22 Best John Commentaries You Must Read First

2017-09-13T03:18:13+00:00 By |
John Commentaries // Category

(Top John Commentaries)


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With so many John commentaries, which are the best? These John 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 Message of John (Bible Speaks Today)



The Message of John 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. Bruce Milne is the contributor here.


2) John (IVP New Testament Commentary Series)



The 20 volume IVP New Testament Commentary Series offers clear, scholarly presentations of the heart of each New Testament author’s message, coupled with helpful attention to tough exegetical issues. The series diverse contributors represent a wide range of theological traditions.  Overall, they are committed to applying the unchanging message of the New Testament to the ever-changing world in which we live.  Features include: useful summaries of principal themes, a unique format that expounds the text in uninterrupted form on the upper portion of each page while dealing with other issues underneath in verse-keyed notes and a social studies note system that keys references to the bibliography.  The John volume is written by Marianne Meye Thompson.


3) John: Volume 1 Chapters 1-12 (Evangelical Press Study Commentary)


The Evangelical Press (Ep) Study Commentary is 22 volumes of the best in biblical exposition from some of the most notable evangelical Reformed scholars. This series is aimed at the minister, theologian, layman, and serious student. While comprehensive in scope, the volumes are practical and straightforward and each author presents a careful analysis of the biblical text. The Gospel of John is presented by Gordon Keddie, who keeps the focus on the proclamation of Jesus Christ to the heart, mind and conscience of the reader.


4) John: That You May Believe (Preaching the Word)



Preaching the Word is a series recognized for its steadfast commitment to biblical authority, readability, and clear exposition of Scripture. It’s the perfect resource for pastors, teachers, and those seeking to enrich their personal Bible study. R. Kent Hughes, of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, is the editor of the 45 book series and writes the John volume.

5) Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Volume 10. Luke-Acts. Revised Edition



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.  Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland write volume 10 on Luke-Acts.


6) John (New International Biblical Commentary/NIBC 4)


The 43 volume New International Biblical Commentary series is written by world-class evangelical scholars. Whether you’re preparing a lesson or sermon or simply studying for your personal reasons, the New International Bible Commentary provides you with a study resource that combines convenience with depth and relevance.  J. Ramsey Michaels – former Professor of Religious Studies at Southwest Missouri State University – pens the John volume.


7) The Gospel of John: A Commentary – 2-Volume Set



Brought to you by Craig Keener – professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky – The Gospel of John: A Commentary – 2-Volume Set explores the Jewish and Greco-Roman settings of John more fully than previous works.  In a stunning 1,600 plus words, Keener helps the reader better understand John via a moderately charismatic perspective.


8) The Gospel According to John (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)



Leon Morris was formerly Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne.  He devoted more than ten years to preparing this volume on John for The 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.


9) The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary


The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary
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The late Herman Ridderbos (who was a professor of NewTestament at the Theological School of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands) left behind an excellent commentary on John for Eerdmans.  The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary is hefty enough for scholarly reference, while still remaining accessible to all levels of Christian studies due to the clear writing.


10) John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)



The 18 volume, highly accessible Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series is known for its thoughtful scholarship for studying pastors and its readability for lay people. Authors include a wide variety of scholars from differing theological persuasions who investigate a variety of viewpoints. Each volume contains the original Greek words as well as the corresponding transliterated and translated phrases. Andreas J. Köstenberger writes the highly scholarly, yet readable, commentary on the Gospel of John.


11) John 1-11: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture


Gerald L. Borchert presents John 1-11: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture for The New American Commentary. Highly regarded as a go-to for the minister or Bible student who wants to understand and expound their understanding of the Scriptures, this series is readable and scholarly simultaneously. Key features include: commentary based on the new international version, sound scholarly methodology that reflects research in the original languages, NIV text printed in the body of the commentary, interpretation emphasizing the theological unity of each book, and readable and applicable exposition.


12) New Testament Commentary Exposition of the Gospel According to John: Two Volumes Complete in One



This 700 plus page commentary on John was written by William Hendriksen for Baker Academic in 1983.  It’s part of the New Testament Commentary series which Hendriksen began. Since Hendriksen’s death in 1982, the series has been continued by Simon J. Kistemaker. In 2001 the series was completed with the publication of Revelation.

13) John’s Wisdom: A Commentary on the Fourth Gospel


John's Wisdom: A Commentary on the Fourth Gospel
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Ben Witherington III – the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky and doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland – presents John’s Wisdom: A Commentary on the Fourth Gospel for Westminster John Knox Press.  Witherington’s commentary is very understandable and useful for the person who wants to have a deeper understanding of the Fourth Gospel.


14) The Gospel According To Saint John (Black’s New Testament Commentary)



With 13 volumes and 10 authors, Black’s New Testament Commentary series is a reliable and readable study of the New Testament for modern readers. Each commentary offers a paragraph-by-paragraph exposition based on the author’s own fresh translation of the biblical text. Pastors, students, scholars, and general readers will find this series a crucial aid to a better understanding of the New Testament.  The John volume is written by Andrew Lincoln.


15) The Gospel according to St. John, Second Edition: An Introduction With Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text



C. Kingsley Barrett – Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Durham in England – contributes to the top commentaries on John with his useful and insightful book The Gospel according to St. John, Second Edition: An Introduction With Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text.  The book was published by Westminster John Knox Press in 1978.

16) Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 36, John (Second Edition)



Dr. George R. Beasley-Murray – former Principal of Spurgeon’s College, London – writes Vol. 36, John for The Word Biblical Commentary.  This series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day. This series emphasizes a deep analysis of textual, linguistic, structural and theological evidence. Balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology is the end product. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for everyone from professional theologians to lay people interested in building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.


17) John (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)



Colin G. Kruse writes the John volume for Tyndale New Testament Commentaries.  The premier shorter-length commentary series throughout the English-speaking world, the 20 volume Tyndale New Testament Commentaries are a trusted resource for Bible study. They are written by some of the world’s most distinguished evangelical scholars and offer clear, reliable and relevant explanations of every book in the New Testament. The introduction to each Tyndale volume gives a concise but thorough description of the authorship, date and historical background of the biblical book under consideration. Tyndale commentary itself examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. Additionally, it comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation.


18) The Gospel of John: Introduction, Exposition, Notes



An outstanding commentary on John, The Gospel of John: Introduction, Exposition, Notes was written by the late F.F. Bruce (the former Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England).  Using a verse-by-verse approach, the book is scholarly, concise, and practical.  It is a useful John commentary for both the academic and small group leader in a church.


19) Gospel of John, The (5 Vol. Set)


Gospel of John, The (5 Vol. Set)
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The late James Montgomery Boice (who was senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) leaves behind the stellar Gospel of John, The (5 Vol. Set) for his Boice Commentary series.  All five books in the volume offer a clear, complete, detailed and studious study of John.

20) Let’s Study John (Let’s Study Series)


Let's Study John (Let's Study Series)
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The 18 volume Let’s Study series seeks to combine explanation and application. The aim is to explain Scripture as if speaking to a friend. Published by Banner of Truth, this series is a must for every Christian home. The John volume is written by Mark Johnston.


21) John: The NIV Application Commentary


John: The NIV Application Commentary
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Dr. Gary M. Burge  is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical & Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School near Chicago, IL.  In John he shares perspectives that show ageless truths for our modern lives. NIV Application Commentaries have three sections in each chapter: a textual analysis, a section bridging the ancient to the modern, and then modern applications. This top commentary is a must have for anyone who seriously wants to apply the Word of God to modern application.


22) 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 John Commentaries available, we’ve selected some of the very best. Don’t read any other John commentaries until you’ve read these!



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