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Best Commentaries on Job

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.

The book of Job has seen a large number of new commentaries over the past several years. We are blessed!

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.

  • Christopher Ash – Job: The Wisdom of the Cross (Preaching the Word). I have heard nothing but praise for Ash’s volume on Job. Because this is part of the PTW series, it is based on sermons and suitable for preachers or general readers alike. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)
  • Richard Belcher – Job: The Mystery of Suffering and God’s Sovereignty (Focus on the Bible). Both the author (Richard Belcher) and the publishers (Christian Focus) are very trustworthy, so this will certainly be a helpful volume. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

David J.A. Clines – Job 1-20; Job 21-37; Job 38-42 (Word Biblical Commentary). The experts all agree that Cline’s contributions to the WBC is the best available on Job. It spans three large volumes, so is not for the faint-of-heart. Derek Thomas says, “This is the most comprehensive commentary available. … Cline deserves to be read thoroughly, though there are times when he is irritatingly defensive on Christological implications in the ‘big texts’ in Job.” (Amazon: Volume 1, Volume 2 Volume 3; Westminster Books: Volume 1, Volume 2; Logos: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3).

John Hartley – The Book of Job (New International Commentary on the Old Testament). Hartley’s commentary is quite recent (1990) and is considered a good complement to Clines’. Tremper Longman calls it “a major contribution to the study of the book” and explains “this is because it examines all the facets of the book, not necessarily because it is terribly original. It is solidly evangelical in its approach and very well researched.” (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Francis I. Andersen – Job (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries). Anderson’s volume is part of the TOTC and is necessarily limited by the series. As Keith Mathison says, “For those seeking a more introductory level commentary on the book of Job, Francis Anderson’s commentary is the best place to start. Anderson is a renowned scholar, and the commentary reflects his learning without becoming overly technical. Virtually any reader should be able to pick up this volume and work their way through it with little difficulty. A very helpful introductory commentary.” (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Elmer Smick – Job in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. As is so often the case, there appears to be a dramatic drop-off in quality after the first three recommendations. At this point there is far less consensus among the commentators on the commentaries. Also, most people will find three commentaries sufficient. For those interested, Smick’s commentary appears good and Keith Mathison even gives it his person recommendation as a former student of Smick’s. (Amazon)

I look forward to reviews of Tremper Longman’s Job (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms). Longman is known as one of the foremost scholars of the Old Testament, so it should prove a valuable volume. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

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