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Best Commentaries on 1 & 2 Thessalonians

This page is current as of December 2023.

For recommendations on other books and an introduction to this series, visit
Best Commentaries on Each Book of the Bible.

Before turning to the expert recommendations, here are some recent commentaries written by trusted scholars that may be of interest. Because these volumes are newly published, the commentators on the commentaries have not yet had opportunity to evaluate them. They would, though, come with my recommendation.

  • Gary Shogren – 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). The ZECNT is one of my favorite series and I have found this volume helpful in my own studies. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)
  • Richard Phillips – 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Reformed Expository Commentary). Phillips has written many commentaries in the REC series and all of them have proven valuable. They are written as sermons for a general audience. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

And now, here are the expert recommendations:

Gene L. Green – The Letters to the Thessalonians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). The clear consensus for the best commentary on the two letters to the Thessalonians is Green’s commentary from the PNTC series. Because 2 Thessalonians contains a very difficult and much disputed text (2 Thess. 2:1-12), few people are going to agree with one commentator all the way. Though even Green will not satisfy everyone, the experts all agree that he does justice to the letters and handle them fairly. This commentary is the place to begin. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Charles A. Wanamaker – The Epistles to the Thessalonians (New International Greek Testament Commentary). As there is consensus on the best commentary, there is also consensus on the second best. Mathison says, “Wanamaker attempts to resolve some of the difficulties related to these letters by arguing that 2 Thessalonians was actually written before 1 Thessalonians. I am not persuaded, but my disagreement on this point does not mean that I do not appreciate this commentary. Like all of the commentaries in the NIGTC series, it is technical and requires some knowledge of Greek. A very useful work for those doing in-depth study.” As always, let me remind you that this commentary assumes significant knowledge of Greek. (Amazon, Logos)

F.F. Bruce – 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Word Biblical Commentary). Are there any major New Testament commentary sets that do not have at least one volume by F.F. Bruce? There can’t be too many! And if I have my facts correct, this was actually the very first volume in the WBC. From reading the experts’ reviews, it appears that there is rather a sharp drop-off in quality between Green/Wanamaker and Bruce, so I suppose the others ought to be consulted first. (Amazon, Logos)

Leon Morris – 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries). Like F.F. Bruce, Leon Morris has contributed commentaries for many books of the Bible and to many commentary sets. His volume on 1 & 2 Thessalonians is the TNTC series which means it is relatively short and has been written for a general audience. If you are not preaching or teaching the book, and would simply like to learn more about it, this will be a good choice. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

G.K. Beale – 1-2 Thessalonians (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series). After penning a powerful commentary on Revelation, it probably makes sense that Beale would turn as well to Thessalonians. Keith Mathison says, “Beale has written what many consider to be a definitive commentary on the book of Revelation, and now we have the results of his research into the Thessalonian epistles. Whether one agrees or disagrees with all of his conclusions, Beale always has interesting food for thought.” That is a little cryptic, but I take it as a recommendation! (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)


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