Commentaries on John

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



John (PNTC) by D. A. Carson


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Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on John

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “the first choice for pastors”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on John

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on John; “conservative evangelical scholarship at its best”

Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



John (BECNT) by Andreas J. Kostenberger


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “an excellent work on the Greek text”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on John

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on John, “a solid, thorough, and practical work that will be of benefit to students and pastors”

D.A. Carson: “a conservative commentary replete with many references to previous works”

Best for:
pastors, teachers, scholars

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.”



The Gospel of John by Craig S. Keener


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Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on John; “despite the sheer quantity of material, the writing is accessible…indispensable for the serious student”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on John

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on John, “those who are doing in-depth study of John cannot afford to be without this outstanding work”

Best for:
pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “Keener’s commentary explores the Jewish and Greco-Roman settings of John more deeply than previous works, paying special attention to social-historical and rhetorical features of the Gospel. It cites about 4,000 different secondary sources and uses over 20,000 references from ancient literature.”



The Gospel of John by Herman Ridderbos


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Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on John; “theologically richer than most commentaries”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “theological insightful”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Luke; “a valuable and insightful commentary”

Best for:
pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “This excellent commentary by Herman Ridderbos engages seriously the host of twentieth-century interpretations of John while also developing its own integral understanding of John in which the Gospel emerges as a profoundly theological work. Ridderbos presents John in its distinctively apostolic character and includes important criteria for the literary and homiletical exegesis of the Fourth Gospel.”



The Gospel of John (NICNT) by J. Ramsey Michaels


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Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on John; “the writing style is superb, and insights abound on just about every page”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on John

Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



The Gospel According to John (NICNT) by Leon Morris


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Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on John; ” a standard of conservative evangelical scholarship on [John]”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “thorough and reverent exposition”

Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



John (NIVAC) by Gary M. Burge


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Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on John

Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



John (WBC) by George R. Beasley-Murray


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “fine treatment of the Greek text”

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.”



John (TNTC) by Colin G. Kruse


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “a solid exposition for pastors”

Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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 Gospel According to St. John by C. K. Barrett


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “excellent exposition”

Best for:
pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “C. K. Barrett’s Commentary on the Greek text of the Gospel of John has long been recognized as a major contribution to theological studies and has become the standard work in the field. His comprehensive Introduction to the Gospel deals not only with questions of date and authorship, but also with its theology and its place in developing Christian thought and institutional life. This is followed by a detailed commentary that explains John’s language and provides a thorough exegesis of his text.”



John (REC) by Richard D. Phillips


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Accolades:

World Magazine: 2017 “Series of the Year”

Best for:

Anyone

Purpose:

From the publisher: 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.”



John (two volumes; AB) by Raymond E. Brown


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Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “careful exposition by the renowned Roman Catholic scholar”

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



John (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes


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Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



John (Interpretation) by Gerard Sloyan


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Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

Purpose:

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.”



John (St. Andrews) by R. C. Sproul


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Best for:
Anyone

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.”



More Exegetical Commentaries



John (ZECNT) by Edward W. Klink


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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.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



John (two volumes; NAC) by Gerald L. Borchert


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Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



The Gospel of John by Frederick Dale Bruner


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Best for:
pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “The author of a much-loved two-volume Matthew commentary (1990) that he greatly revised and expanded fourteen years later, Frederick Dale Bruner now offers The Gospel of John: A Commentary — more rich fruit of his lifetime of study and teaching. Rather than relying primarily on recent scholarship, Bruner honors and draws from the church’s major John commentators throughout history, including Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Bultmann, Barrett, and many more.”



John (NTL) by Marianne Meye Thompson


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Best for:
pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose:

From the publisher: “The New Testament Library series offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, providing fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.”



The Message of John (BST) by Bruce Milne


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Best for:
pastors, educated laypeople

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.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



John (two volumes; MNTC) by John MacArthur


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Best for:
Anyone

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.”