Commentaries on 1 Thessalonians

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of 1 Thessalonians. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on 1 Thessalonians that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the text, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.

Top Reviewed Commentaries on 1 Thessalonians



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Word Biblical Commentary) by F.F. Bruce


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on 1 Thessalonians

D.A. Carson: “especially valuable in its introductory remarks, its careful delineation of the background, and its useful excursus on the Antichrist”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a solid commentary based on the Greek text”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on 1 Thessalonians; “The fruits of a lifetime of New Testament study shine through on every page. Highly recommended.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



The Letters to the Thessalonians (The Pillar New Testament Commentary) by Gene L. Green


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Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: a “best buy” on 1 Thessalonians; offers “exegetical detail” and “considerable expertise in the Hellenistic context”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “useful exposition of the letters”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary” on 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on 1 Thessalonians; “probably the best commentary on these letters currently available”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Designed for serious pastors and teachers of the Bible, the Pillar commentaries seek above all to make clear the text of Scripture as we have it…[the authors’] ideal is a blend of rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible.” See more about the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.



The Epistle to the Thessalonians (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by Charles A. Wanamaker


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Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “for students and pastors who can handle Greek, this commentary falls into the ‘must’ column”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical and helpful exposition”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on 2 Thessalonians; “a very useful work for those doing in-depth study”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “At a time when the study of Greek is curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament… the volumes of the NIGTC are for students who want something less technical than a full-scale critical commentary… the supreme aim of this series is to serve those who are engaged in the ministry of the Word of God and thus glorify God’s name.” See more about the New International Greek Testament Commentary series.



1-2 Thessalonians (The IVP New Testament Commentary) by G.K. Beale


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on 1 Thessalonians; a “mix of exegesis, theology, and hints at contemporary application”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “the best non-technical commentaries for pastors”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on 1 Thessalonians; “Beale always has interesting food for thought”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume, informed by the best of up-to-date evangelical scholarship, presents passage-by-passage commentary based on the NIV along with background information on authorship, setting, theme and various interpretive issues… Preachers, teachers, students and other individuals who want to dig deep into the heart of the New Testament will find an indispensable companion in the IVP New Testament Commentary Series.” See more about the IVP New Testament Commentary series.



The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Gordon Fee


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary” on 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a solid commentary based on the Greek text”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written for scholars, pastors, and lay readers alike…undertaken to provide earnest students of the New Testament with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.” See more about the New International Commentary on the New Testament series.



1 and 2 Thessalonians (New International Version Application Commentary) by Michael W. Holmes


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary” on 1 and 2 Thessalonians

D.A. Carson: “judicious in its pastoral application”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



The Letters to the Thessalonians (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Abraham J. Malherbe


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary” on 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a fine commentary by an expert in Hellenistic literature”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) by Ben Witherington III


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on 1 Thessalonians; “The primary benefit of reading Witherington’s commentaries is the wealth of contextual background information he provides”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Using sociorhetorical criticism, the New Testament is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read—the rhetorical method makes use of ancient or classical writings and strategies of communication, while the social science method notes issues of cultures and customs.”



1-2 Thessalonians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Jefferey A.D. Weima


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary” on 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the Publisher: “The chief concern of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) is to provide, within the framework of informed evangelical thought, commentaries that blend scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness. We hope thereby to attract the interest of a fairly wide audience, from the scholar who is looking for a thoughtful and independent examination of the text to the motivated lay Christian who craves a solid but accessible exposition.” See more about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Gary S. Shogren


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Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “may well become the pastor’s first recourse to a Greek-language commentary of these epistles…unusually accessible”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The idea for this series was refined over time by an editorial board who listened to pastors and teachers express what they wanted to see in a commentary series based on the Greek text…We arrived at a design that includes seven components for the treatment of each biblical passage”: Literary Context, Main Idea, Translation and Graphical Layout, Structure, Exegetical Outline, Explanation of the Text, and Theology in Application.” See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.



1 and 2 Thessalonians (The New Century Bible Commentary) by I. Howard Marshall


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a brief and insightful exposition of the letters”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The NCBC aims to elucidate the Hebrew and Christian scriptures for a wide range of intellectually curious individuals…[volumes] do not assume the reader has a great deal of specialized theological knowledge or an impressive command of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or biblical Greek… Utilizing recent gains in rhetorical criticism, social scientific study of the scriptures, narrative criticism and other developing disciplines, this series intends to provide a fresh look at biblical texts, taking advantage of the growing edges in Biblical Studies.”




The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians (Black’s New Testament Commentary) by Ernest Best


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a thorough investigation of various exegetical options”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Black’s New Testament Commentary has been hailed by both scholars and pastors for its insightful interpretations and reliable commentary.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



1–2 Thessalonians: The Hope of Salvation (Preaching the Word) by James H. Grant Jr.


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Richard D. Phillips


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Christ-Centered Exposition) by Mark Howell


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition presented as sermons and divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect and Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy reading, practical and friendly commentary.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (The Story of God Bible Commentary) by John Byron


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Story of God Bible Commentary is a new commentary for today’s world. It’s the first commentary series to explain and illuminate each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. This “story-centric” approach makes SGBC a fruitful resource for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and everyday readers.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



The Message of 1 and 2 Thessalonians (The Bible Speaks Today) by John Stott


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.”



1-2 Thessalonians (New American Commentary) by D. Michael Martin Jr.


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Two Horizons New Testament Commentary) by Andy Johnson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Seeking to bridge the existing gap between biblical studies and systematic theology, this distinctive series offers section-by-section exegesis of the New Testament texts in close conversation with theological concerns. Written by respected scholars, the THNTC volumes aim to help pastors, teachers, and students engage in deliberately theological interpretation of Scripture.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Leon Morris


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.



1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Holman New Testament Commentary) by Knute Larson


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “is an invaluable tool for those who teach the Word of God in a group or church setting. This verse-by-verse commentary systematically explains biblical text based on trusted, conservative scholarship. The series is designed to enrich new and experienced Bible teachers as they minister to God’s people, inspiring those who learn the marvelous truths in the New Testament to have a passion for spreading the gospel.”



1 Thessalonians (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Robert L. Thomas and Andreas J. Kostenberger


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries) by John Walvoord and Mark Hitchcock


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Walvoord’s stalwart writing has been greatly expanded upon by Hitchcock, with additional introductory and background material, charts, and in-depth explanations at key points. Now also updated with the Bible content in the English Standard Version (ESV), this volume in the renewed Walvoord Commentary Series stands ready to reach a whole new generation with the spiritual insights the apostle Paul had for the Thessalonians.”



1-2 Thessalonians (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary) by Philip Comfort


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by David J. Williams


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



1 and 2 Thessalonians (MacArthur New Testament Commentary) by John MacArthur


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “If you’re familiar with John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching, you have an idea of what you’ll find in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary takes you deep into each passage, verse by verse—sometimes word by word. It’s like having a Bible teacher sitting next to you as you study Scripture.”



First and Second Thessalonians (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”



1 and 2 Thessalonians (Crossway Classic Commentaries) by John Calvin


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “For hundreds of years Christendom has been blessed with Bible commentaries written by great men of God highly respected for their godly walk and their insight into spiritual truth. The Crossway Classic Commentaries present the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.”


Also see:

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