Here is John MacArthur speaking about the use of Bible commentaries by (long) dead writers, from a message last winter called “The Consequences of Non-Expositional Preaching, Part 2”:
In preparation for Mark, I think I’ve read about 30 commentators… Most of them are dead writers. Because I honor the work of the Spirit of God in the past. I have great respect for the illumination of the Spirit on great godly students of Scripture in the past… The critical doctrines, the critical truths of Scripture, have long before me been interpreted accurately. And when I come up with something that nobody’s ever said, gag me.
Amen! Would that all preachers would respect history in such a manner!