Commentaries on Colossians

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Colossians. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Colossians 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.

Top Reviewed Commentaries on Colossians



Colossians and Philemon (PNTC) by Douglas Moo


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Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Colossians; “the best all-around commentaries for pastors”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “an outstanding exposition for pastors”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Colossians and Philemon

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Colossians; “a close second place to O’Brien”

Best for:

pastors, teachers, scholars

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.”



Colossians, Philemon (NIVAC) by David E. Garland


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “an excellent exposition for pastors”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Colossians and Philemon

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Colossians; “offers great insight into the text and its contemporary application”

D.A. Carson: “do not avoid the volume on Colossians by David E. Garland”

Best for:

pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

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.”



Colossians and Philemon (ZECNT) by David W. Pao


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Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Colossians; “remarkably accessible…careful, understated, reliable, and nuanced”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Colossians and Philemon

Best for:

pastors, teachers, scholars

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.”



Colossians-Philemon (WBC) by Peter T. O’Brien


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Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Colossians

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Colossians; “all students of Colossians and Philemon should consult O’Brien”

Best for:

pastors, teachers, scholars

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.”



Colossians and to Philemon (NIGTC) by James D.G. Dunn


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical but very helpful interpretation”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Colossians and Philemon

Best for:

pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “At a time when the study of Greek is curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGNT will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament… the volumes of the NIGNT 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.”



Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians (NICNT) by F.F. Bruce


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Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Colossians; a “unique combination of scholarship and readability”

Best for:

pastors, teachers, scholars

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.”



Colossians and Philemon (TNTC) by N.T. Wright


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “brief and insightful commentary”

Best for:

Anyone

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.”



The Message of Colossians & Philemon (BST) by Dick Lucas


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Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Colossians; “emphasizes the big picture and the overall flow of the text”

Best for:

pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

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.”



Colossians and Philemon (Herm) by Eduard Lohse


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical commentary”

Best for:

pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “The Hermeneia commentary series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books… The name Hermeneia, from the Greek, has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. Hermeneia is designed for the serious student of the Bible…The editors of Hermeneia impose no systematic-theological perspective upon the series (directly, or indirectly by selection of authors).”



Colossians and Philemon (EGGNT) by Murray J. Harris


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; helps “student with the Greek text”

Best for:

pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) closes the gap between the Greek text and the available lexical and grammatical tools, providing all the necessary information for greater understanding of the text. The series makes interpreting any given New Testament book easier, especially for those who are hard pressed for time but want to preach or teach with accuracy and authority… The body is devoted to paragraph-by-paragraph exegesis of the Greek text and includes homiletical helps and suggestions for further study.”



Colossians (AB) by Markus Barth and Helmut Blanke


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a helpful exposition”

Best for:

pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

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.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



Colossians and Philemon (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes


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Audience:

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.”



Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (For Everyone) by N.T. Wright


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Audience:

From the publisher: “N.T. ‘Tom’ Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the end of each volume.”



Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon (Interpretation) by Ralph P. Martin


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Audience:

From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (NAC) by Richard R. Melick Jr.


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Audience:

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.”



Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (NIBC) by Arthur G. Patzia


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Audience:

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.”



Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians (HNTC) by Max Anders


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Audience:

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.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



Colossians and Philemon (MNTC) by John MacArthur


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Audience:

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.”