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Best Commentaries on Philippians

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.

  • Dennis E. Johnson – Philippians (Reformed Expository Commentary). The REC features sermon-based commentary on the text, making them suitable for all readers. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)
  • Matthew Harmon – Philippians (Mentor Commentaries). I have been using this volume in my own studies and finding it quite helpful. I look forward to the scholarly reviews catching up with it. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)
  • Walter Hansen – The Letter to the Philippians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). The PNTC is as good a series as there is and though this one was released a little too late for most of the commentaries on the commentaries, I have no doubt many will find it very useful. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

And now, here are the expert recommendations:

Gordon D. Fee – Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Fee’s commentary is considered almost the equal of O’Brien’s, though with the advantage that it is far more readable (since, after all, it comments on the NIV rather than the Greek text). The commentators on the commentaries praise his attention to the text and the liveliness of his writing. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Gerald Hawthorne – Philippians (Word Biblical Commentary). Hawthorne’s volume in the WBC series receives unanimous approval. Jim Rosscup points out that “some rank this as the top commentary on Philippians due to the wide reading and masterfully good survey on introductory questions and its carefulness on grammar, philology, capture of the epistle’s flow and handling of difficult passages.” It is targeted at pastors but is equally appropriate for lay leaders. (Amazon, Logos)

Moises Silva – Philippians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). This commentary is now in its second edition and this new edition is considered significantly stronger than the first. Keith Mathison says, “For those who would like something a little less technical, yet still very thorough, I would recommend the commentary by Moises Silva.” Its particular strength is in tracing the flow of Paul’s argument throughout the letter. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

J. Alec Motyer – The Message of Philippians (The Bible Speaks Today). There is always room for one commentary that is a little less technical and suitable for a wide readership. Such is the case with Motyer’s volume in The Bible Speaks Today series. The work is necessarily brief, but apparently still powerful. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)


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