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Best Commentaries on Luke

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.

  • David Garland – Luke (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). The ZECNT is quickly proving itself to be a premier commentary series. Garland is a trusted commentator, so I believe this volume will attract the plaudits of many scholars and pastors. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)
  • James R. Edwards – The Gospel According to Luke (Pillar New Testament Commentary). The Pillar series is one of the absolute best and every volume is worth collecting. This one was released after most of the commentaries on the commentaries were already published. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

And now, here are the expert recommendations:

Darrell L. Bock – Luke 1:1-9:50 & Luke 9:51-24:53 (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). The clear and unanimous leader in the field is this 2,100-page two-volume set by Darrell Bock. It receives accolades for being thorough but not dense, for being conservative, and for having plenty of theological discussion that makes it especially useful for sermon preparation. D.A. Carson praises the volumes for being “recent, comprehensive, well written, and intelligent.” Do note that Bock has written two other volumes on Luke but that if you own these, you will not need the others. (Amazon: Volume 1 & Volume 2, Westminster Books: Volume 1 & Volume 2, Logos: Volume 1 & Volume 2)

Robert H. Stein – Luke (New American Commentary). Stein’s 642-page commentary is positively small next to Bock’s. It is considered an intermediate-level commentary that may be a little too advanced for the casual reader; the pastor or scholar well-versed in Greek may want to pass it up in favor of Bock and Marshall (see below). One benefit of this commentary is that it is reasonably-priced and thus good value for the money. (Amazon, Logos)

Leon Morris – Luke (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries). The inherent and deliberate limits of the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries means that this volume is relatively short (370 pages) and written at a popular level. This is the entry-level commentary for those who would like just one volume on Luke. Morris has written commentaries on many books of the Bible and they are uniformly sound even if they are rarely considered the top of the class. (Amazon, Logos)

Joel Green – The Gospel of Luke (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Most commentators on the commentaries commend this volume, D.A. Carson among them, though he offers caveats. He says it is “full of thoughtful interaction with contemporary scholarship, but I do not think it is either as rigorous or as accurate as the work of Luke.” He suggests that its unique strength is narrative historiography and discourse analysis. If you, like me, don’t know what that means, then perhaps choose one of the other volumes! (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Of course there are many other volumes on Luke that we could consider. Philip Ryken’s contribution to the Reformed Expository Commentary series is too new to have gained many reviews, but I always find Ryken a steady guide and a helpful expositor with his sermon-based commentaries. This two-volume set is ideal for devotional reading or for a pastor looking for a model of fine expository preaching. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Let me close with a question: What are your preferred commentaries on Luke? Are there some you’ve found particularly helpful or are there some we would do well to avoid?

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