10 Best James Commentaries You Should Read First

2017-09-13T03:03:08+00:00 By |
James Commentaries // Category

(Top James Commentaries)


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With so many James commentaries, which are the best? These James commentaries made it to our list of top books and we’ve compiled them to make it easy for you to find them. Please note that we did not write the descriptions ourselves (for our thoughts on books, check out our book reviews).

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1) The Letter of James (The Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC))



The 15 volume Pillar New Testament Commentary is designed both for serious students and for general readers of the Bible. The authors provide rigorous exegesis and exposition and contemporary relevance of the Bible. The New International Version is the translation of choice for the English text, the authors base their exposition on the Greek New Testament. The Letter of James is a truly superb commentary in the Pillar series and was written by Douglas Moo.


2) The Epistle of James (The New International Greek Testament Commentary)



The 13 volume New International Greek Testament Commentary series was established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Hence, authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text. The text on which these commentaries are based is the UBS Greek New Testament, edited by Kurt Aland and others. Peter David provides a thorough exegesis of the text of James in this valuable volume.


3) James (Geneva Series of Commentaries)



First published by The Banner of Truth Trust in 1977, this meaty 400 plus page read is a republication of this exposition of James by Thomas Manton.  The book remains timely today and a top James commentary.


4) James (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)



The 8 volume Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament’s aim is not to review and critique every possible interpretation of a passage, but rather to exegete each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context. It features: a theology in application section, identification of the main idea for each section, exegetical outline with verse-by-verse commentary and more. The volumes are written primarily for pastors and Bible teachers, but its attention to contemporary issues in the church makes it a focused resource for anyone teaching, preaching, or studying these passages. Thomas R. Schreiner writes the volume on Galatians.


5) The Message of James (Bible Speaks Today)


The Message of James (Bible Speaks Today)
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The Message of James by Alec Motyer is part of the Bible Speaks Today commentary series which embraces a three-prong approach to commentaries: expound the biblical text with accuracy, relate it to contemporary life and to readable. Each contributor in this series is both a noted scholar and a working pastor.

6) Hebrews – Revelation (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)


The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is one of the most-recognized standards of expository commentaries. Written by dozens of scholars/preachers, it is regarded as an inter-denominational exposition and a major contribution to the study and understanding of the Scriptures. Providing pastors and Bible students with a comprehensive and scholarly tool for the exposition of the Scriptures and the teaching and proclamation of their message, this work has become a staple of seminary and college libraries and pastors’ studies worldwide. Each book of the series has an exposition, introduction, outline, and bibliography.


7) Letters and Homilies for Jewish Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Hebrews, James and Jude



One of the most promiment Biblical scholars of our time – Ben Witherington III – applies his unique socio-rhetorical method to examine Hebrews, James and Jude within their primarily Jewish context.  Witherington gracefully brings in the Jewish context, the Greco-Roman context, and adds his own rhetorical insights to this top commentary.


8) The Epistle of James (New International Commentary on the New Testament)


The New International Commentary on the New Testament provides an exposition of Scripture that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship, yet loyal to Scripture as the Word of God. It is an authoritative guide to the text of Scripture, bridging the cultural gap between today’s world and the world of the Bible. Contributors are gifted writers and scholars who open each commentary with an introduction to the biblical book. Other features are: a select bibliography, the author’s own translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts, verse-by-verse comments, in-depth discussions of technical matters and more.  Peter H. Davids writes the volume on The Epistle of James.


9) James (Reformed Expository Commentary)


James (Reformed Expository Commentary)
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Reformed Expository Commentaries are accessible to both pastors and lay readers. Each volume in the series provides exposition that gives careful attention to the biblical text, is Reformed in doctrine, focuses on Christ through the lens of redemptive history, and applies the Bible to our contemporary setting.  Daniel M. Doriani writes the volume on James.




10) Calvins Commentaries (22 Volume Set)


Calvins Commentaries (22 Volume Set)
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Calvin’s Commentaries are a 22 volume timeless set of texts by John Calvin – the French theologian and pastor of Geneva who was one of the principal 16th-century Reformers. Calvin’s commentaries display a unique combination of exegetical insight, pastoral concern, and theological depth which have inspired generations of Christians. This is a massive and classic collection on both Old and New Testament books with over 22,000 pages in total. Features include: advanced searching by passage and topic, passage guides and reports, sermon preparation and more.






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P.P.S. Be sure to check out:

With all the James Commentaries available, we’ve selected some of the very best. Don’t read any other James commentaries until you’ve read these!



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