Commentaries on the Gospel of 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. See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.

Top Reviewed Commentaries on the Gospel of John



The Gospel According to John (The Pillar New Testament Commentary) by D. A. Carson


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Reviews and 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: 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.



John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Andreas J. Kostenberger


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Reviews and 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: 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.



The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Craig S. Keener


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

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: A Theological Commentary by Herman Ridderbos


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Reviews and 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 John; “a valuable and insightful commentary”

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

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 (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by J. Ramsey Michaels


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Reviews and 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: 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.



The Gospel According to John (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Leon Morris


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Reviews and 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: 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.”



John (New International Version Application Commentary) by Gary M. Burge


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

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.



John (Word Biblical Commentary) by George R. Beasley-Murray


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

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.



John (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Colin G. Kruse


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

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.



The Gospel According to St. John: An Introduction with Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text by C. K. Barrett


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “excellent exposition”

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

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.”



The Gospel of John (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Raymond E. Brown


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

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.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



John: That You May Believe (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes


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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.”



John (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Richard D. Phillips


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

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.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



John (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Gerard Sloyan


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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 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 Expositional Commentary) by R. C. Sproul


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

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 (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Edward W. Klink


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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 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.



John (Paideia Commentary on the New Testament) by Jo-Ann A. Bryant


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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 commentary, like each in the series, approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions. Graduate and seminary students, professors, and pastors will benefit from this readable commentary, as will theological libraries.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



John (New American Commentary) by Gerald L. Borchert


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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.



The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Frederick Dale Bruner


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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 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 (The New Testament Library) by Marianne Meye Thompson


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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 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 (The Bible Speaks Today) by Bruce Milne


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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.”



John (Revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary) by Robert Mounce


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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.” See more about the revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



The Gospel of John (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) by Francis Martin and William M. Wright IV


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Supported by leading Catholic scholars as well as popular Bible teachers, the series offers a unique level of commentary for Catholic students of the Bible. Its attractive packaging and accessible writing style make it a series to own–and to read! Drawn from the best of contemporary scholarship, series volumes are keyed to the liturgical year and include an index of pastoral subjects.”



John (The IVP New Testament Commentary) by Rodney A. Whitcare


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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, 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.



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



John (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.”



John (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.”



Exposition of the Gospel of John by A.W. Pink


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

Purpose: From the publisher: Pink “has already devoted fifteen years of special study to John’s Gospel and taught the book to five different classes in the course of as many pastorates besides lecturing on it frequently from the Bibles conference platform. He has diligently sought to do two things (and accomplished them with praiseworthy distinction): (1) obtain from God the meaning of the text, and (2) apply its lessons most effectively to his hearers and readers.”



John (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.


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