How many times have we ran into someone that says, "I don't need your commentary on commentaries; the Holy Spirit can teach me how to think of them"? Do we "get our explanation" from the commentary, or rather can we see an explanation and weigh it in the balance of Scripture?

"I do not need your commentary; the Holy Spirit teaches me", would be a perfectly legitimate response in only the following situation: the person speaking has a direct revelatory connection with God while all others do not. Seeing as that is probably not the case, a person will be listening to his own commentary as he reads. How would he distinguish between his own man-made commentary and the illumination of the Spirit? Further, let's not deny the work of the Spirit in others and thus the benefit of considering their words. Christ gave gifts to the church to guide and teach, so that we will grow in the faith: And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:11-13.

Finally, if the person has no training in the original languages he is depriving himself of much helpful insight and analysis. A Christian commentary can be useful, but not always necessary. I would say though that Hebrews 10:24-25 implies the sharing of interpretations of Scripture within the Church (for the purpose of exhortation, not foolish questions, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law), and hence, "going solo" is not warranted in Scripture. This is not to say one must always hold to the "generally accepted" interpretation of any passage, but rather that one must live the Christian life in the context of the Bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit has been teaching the Church for 2,000 years. Why should I ask Him to teach it all to me directly, and not through the ordinary means of godly men who have a broader & deeper understanding of the Scriptures? We are fools to think we'll receive a Matrix-like download of mystical knowledge of the Scriptures. In fact, "going solo" is a symptom of "going antichrist" (i.e. a man of sin in the temple of God pretending to be God). We must not, in rejecting mere men as necessary for the impartation of knowledge, become men who exalt ourselves over the Church as though we were Christ. I have found commentaries to be most helpful having been written by true and erudite scholars who are far more competent to understand the very difficult passages and doctrines in the scriptures. But, given that they disagree among themselves on many points, e.g. Calvinism vs. Arminianism, we are left to weigh their views in light of the teachings in question and decide as best we can, what view seems right to us. It is at this point that the Holy Spirit works to illuminate our understanding, or not.

Note: I am not advocating commentary as an authoritative source over Scripture. What apparently comes about in many debates are the use of commentary to give additional weight to an argument. The other side often retaliates by quoting Person B, after Person A was presented to them. It becomes a game of ping pong where each side bounces commentary after another off one another, or an author after another in a never ending cycle. The same applies to Scripture, verse by verse is shot back between two debating parties. I think the point here that we must acknowledge is that regardless of sound doctrine a person may refuse to accept another position. And a person may not be rejecting the truth just because they don't side with your position. Instead of using Scripture as the foundation, the emphasis is shifted to the author that most supports the debater's position instead of the author's intent of said Scripture. This is very common among the debates between Arminians and Calvinist, where both use commentators that have been tried and tested (but not necessarily trued) throughout time while subjected to the highest scrutiny and criticisms.