flow of the section. It is also here that each verse is discussed and given a fuller explanation. Again, attention is given to show how the current section is advancing a previous argument.
In the final section attention is given to any theological issues that were brought up in the text. For me, this section is always useful. It helps us to understand the person and work of God. This in turn helps me to process what I believe and how I am to respond in worship.
Not all commentaries are created equal, even within a great commentary series.
While there are certain series I trust, I always go and check out Ligonier Ministries list of the top commentaries for each book of the Bible as well as Tim Challies list.
In the multitude of commentaries out there, why do I find Paideia as one of my essentials? Paideia is a good middle ground. They stray away from all of the jargon (though when needed will offer definitions and explanations) without sacrificing scholarship and pastoral needs.