Single volume commentaries on individual books of the Bible are important tools that help Bible teachers and students in their study of Scripture. Some commentaries are written more for devotional purposes, while other commentaries are very technical and written for the serious Bible scholar and exegete.

I have compiled a list of the best evangelical commentaries of each book of the New Testament. I have organized the list to include devotional, mid-level, and technical commentaries. I review the most popular commentary series first. Next, I give my ranking for single volumes of each individual New Testament book. No single commentary is perfect, but I have attempted ranked the commentaries with my personal favorites at the top of the list.

Summary of Popular Commentary Series

Devotional Commentary Series

  1. MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Our family’s favorite New Testament commentaries are the ones written by John MacArthur. Based on the New American Standard Version text, MacArthur’s commentaries are based on his verse by verse exposition of the New Testament. It’s great to open a commentary on a verse you have questions about to read the opinion from one of the most faithful Bible teachers of our time.
  2. NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC): Based on the NIV text and published by Zondervan, the NIVAC is a very readable commentary series. It attempts to explain the original meaning of a passage, and it discusses its contemporary application.

Mid-Level Commentary Series

  1. Pillars New Testament Commentary: Published by Eerdmans and edited by D.A. Carson, this series is overall my favorite mid-level commentary series. This series combines rigorous exegesis and scholarship with an attention to biblical theology and contemporary relevance.
  2. New International Commentary of the New Testament (NICNT): Published by Eerdmans, this series has a rich history headed by Ned Storehouse, F.F. Bruce, Gordon D. Fee, and now Joel B. Green. Each commentary is based on a careful study of the Greek text. The commentary readers, however, do not need to know Greek in order to benefit. Each volume reflects serious work in technical areas — such as linguistics, textual criticism, and historical concerns — but the commentaries themselves focus on understanding the text rather than navigating scholarly debates.
  3. New American Commentary (NAC): Published by B&H Academic, NAC is a basic to mid-level exegetical commentary series that examines the text section by section. These commentaries are based on the NIV translation and designed to help ministers and Bible students grasp Scripture without having to dig deeply into technical matters. Each author uses sound scholarly methodology reflecting capable research in the original languages. Interpretation emphasizing the theological unity of each book and Scripture as a whole.
  4. Tyndale New Testament Commentary: Published by InterVarsity Press, this series has been a long trusted resource for Bible study. Written by some of the most distinguished evangelical scholars, each book offers clear, reliable, and relevant expositions. A concise introduction to each book covers its authorship, date, original setting and purpose. Each volume includes a structural analysis and navigates section-by-section, drawing out its main themes. These commentaries include comments on individual verses and additional notes to provide a fuller discussion of particular interpretative difficulties.
  5. Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC): Published by Zondervan as their mid-level commentary series, this series includes the work of fifty-six contributors. This collection was recently revised and provides the most current scholarship and resources. This series includes 8 volumes covering the Old Testament and 5 volumes covering the New Testament.

Technical Commentary Series

  1. New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC): Published by Eerdmans and edited by I. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner, this commentary series presupposes the New Testament calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text. These commentaries discuss recent scholarly articles and monographs to make its own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text. The authors keep in mind the needs of the readers who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.
  2. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT): Published by Baker, this series features detailed interaction with the Greek text, extensive research, thoughtful, chapter-by-chapter exegesis, and user-friendly design. It achieves the dual aims of academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility. This series is the least technical of the series in this technical subcategory.
  3. Word Bible Commentary (WBC): Now published by Zondervan Academic with the New Testament edited by Peter H. Davids, WBC delivers biblical scholarship from leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is balanced (not always conservative) insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.
  4. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT): This new series will cover the entire New Testament in twenty volumes. A team of scholars have committed to completing this series. Contributors include Clinton E. Arnold (general editor), George H. Guthrie, William D. Mounce, and Thomas R. Schreiner. There is scholarly interaction with the Greek text, yet the goal is to remain accessible and understandable to pastors, teachers, and students. Though they are certainly familiar with the best scholarly literature on their book, the contributors will only cite the most important findings to accommodate most readers.
  5. International Critical Commentary (ICC): For over 100 years, the International Critical Commentary series has held a special place among works on the Bible. Theologically, many volumes are not conservative, but there are several gems in this extensive series.
  6. Exegetical Guide of the Greek New Testament (EGGNT): Edited now by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Robert W. Yarbrough, EGGNT is devoted to paragraph-by-paragraph exegesis of the Greek text and includes homiletical helps and suggestions for further study. The authors assumes a certain level of competency and training in the biblical languages for maximum comprehension. Each volume includes a brief introduction to the New Testament book, a basic outline, and a list of recommended commentaries.
  7. Baylor Handbooks on the Greek New Testament: Both this series and EGGNT are excellent tools for the Greek exegete in walking through the Greek text. About 16 volumes are already available covering most of the books of the New Testament. The series is designed to help both first year Greek students and seasoned scholars in their understanding of the Greek text. The goal of these handbooks are to help the reader understand the syntax and grammar of the text. These handbooks can be used as “prequels” to commentaries proper, and the same can be said for the EGGNT Series. I prefer the EGGNT Series more as a first purchase, but I often find the Baylor Handbooks equally helpful and complementary to EGGNT.
  8. Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC): Edited by H. Wayne House, EEC is a brand new, 44-volume commentary series which incorporates the latest critical biblical scholarship and is written from a distinctly evangelical perspective. Published by Lexham Press, the EEC is available in digital form only. As a user of Logos Bible Software, I find the commentaries released thus far to be helpful.

Technical But Liberal Commentary Series

With a couple of exception like Raymond Brown’s work on the Gospel of John and John’s Epistles, I have not included commentaries from these series. I have found the interfaith theology antithetical to the core doctrines of the Evangelical Christian faith. I only use commentaries in these series to obtain additional background information and further commentary on the original text.

  1. Anchor Yale Bible
  2. Hermeneia

Best Commentaries on Matthew

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Michael J. Wilkins (NIVAC)
  3. James Montgomery Boice (2 volume)
Mid-Level
  1. R.T. France (NICNT)
  2. Leon Morris (Pillars)
  3. D.A. Carson (EBC)
  4. Craig S. Keener (Eerdmans, 2009)
  5. Craig L. Blomberg (NAC)
Technical
  1. Donald A. Hagner (WBC)
  2. Grant Osborne (ZECNT)
  3. John Nolland (NIGTC)
  4. W.D. Davies and Dale C. Allison Jr. (ICC, 3 volume)

Best Commentaries on Mark

Devotional
  1. David E. Garland (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. James R. Edwards (Pillars)
  2. William Lane (NICNT)
  3. D. Edmond Hiebert
  4. James Brooks (NAC)
  5. Ben Witherington III (2001)
Technical
  1. R.T. France (NIGTC)
  2. Robert H. Stein (BECNT)
  3. Robert A. Guelich (WBC)
  4. Mark L. Strauss (ZECNT)

Best Commentaries on Luke

Devotional
  1. Darrell L. Bock (NIVAC)
  2. John MacArthur
  3. R.T. France (TTC)
Mid-Level
  1. Joel B. Green (NICNT)
  2. Robert H. Stein (NAC)
  3. Leon Morris (Tyndale)
Technical
  1. Darrell L. Bock (BECNT)
  2. David Garland (ZECNT)
  3. I. Howard Marshall (NIGTC)
  4. John Nolland (WBC, 3 volume)

Best Commentaries on John

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. James Montgomery Boice
  3. Gary M. Burge (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. D.A. Carson (Pillars)
  2. Leon Morris (NICNT, 1995)
  3. J. Ramsey Michaels (NICNT, 2010)
  4. Gerald L. Borchert (NAC)
  5. Herman L. Ridderbos (1997)
Technical
  1. Andreas Kostenberger (BECNT)
  2. Craig S. Keener (2003)
  3. Raymond Brown (Anchor Yale)
  4. George R. Beasley-Murray (WBC)

Best Commentaries on Acts

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Ajith Fernando (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. F.F. Bruce (NICNT)
  2. David G. Peterson (Pillars)
Technical
  1. Darrell L. Bock (BECNT)
  2. C.K. Barrett (ICC)
  3. Eckhard J. Schnabel (ZECNT)

Best Commentaries on Romans

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
Mid-Level
  1. Douglas Moo (NICNT)
  2. Leon Morris (Pillars – 1988)
  3. John Murray
  4. F.F. Bruce (Tyndale)
  5. Colin Kruse (Pillars – 2012)
Technical
  1. C.E.B. Cranfield (ICC)
  2. Thomas Schreiner (BECNT)
  3. James Dunn (WBC)

Best Commentaries on 1 Corinthians

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Craig L. Blomberg (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. Gordon D. Fee (NICNT, 2014)
  2. Leon Morris (Tyndale)
Technical
  1. David E. Garland (BECNT)
  2. Anthony C. Thiselton (NIGTC)
Classic
  1. Charles Hodges (1857)

Best Commentaries on 2 Corinthians

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Scott J. Hafemann (NIVAC)
  3. Linda Belleville (IVPNTC)
Mid-Level
  1. Paul Barnett (NICNT, 1997)
  2. David E. Garland (NAC)
  3. Colin G. Kruse (Tyndale)
Technical
  1. Murray J. Harris (NIGTC)
  2. Ralph P. Martin (WBC)
Classic
  1. Charles Hodges (1857)

Best Commentaries on Galatians

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
Mid-Level
  1. Timothy George (NAC)
  2. Philip Graham Ryken (REC)
  3. Ronald Y.K. Fung (NICNT)
Technical
  1. F.F. Bruce (NIGTC)
  2. Thomas R. Schreiner (ZECNT)
  3. Douglas J. Moo (BECNT)
  4. Richard N. Longenecker (WBC)

Best Commentaries on Ephesians

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Klyne Snodgrass (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. Peter T. O’Brien (Pillars)
  2. F.F. Bruce (NICNT, 1984)
Technical
  1. Harold Hoehner (2002)
  2. A.T. Lincoln (WBC)
  3. Clinton E. Arnold (ZECNT)
Classic
  1. Charles Hodge

Best Commentaries on Philippians

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Frank Thielman (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. Gordon D. Fee (NICNT, 1995)
  2. Walter G. Hansen (Pillars)
Technical
  1. Peter T. O’Brien (NIGTC)
  2. Moises Silva (BECNT)
  3. Gerald F. Hawthorne (WBC)

Best Commentaries on Colossians and Philemon

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. David E. Garland (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. Douglas J. Moo (Pillars)
  2. F.F. Bruce (NICNT, 1984)
Technical
  1. Peter T. O’Brien (WBC)
  2. James D.G. Dunn (NIGTC)
  3. David W. Pao (ZECNT)

Best Commentaries on 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Michael W. Holmes (NIVAC)
  3. Gregory K. Beale (IVPNTC)
Mid-Level
  1. Gordon D. Fee (NICNT, 2009)
  2. Gene L. Green (Pillars)
  3. Leon Morris (NICNT, 1991)
  4. D. Michael Martin (NAC)
Technical
  1. F.F. Bruce (WBC)
  2. Charles A. Wanamaker (NIGTC)
  3. Gary S. Shogren (ZECNT)

Best Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles – Timothy and Titus

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Donald Guthrie (Tyndale)
Mid-Level
  1. Philip H. Towner (NICNT)
Technical
  1. I. Howard Marshall with Philip H. Towner (ICC)
  2. William D. Mounce (WBC)
  3. George W. Knight III (NIGTC)
  4. Jerome D. Quinn and William C. Wacker (ECC)
Classic
  1. John Calvin

Best Commentaries on Hebrews

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. George Guthrie
  3. Donald Guthrie
Mid-Level
  1. F.F. Bruce (NICNT, revised 1990)
  2. Philip E. Hughes
  3. Peter O’Brien (Pillars)
  4. Gareth Cockerill (NICNT, 2012)
  5. David Desilva
  6. Simon Kistemaker
Technical
  1. William Lane (WBC)
  2. Paul Ellingworth (NIGTC)
  3. Craig Koester
Classic
  1. John Owen
  2. John Calvin

Best Commentaries on James

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
Mid-Level
  1. Douglas Moo (Pillars)
  2. D. Edmond Hiebert
  3. Scot McKnight (NICNT, 2011)
  4. James B. Adamson (NICNT, 1976)
Technical
  1. William Varner (EEC)
  2. Peter Davids (NIGTC)
  3. Craig L. Blomberg and Mariem J. Kamell (ZECNT)
  4. Dan G. McCartney (BECNT)

Best Commentaries on 1 Peter

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. I. Howard Marshall (IVPNTC)
  3. Scot McKnight (NIVAC)
  4. Wayne Grudem (Tyndale)
Mid-Level
  1. D. Edmond Hiebert
  2. Thomas R. Schreiner (NAC)
  3. Edmund Clowney (BST)
  4. Peter Davids (NICNT)
Technical
  1. Karen H. Jobes (BECNT)
  2. J. Ramsey Michaels (WBC)
  3. Paul J. Achtemeier (Hermeneia)

Best Commentaries on 2 Peter and Jude

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Douglas J. Moo (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. D. Edmund Hiebert
  2. Peter H. Davids (Pillars)
  3. Thomas R. Schreiner (NAC)
Technical
  1. Richard Bauckham (WBC)
  2. Gene L. Green (BECNT)

Best Commentaries on 1, 2 and 3 John

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Gary M. Burge (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. Colin G. Kruse (Pillars)
  2. I. Howard Marshall (NICNT)
  3. Daniel L. Akin (NAC)
Technical
  1. Robert W. Yarbrough (BECNT)
  2. Stephen S. Smalley (WBC)
  3. Raymond Brown (Anchor Yale)
  4. Karen H. Jobes (ZECNT)

Best Commentaries on Revelation of Jesus Christ

Devotional
  1. John MacArthur
  2. Leon Morris (Tyndale)
  3. Craig S. Keener (NIVAC)
Mid-Level
  1. Robert H. Mounce (NICNT)
  2. Stephen S. Smalley (2005)
Technical
  1. Robert Thomas (Wycliffe, 1992)
  2. G.K. Beale (NIGTC)
  3. Grant R. Osborne (BECNT)
  4. David E. Aune (WBC)

Best Single-Volume Bible Commentaries

A solid, one-volume commentary on the whole Bible can be very helpful in a starter library. One-volume commentaries will not cover every passage or answer every question. They do offer insights and provide good models of Bible interpretation.

  1. New Bible Commentary – published by InterVarsity Press and in its 4th edition, this commentary is my favorite one-volume commentary for the basic Bible study library.
  2. Bible Knowledge Commentary – this 2 volume commentary (Old Testament and New Testament) is written by the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary. This is another solid choice for a basic Bible study library.
  3. Commentary of the New Testament – Robert Gundry has written a New Testament Introduction and Survey. In 2010, he released a single-volume commentary devoted to the New Testament. I do not have a copy, but because of its high regard, I have include it on this list.

Best Bible Background Commentaries

There are two Bible background commentaries that I want to highlight that I have also found personally helpful. These commentaries primarily give additional historical and cultural background information that is pertinent to the New Testament text. I will often read the entries in these commentaries before I dig deeper in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia.

  1. IVP NT Background Commentary – Written by Craig S. Keener, this 830 page commentary provides a terrific overview of the most important pieces of background information that can help the read better understand the original meaning of the text. For example, Keener devotes one page explaining the background of the woman’s silver coin and the type of lamp used in Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:8-10.
  2. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary – Edited by Clinton E. Arnold, this 4 volume commentary set is much larger, containing more entries than the one–volume IVP background commentary. The overall depth of content is greater, and the total number of pieces of information is greater. My typical workflow is to first start with the IVP background commentary, then read the Zondervan background commentary; if I’m still not satisfied, then I will search in the Anchor Bible Dictionary.

For Further Study

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