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Best Commentaries on Ruth

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.

Robert Hubbard, Jr. – The Book of Ruth (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1989). Ruth is one of the few books of the Bible that I have preached straight-through and, therefore, one I can speak to from at least a bit of personal experience. Hubbard’s receives near-unanimous praise and Keith Mathison says it well: “Robert Hubbard’s commentary on Ruth is a model of how commentaries should be written. It is careful and clear. It manages to deal with both details and the big picture. This is the first commentary to which one should turn with questions about the Book of Ruth.” It was certainly helpful to me. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Daniel I. Block – Judges, Ruth (New American Commentary). Block’s commentary covers both Judges and Ruth and is highly recommended for its treatment of both books. Longman gives it a 5-star rating and says “This contribution is clearly the best thing available on the book of Judges [and, Ruth]. Block is thoroughly aware of all the literature that precedes his own, and he incorporates what is good and criticizes what is bad.” He also praises Block’s insights along with his literary and theological analysis. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Iain Duguid – Esther & Ruth (Reformed Expository Commentary). I read this one devotionally before reading it during sermon preparation and in both uses found it very, very helpful. It is a sermon-based commentary and ideal for giving an example of how to preach the text and how to illustrate and apply it. This is one of my favorites in the Reformed Expository Commentary series. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Frederic W. Bush – Ruth, Esther (Word Biblical Commentary). This commentary is significantly more technical than the others in the list, and a little more philosophical. Yet it is also very thorough and very helpful. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Sinclair Ferguson – Faithful God: An Exposition of the Book of Ruth. I read this little book years ago and returned to it when preaching Ruth. When I reviewed it many years ago I said, “Do not let its small size and relative obscurity fool you. This is a wonderful book and one that I trust can and will bless you as it has blessed me. There is much wisdom in its pages. There is much to ponder, to reflect upon, and to prayerfully integrate into a life.” I stand by those comments today. While it is not a commentary proper, it is still tremendously helpful. (Amazon, Westminster Books)

You couldn’t go wrong with Ruth & Esther: There Is a Redeemer and Sudden Reversals (Focus on the Bible) by David Strain (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos). I would also recommend looking at Barry G. Webb’s contribution to the Preaching the Word series (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos).


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