Commentary Surveys

New Testament Commentary Survey, 7th ed.

Author:  Carson, D.A.

Publisher: Baker, 2013

Highly respected New Testament scholar D. A. Carson provides students and pastors with expert guidance on choosing a commentary for any book of the New Testament. The seventh edition has been updated to assess the most recently published commentaries. Carson examines sets, one-volume commentaries, and New Testament introductions and theologies, offering evaluative comments on the available offerings for each New Testament book. This is an essential guide to building a reference library.

Commentary and Reference Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical and Theological Resources, 10th ed.

Author:  Glynn, John

Publisher: Kregel, 2007

Now in its tenth edition, this reliable, acclaimed guide lists and ranks approximately 900 commentaries and 1,600 other biblical resources for the benefit of professors, Bible students, and pastors. Two new chapters on exegetical software round out this comprehensive guide.

Commentary Series and Single Volume Works

Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries

Author:  Heibert, Theodore, et. al. eds.

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Critical commentaries on the books of the Old Testament – intended for theological students and pastors

Eerdman's Commentary on the Bible

Author:  Dunn, James D. G. and John W. Rogerson, eds.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2003

Good layperson’s resource

Old Testament Reference Works

The Symbolism of the Biblical World: Ancient Near East Iconography and the Book of Psalms

Author:  Keel, Othmar

Publisher: Eisenbrauns, 1977

Great for cultural background

Ancient Israelite Literature in its Cultural Context

Author:  Walton, John H.

Publisher: Zondervan, 1994

Surveys within the various literary genres the parallels between the Bible and the literature of the ancient Near East. Evangelical in approach

Intertestamental Reference Works

An Introduction to Early Judaism

Author: Vanderkam, James C.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2000

The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism

Author: Collins, John J. (editor), Daniel C. Harlow (editor)

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2010

New Testament Reference Works

Paul the Ancient Letter Writer: An Introduction to Epistolary Analysis

Author: Weima, Jeffrey A. D.

Publisher: Baker Academic, 2016

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Editors: G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson


Craig L. Blomberg (Denver Seminary) on Matthew
Rikk E. Watts (Regent College) on Mark
David W. Pao (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Eckhard J. Schnabel (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on Luke
Andreas J. Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) on John
I. Howard Marshall (University of Aberdeen) on Acts
Mark A. Seifrid (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) on Romans
Roy E. Ciampa (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and Brian S. Rosner (Moore Theological College) on 1 Corinthians
Peter Balla (Károli Gáspár Reformed University, Budapest) on 2 Corinthians
Moisés Silva (author of Philippians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) on Galatians and Philippians
Frank S. Thielman (Beeson Divinity School) on Ephesians
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School) on Colossians
Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Calvin Theological Seminary) on 1 and 2 Thessalonians
Philip H. Towner (United Bible Societies) on 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
George H. Guthrie (Union University) on Hebrews
D. A. Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on the General Epistles
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School) and Sean M. McDonough (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) on Revelation

Publisher: Baker Academic, 2007

OT Recommended Commentaries - Genesis

Genesis 1-15, 16-50

Author:  Wenham, Gordon J.

Publisher: Zondervan, 2014, 1994

British evangelical. Interaction with historical methodologies. Excellent exegesis and interpretation. Each section contains both technical textual information and sermon-friendly “Explanation” sections

Genesis 1-11, 12-36, 37-50

Author:  Westermann, Claus

Publisher: Augsburg, 1984, 1985, 1986

Very historical. Classic. Very detailed exegesis.

OT Recommended Commentaries - Exodus

The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary

Author:  Childs, Brevard S.

Publisher: Westminster Press, 1995

A very technical analysis of the text. However, note the excellent “Theological Reflection” and “Excursus” essays

Exodus: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Fretheim, Terence E.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1991

An exellent commentary for preaching. Although lacking in textual exegetical detail, this volume makes great observations. Note Fretheim’s overall approach to Exodus and its vital connections to Genesis

OT Recommended Commentaries - Leviticus

Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 4, Leviticus

Author:  Hartley, John E.

Publisher: Nelson, 1992

Solid exegesis. Attention to Hebrew. Links material to the New Testament. As throughout the Word series, the material gives both good technical observations and solid explanatory materia

Leviticus 1-16, 17-22, 23-27 (3 volumes)

Author:  Milgrom, Jacob

Publisher: Yale University Press, 2000

Exhaustive exegesis employing critical and literary methodologies. A must for scholarship. Highly motivated students of the text will find it useful. The author writes from a Jewish point of view

OT Recommended Commentaries - Numbers

Numbers 1-20: A New Translation

Author:  Levine, Baruch

Publisher: Anchor Bible, 1993

Exhaustive exegesis employing critical and literary methodologies

Numbers: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Olson, Dennis

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2012

Integrates historical and theological studies. Innovative in approach to the structure of Numbers. Highlights Olson’s theme that Numbers is all about “The death of the old and the birth of the new.”

OT Recommended Commentaries - Deuteronomy

The JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy

Author: Tigay, Jeffrey H.

Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society, 2003


Author:  Brueggemann, Walter

Publisher: Abingdon, 2001

Shows the significance of the Book of Deuteronomy to the shape and substance of Israel’s faith in the Old Testament. Excellent for preaching.

OT Recommended Commentaries - Joshua


Author:  Nelson, Richard D.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1997

Understands Joshua to be a theological accounting what later generations believed about Israel’s receiving the land. Helpful treatment of text

The Book of Joshua

Author:  Woudstra, Marten H

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1981

Solid exegesis and interpretation. Woudstra provides good links to NT materia

OT Recommended Commentaries - Judges

Judges: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author: McCann, J. Clinton, Jr.

Publisher: Westminster John Know Press, 2003

Interprets Judges for the church and for the present time

The Book of Judges (NICOT)

Author: Webb, Barry G

Publisher: Eerdmans; reprinted 2012

This book discusses not only unique features of the stories themselves but also such issues as the violent nature of Judges, how women are portrayed in it, and how it relates to the Christian gospel of the New Testament.

OT Recommended Commentaries - Ruth

The Book of Ruth

Author:  Hubbard, Jr., Robert L.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1989

Solid exegesis and interpretation. Historical. Evangelical

Ruth: A Commentary

Author:  Nielsen, Kirsten

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1997

Paints a rich and subtle portrait of its characters. Traces the many connections between this story and other Biblical passages

OT Recommended Commentaries - 1 and 2 Samuel

First and Second Samuel: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Brueggemann, Walter

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1990

Good for teaching and preaching. As always, Brueggemann wonderfully expands our appreciation for very familiar stories by unearthing vital components of the Hebrew text. Translates very well to sermons

1 & 2 Samuel: A Commentary

Author:  Gordon, Robert P.

Publisher: Zondervan, 1999

Exegetical, non-literary approach. British Evangelical.

OT Recommended Commentaries - 1 and 2 Kings

Kings. Volume 1/1 Kings 1-11

Author:  Mulder, M.J.

Publisher: Peeters Publishers, 1998

Exegetically detailed. Academic

My God is Yahweh: Elijah and Ahab in an Age of Apostasy

Author:  Van’t Veer, M.B.

Publisher: Paideia Press, 1981

Highly recommended, but may be difficult or expensive to find

OT Recommended Commentaries - 1 and 2 Chronicles

I and II Chronicles: A Commentary

Author:  Japhet, Sara

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1993

Word Biblical Commentary Vol.14, 1 Chronicles

Author:  Braun, Roddy

Publisher: Nelson, 1986

Good exegesis and interpretation from a Lutheran vantage point.

OT Recommended Commentaries - Ezra-Nehemiah

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (NICOT)

Author:  Fensham, Charles

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1983

Good exegesis and interpretation. Balanced treatment of the historical problems.

Ezra-Nehemiah: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Thronveit, Mark A.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2012

Good exegesis and interpretation. Balanced treatment of the historical problems

OT Recommended Commentaries - Esther

Esther: An Introduction and Commentary

Author:  Baldwin, Joyce

Publisher: Intervarsity Press, 1985

Esther (1997): A Commentary (Old Testament Library)

Author:  Levenson, Jon D.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1997

Levenson is a highly insightful Jewish commentator who takes a literary approach to the text

OT Recommended Commentaries - Job

1&2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms. (New Interpreters Bible)

Author:  McCann, Jr., J. Clinton

Publisher: Abingdon, 1996

The Book of Job: A Commentary (The Old Testament Library)

Author:  Habel, Norman C.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1985

OT Recommended Commentaries - Psalms

Psalms: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Mays, James Luther

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2011

Sets forth what the psalms say about God, creation, humanity, and the life of faith. Proceeds with an awareness that the psalms were originally composed for worship. Mays is often lyric in stirring observations on the psalms. Great for preachers

1&2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms. (New Interpreters Bible)

Author:  McCann, Jr., J. Clinton

Publisher: Abingdon, 1996

OT Recommended Commentaries - Wisdom books

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs

Author:  Davis, Ellen F.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2000

Popular style. Good for teaching and preaching

The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job & Ecclesiastes

Author:  Kidner, Derek

Publisher: IVP Academic, 1985

Explains the structure of the texts, their relationship to each other, and their unique position within the canon

OT Recommended Commentaries - Proverbs

Word Biblical Commentary Volume 22, Proverbs

Author:  Murphy, Roland

Publisher: Nelson, 1998


Proverbs (1999): A Commentary

Author:  Clifford, Richard J.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1999

Focuses on the rhetoric of Proverb and its relevance for contemporary living

OT Recommended Commentaries - Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary)

Author: Enns, Peter

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2011

Seeking to bridge the existing gap between biblical studies and systematic theology, this distinctive series offers section-by-section exegesis of the Old Testament texts in close conversation with theological concerns.

A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes

Author:  Fox, Michael V.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1999

Written from a Jewish perspective

OT Recommended Commentaries - Song of Songs

Songs of Songs: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible)

Author:  Pope, Marvin H.

Publisher: Doubleday, 1997

OT Recommended Commentaries - Isaiah

Isaiah 1- 39, Westminster Bible Companion, 1998

Author:  Brueggemann, Walter

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1998

Isaiah 40 – 66, Westminster Bible Companion, 1998

Walter Brueggeman
Westminster John Knox Press, 1998


OT Recommended Commentaries - Jeremiah

Judgment and Promise: Interpretation of the Book of Jeremiah

Author:  McConville, J.G.

Publisher: Apollos, 1993

Treatment of the text as a whole. Development on themes and structure

A Book of Jeremiah (NICOT)

Author:  Thompson, J.A.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1980

OT Recommended Commentaries - Lamentations

Lamentations: Issues and Interpretation

Author:  Westermann, Claus

Publisher: Fortress, 1994

Lamentations: A Commentary (Old Testament Library)

Author:  Berlin, Adele

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2002

OT Recommended Commentaries - Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 1-24 (NICOT)

Author:  Block, Daniel I.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1997

A significant two-volume work on Ezekiel that translates very well for preaching

OT Recommended Commentaries - Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets: Hosea-Jonah (Expositional Commentary)

Author:  Boice, James Montgomery

Publisher: Baker, 2006

Great for adult education and sermon preparation

Hosea-Micah: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Limburg, James

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2011

OT Recommended Commentaries - Hosea

Hosea: A Commentary (The OTL)

Author:  Mays, James Luther

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1969

OT Recommended Commentaries - Amos

Amos: A Commentary (The OTL)

Author:  Mays, James Luther

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1969

OT Recommended Commentaries - Jonah

Jonah: A Commentary (The OTL)

Author:  Limburg, James, James Mays, David Peterson

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1969

Jonah: A New Translation with Introduction, Commentary, and Interpretation

Author:  Sasson, Jack M.

Publisher: Anchor Bible, 1990

OT Recommended Commentaries - Micah

Micah (Old Testament Library)

Author:  Mays, James Luther

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 1996

Micah the Prophet

Author:  Wolff, Hans Walter

Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishing, 1981

OT Recommended Commentaries - Nahum


Author:  Maier, Walter A.

Publisher: Concordia, 1987

OT Recommended Commentaries - Malachi

Malachi: God's Unchanging Love

Author:  Kaiser, Walter C.

Publisher: Baker, 1984

NT Recommended Commentaries - Matthew

Matthew 21-28: A Commentary (Hermeneia: A Critical & Historical Commentary on the Bible)

Author: Luz, Ulrich

Publisher: Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005

Matthew 8-20 (Hermeneia: A Critical & Historical Commentary on the Bible)

Author: Luz, Ulrich

Publisher: Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001

NT Recommended Commentaries - Mark

Preaching Mark in Two Voices

Author:  Blount, Brian K., Gary W. Charles

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2003

Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 34a, Mark 1-8:26

Author:  Guelich, Robert A.

Publisher: Nelson, 1989

Guelich died before completing his work on Mark but this volume is beautifully done for pastors

NT Recommended Commentaries - Luke

Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: Luke

Author:  Tannehill, Robert C.

Publisher: Abingdon, 1996

Luke (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (2 Volumes)

Author:  Bock, Darrell

Publisher: Baker, 1996

NT Recommended Commentaries - Parables

Interpreting the Parables

Author:  Blomberg, Craig

Publisher: IVP Academic, 2012

Canonical approach

The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (McMaster New Testament Series)

Author:  Longenecker, Richard

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2000

Essays on exegesis

NT Recommended Commentaries - John

The Gospel of John: A Commentary

Author: Bruner, Frederick Dale

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2012

This commentary is rich in biblical insights, broadly historical, and deeply theological.

The Gospel According to John I-XII & XII-XXI

Author:  Brown, Raymond Edward

Publisher: Anchor Bible, 1966

NT Recommended Commentaries - Acts

The Acts of the Apostles : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary

Author:  Witherington, Ben

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1997

Academic, good for historical background

Acts 1-14, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles

Author:  Barrett, C. K.

Publisher: T. & T. Clark Publishers, 1994


NT Recommended Commentaries - Romans

Word Biblical Commentary: Volume 38A & B, Romans

Author:  Dunn, James D. G.

Publisher: Nelson, 1988

Commentary on Romans

Author:  Kaseman, Ernst

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1980

NT Recommended Commentaries - 1 Corinthians

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Revised Edition

Author:  Fee, Gordon D.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2014

1 Corinthians

Author:  Garland, David E.

Publisher: Baker, 2003

NT Recommended Commentaries - 2 Corinthians

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT)

Author:  Barnett, Paul

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1997

2 Corinthians

Author:  Hafemann, Scott

Publisher: Zondervan, 2000

NT Recommended Commentaries - Galatians

Galatians (IVP New Testament Commentary Series)

Author:  Hansen, G. Walter

Publisher: IVP Academic, 1994

Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 41, Galatians

Author:  Longenecker, Richard

Publisher: Nelson, 1990

NT Recommended Commentaries - Ephesians

Ephesians and Colossians (Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament)

Author: Talbert, Charles H.

Publisher: Baker Academic, 2007

God’s New Society: The Message of Ephesians (Bible Speaks Today)

Author: Stott, John R. W.

Publisher: Inter Varsity Press, 1980

NT Recommended Commentaries - Philippians

Paul's Letter to the Philippians (NICOT)

Author:  Fee, Gordon D.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1995

Epistle to the Philippians (NIGTC)

Author:  O’Brien, Peter T.

Publisher: Paternoster Press, 1991

NT Recommended Commentaries - Colossians and Philemon

The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon (NIGCT)

Author:  Dunn, James D. G.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1996

Colossians and Philemon (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament)

Author:  Harris, Murray J.

Publisher: B&H Academic, 2010

NT Recommended Commentaries - 1 and 2 Thessalonians

The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (NICNT)

Author: Fee, Gordon D.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2009


1-2 Thessalonians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)

By Weima, Jeffrey A. D.

Published by Baker Academic, 2014


NT Recommended Commentaries - 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus

1 & 2 Timothy, Titus

Author:  Fee, Gordon D.

Publisher: Baker, 1989

Letters to Paul's Delegates: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus

Author:  Johnson, Luke T.

Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 1996

NT Recommended Commentaries - Hebrews

Hebrews: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

Author:  Long, Thomas G.

Publisher: Westminster John Knox, 2011

Long is an outstanding preacher and so knows how to help other preachers access the text for sermon-writing

NT Recommended Commentaries - James

The Letter of James (NICNT)

Author: McKnight, Scot

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2011

From beginning to end, the book is shaped for pastors, teachers, and scholars. McKnight is less interested in shedding new light on James than on providing a commentary for those who want to explain the letter and its significance to congregations and classes.

The Epistle of James

Author:  Davids, Peter H.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2013

NT Recommended Commentaries - 1 Peter

1 Peter (Two Horizons New Testament Commentary)

Author: Green, Joel B.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2007

The First Epistle of Peter

Author:  Davids, Peter H.

Publisher: Eerdmans, 1990

NT Recommended Commentaries - 2 Peter, Jude

Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 50, 2 Peter, Jude

Author:  Bauckham, Richard

Publisher: Word, 1983

NT Recommended Commentaries - 1, 2, and 3 John

The Epistles of John (The Anchor Bible, Vol 30)

Author:  Brown, Raymond E.

Publisher: Anchor Bible, 1982

NT Recommended Commentaries - Revelation

The Apocalypse of John: Studies in Introduction, with a Critical and Exegetical Commentary

Author:  Beckwith, Isbon, T.

Publisher: Ulan Press, 2012

The Book of Revelation: Justice and Judgment

Author:  Fiorenza, Elizabeth S.

Publisher: Fortress, 1998

Key Books for Preaching

Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists

Author: Plantinga, Cornelius

Publisher: Eerdmans, 2013

In Reading for Preaching Cornelius Plantinga makes a striking claim: preachers who read widely will most likely become better preachers.  Plantinga — himself a master preacher — shows how a wide reading program can benefit preachers. First, he says, good reading generates delight, and the preacher who enters the world of delight goes with God. Good reading can also help tune the preacher’s ear for language — his or her primary tool. General reading can enlarge the preacher’s sympathies for people and situations that she or he had previously known nothing about. And, above all, the preacher who reads widely has the chance to become wise.

Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons that Matter

Author: Hoezee, Scott

Publisher: Abingdon Press, 2014

Preachers need stories. Stories, examples, and illustrations bring sermons to life.  Learn how to find those stories and how to use them.