Commentaries on the Book of Jonah

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



Jonah (The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expositional Commentary) by Joyce Baldwin


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on The Minor Prophets

Tremper Longman: “Baldwin is always worth reading on any book on which she chooses to comment”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Jonah, “Baldwin also questions the arguments of those who identify Jonah as a work of fiction.”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “With their messages of doom and judgment, the Minor Prophets have not been popular subjects in the history of biblical interpretation. Here noted evangelical scholars–such as Bruce Waltke, Tremper Longman III, F. F. Bruce, and J. Alec Motyer–remedy this neglect by offering an authoritative, evangelical treatment of the prophets. In this edition, which now combines three volumes into one, the authors not only provide meticulous exegesis of the Hebrew text but also relate the message of the ancient prophets to contemporary life in practical and meaningful ways.”



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (Word Biblical Commentary) by Douglas Stuart


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “one of the best recent commentaries on the Minor Prophets…a must-buy for everyone preaching on these books”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “An excellent commentary, evangelical and thorough in its treatment of the text.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Jonah, “It is a must-read on the first five Minor Prophets. On Jonah, Stuart argues for the historicity of the book.”

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.”



Obadiah, Jonah, Micah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by T. Desmond Alexander


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “a very helpful guide to the historical background and theology of the book”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “An evangelical treatment less technical than many others.”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Jonah, “clear and concise, and Alexander also argues for the historicity of the events described in the book”

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.”



Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Leslie Allen


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “up-to-date, insightful, and careful”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Broadly evangelical, though does not take the book as a record of actual events.”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



Man Overboard!: The Story of Jonah by Sinclair B. Ferguson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Jonah, “a treasure trove for preachers and teachers…exhibits a rare combination today — the insights of one who is both a pastor and a scholar”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Jonah is not a book about a great fish! It is really a book about God, and how one man came, through painful experience, to discover the true character of the God whom he had already served int he earlier years of his life. He was to find the doctrine about God come alive in his experience. It is this combination of doctrine and experience that makes Jonah such a fascinating, instructive and practical book. The teaching of Jonah searches our hearts and consciences in a special way because it is the story of a man who was on the run from God. It traces not only the path of his journey, but unravels the inner workings of his heart- his fears, motivations, and passing moods. Christians today still experience these ‘Jonah syndromes'”.



Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (New International Version Application Commentary) by James Bruckner


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “Bruckner does a nice job getting to the heart of the message”

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 Gospel According to Jonah (The Gospel According to the Old Testament) by Bryan Estelle


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Jonah, “shows how Jonah points forward to Christ and the Gospel ..although a brief work, it is thorough and thoughtful”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Though simple enough for a child to grasp, the book of Jonah is an extremely subtle and complex work full of wonderful literary artistry mixed with many layers of meaning. This study presents the book of Jonah as part of the unfolding, unified story of redemption pointing to Christ. Pastors, seminarians, and thoughtful readers interested in how the Old Testament points to Christ will appreciate this new study of Jonah.”



Jonah (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by John H. Walton


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “Walton has a wonderful knowledge of Near Eastern background and great exegetical sensitivity”

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.”



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by James Limburg


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: scored 4 out of 5 stars, “well written with interesting comments about the use of the book in the New Testament”

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.”



Jonah (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Jack M. Sasson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “provocative…well worth adding to a reference library”

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.”



Obadiah and Jonah (A Continental Commentary) by Hans Walter Wolff


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “a very helpful commentary”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “makes leading critical biblical scholarship from German and French scholars available to the English-speaking world. This series combines scholarly excellence with academic rigor to benefit pastors, students, and scholars of both the Old and New Testament…Each book in the Continental Commentary Series includes comprehensive introductory material, including an explanation of narrative themes, an overview of the historical and cultural context, an analysis of textual traditions, and an evaluation of recent literature. The remainder of each volume is divided according to each pericope of Scripture, with each section containing a summary of secondary literature, a fresh translation of the text, an evaluation of the literary form and the setting in life, and a lengthy commentary. Each volume also contains indexes on Hebrew words, subjects, names and authors, and other material.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



Jonah and Micah (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.



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (The Preacher’s Commentary) by Lloyd J. Ogilvie


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”



Jonah (Christ-Centered Exposition) by David Platt


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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.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (New American Commentary) by Billy K. Smith and Frank S. Page


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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.”



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah (Holman Old Testament Commentary) by Trent C. Butler


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary. When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience.”



Minor Prophets (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary) by Richard D. Patterson and Andrew E. Hill


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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.”



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary) by Daniel J. Simundson


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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 Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.”



The Minor Prophets by Charles L. Feinberg


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “A comprehensive commentary on all twelve of the minor prophets Free of footnotes and devotional in style.”



Jonah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Phillip Cary


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”



Exegetical Commentaries



Jonah (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament) by Kevin J. Youngblood


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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 [original] 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.”



Technical and Critical Commentaries



Jonah (The Old Testament Library) by James Limburg


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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 Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.”



Jonah (Concordia Commentary) by R. Reed Lessing


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



The Minor Prophets: An Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) was senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also president and cofounder of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the parent organization of The Bible Study Hour on which Boice was a speaker for more than thirty years…Boice has created a unique blend of scripture insight, rich devotional application, and vivid illustration in this commentary.”



Minor Prophets (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.



Jonah (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.”


Also see:

<< Obadiah Bible Commentaries | Micah Bible Commentaries >>