Best 1 Corinthians Commentaries | Updated for 2021

The best 1 Corinthians commentaries are listed below. There are exegetical commentaries, scholarly and technical commentaries, as well as commentaries that are easy to understand. The “Top 10″ list is based on aggregate reviews.

This list of commentaries is intended to help the reader understand and apply Paul’s message in the book of 1 Corinthians. They are not suggested as a replacement for prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the reader’s own diligent study of Scripture.

It is hoped that these books will aid the Christian pastor, preacher, teacher, student, as well as any Bible reader that wants to understand more about 1 Corinthians.

May each reader’s aim be to glorify God in Jesus Christ; to strengthen Christ’s bride, the Church; and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost.

After browsing the commentaries below, also see the best one-volume bible commentaries, based on aggregate reviews.

Top 10 First Corinthians Commentaries

Please read: The “Top 10” list below is a starting point for learning about 1 Corinthians commentaries. It is not intended to be the “final word” because of its limitations.

Nevertheless, a list based on aggregate reviews is likely to point many people in the right direction to find the right resource for their purposes.

#1

The First Epistle to the Corinthians
New International Commentary on the New Testament
by Gordon D. Fee

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First Corinthians commentary Gordon Fee

Reviews and Accolades:

• D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on 1 Corinthians, “Fee’s commentary is lucid, informed, sensible, and written with great verve”

• Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on 1 Corinthians

• Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on 1 Corinthians

• Tom Schreiner: “an outstanding exposition of the letter with attention paid to its relevance to today”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Fee takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Pentecostal and this governs his interpretation of Chapters 12-14.

This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Fee is known for his Philippians commentary in the same series, which is considered one of the best Philippians commentaries.

The publisher notes that the NICNT series provides readers “with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.”

See more about the New International Commentary on the New Testament series.

Please also see Best Commentary Series: The Top 50. Based on aggregate reviews.

#2

The First Epistle to the Corinthians
New International Greek Testament Commentary
by Anthony C. Thiselton

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First Corinhtians commentary by Anthony Thiselton

Reviews and Accolades:

• D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on 1 Corinthians, “the best commentary on the Greek text…Thiselton has outdone himself”

• Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a massive and technical commentary for research”

• Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on 1 Corinthians

• Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on 1 Corinthians; “the most thorough and complete commentary on this book available in English”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Thiselton takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He associates with the Anglican tradition. Those who have been trained in Greek will maximize this commentary.

The publisher notes that “at a time when the study of Greek is curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGNT will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament.”

See more about the New International Greek Testament Commentary series.

#3

1 Corinthians
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
by David E. Garland

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First Corinhtians commentary by David Garland

Reviews and Accolades:

• D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on 1 Corinthians; tied with Fee for “best general commentary on this epistle”

• Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on 1 Corinthians

• Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a solid exposition of the Greek text”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Garland takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. This commentary is best of expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Garland is known for writing the Colossians commentary in the NIVAC series, which is considered one of the best Colossians commentaries.

The publisher notes that the BECNT series combines “scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness.”

See more about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.

#4

1 Corinthians
NIV Application Commentary
by Craig Blomberg

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1 Corinthians commentary by Craig Blomberg

Reviews and Accolades:

• Craig Blomberg, etal: a priority commentary on 1 Corinthians

• Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a helpful exposition”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Blomberg takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He teaches at Denver Seminary, which has a multi-denominational student body, yet is historically Baptist.

This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Blomberg is known for writing the Matthew commentary in the NAC series, which is considered one of the best Matthew commentaries.

The publisher notes that NIVAC series helps readers “think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance.”

See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.

#5

The First Epistle to Corinthians
Black’s New Testament Commentary
by C.K. Barrett

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1 Corinthians commentary by C.K. Barrett

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a brief but helpful exposition”

• Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on 1 Corinthians; “should not be missed”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Barrett takes a moderately critical approach to Scripture. He associated with the Methodist church (d. 2011). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Barrett is known for writing the Acts commentary in the ICC series, which is considered one of the best Acts commentaries.

The publisher notes that the BNTC series “has been hailed by both scholars and pastors for its insightful interpretations and reliable commentary.”

See more about Black’s New Testament Commentary series.

#6

1 Corinthians
Focus on the Bible
by Paul Barnett

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1 Corinthians commentary by Paul Barnett

Reviews and Accolades:

• Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on 1 Corinthians; “his insight into the text and its contemporary application is extremely helpful”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Barnett takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He associates with the Anglican church. This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes.

Barnett wrote the Romans commentary in the same series, which is considered one of the best Romans commentaries.

The publisher notes the FOB series consists of “popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth.”

See more about the Focus on the Bible commentary series.

#7

1 Corinthians
Tyndale New Testament Commentary
by Leon Morris

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1 Corinthians commentary by Leon Morris

Reviews and Accolades:

• Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on 1 Corinthians; “Morris can usually say more in a few pages than most commentators can say in an entire book”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Morris takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was evangelical and associated with the Anglican church (d. 2006).

This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Morris is well-known for his Galatians commentary, which is considered one the best Galatians commentaries.

The publisher notes that TNTC commentaries approach the text “section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation.”

See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.

#8

The First Letter to the Corinthians
Pillar New Testament Commentary
by Roy C. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner

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1 Corinthians commentary Pillar

Reviews and Accolades:

• Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on 1 Corinthians

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries interview with Roy E. Ciampa on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: The authors take an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the PNTC series combines “rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible.”

See more about the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.

#9

1 Corinthians
Teach the Text Commentary Series
by Preben Vang

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1 Corinthians commentary vang

Reviews and Accolades:

• Craig Blomberg, etal: a priority commentary on 1 Corinthians

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Vang takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes.

The publisher notes that this series utilizes “the best of biblical scholarship” and provides “the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively.”

See more about the Teach the Text commentary series.

#10

1 Corinthians
Hermeneia
by Hans Conzelmann

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1 Corinthians commentary Hermeneia

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tom Schreiner: “helpful especially in terms of background”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Conzelmann takes a critical approach to Scripture. Those who have been trained in Greek will maximize this commentary.

The publisher notes that the Hermeneia series “seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books.” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.

More Book of First Corinthians Commentaries for Christian Ministry

Please read: Why are the 1 Corinthians commentaries below not in the “Top 10”? It’s not because they have received poor reviews or because people haven’t found them helpful. The reasons vary:

  • Some are relatively new and haven’t been widely reviewed, read, or used yet.
  • Others haven’t been widely distributed, so it is difficult to get enough information to aggregate.
  • Still others may be outdated in relation to biblical scholarship or out of print and difficult to acquire.

The “Top 10” list is reviewed annually. Readers are encouraged to consider the volumes in this section before making a purchase. These 10 are not in any particular order.


First Corinthians
Interpretation
by Richard B. Hays

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1 Corinthians commentary Hays

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a fine brief exposition”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hays teaches at Duke Divinity School. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the Interpretation series “is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary.”


1 Corinthians
Crossway Classic Commentary
by Charles Hodge

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1 Corinthians commentary hodge

Reviews and Accolades:

• Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on 1 Corinthians; “filled with valuable insight,” “highly recommended”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes.

The publisher notes that the “Crossway Classic Commentaries present the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.”


1 Corinthians
New American Commentary
by Mark Taylor

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1 Corinthians Taylor

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Taylor takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the NIVAC series “has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.”

See more about the New American Commentary series.


1 Corinthians
Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised
by Veryln Verbrugge

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1 Corinthians commentary Verbrugge

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Verbrugge takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was a Zondervan editor, teaching pastor, author, and New Testament scholar (d. 2015).

This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the REBC series is “committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible.”

See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.


1 Corinthians
IVP New Testament Commentary
by Alan F. Johnson

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1 Corinthians commentary Johnson

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Johnson takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Johnson is known for writing the Revelation commentary in the REBC series.

The publisher notes that commentaries in the IVPNTC series are “informed by the best of up-to-date evangelical scholarship, presents passage-by-passage commentary based on the NIV along with background information on authorship, setting, theme and various interpretive issues.”

See more about the IVP New Testament Commentary series.


The Message of 1 Corinthians
The Bible Speaks Today
by David Prior

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1 Corinthians commentary David Prior

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Prior takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes the that “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.”

See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.


1-2 Corinthians
New Cambridge Bible Commentary
by Craig S. Keener

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1 Corinthians commentary Craig Keener

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Keener takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Keener is well-known for his John commentary, which is considered one of the best John commentaries.

The publisher notes that the NCBC series “intends to provide a fresh look at biblical texts, taking advantage of the growing edges in Biblical Studies.”


Conflict and Community in Corinth
A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
by Ben Witherington

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1 Corinthians commentary Ben Witherington

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Witherington takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian.

This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

Witherington also wrote the Mark commentary in the same series.

About the SRC series the publisher notes that “using sociorhetorical criticism, the New Testament is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read.” See more about the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.


1 Corinthians
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
by Paul Gardner

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1 Corinthians commentary Paul Gardner

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Gardner takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the ZECNT series “was refined over time by an editorial board who listened to pastors and teachers express what they wanted to see in a commentary series based on the Greek text.”

See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.


1 Corinthians
Concordia Commentary
by Gregory J. Lockwood

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1 Corinthians commentary Concordia

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Lockwood takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is evangelical and Lutheran. While not technical, the volumes in the Concordia Commentary series reflect seminary-level scholarship.

The target audience is pastors, professors, and teachers. The target audience is pastors, professors, and teachers.

According to the publisher, authors in the Concordia series “fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture as it emphasizes ‘that which promotes Christ’ in each pericope.”


1 Corinthians
Lectio Continua
by Kim Riddlebarger

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1 Corinthians commentary Lectio Continua

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Riddlebarger takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed.

This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the Lectio Continua series “seeks to be rigorously exegetical, God-centered, redemptive-historical, sin-exposing, Gospel-trumpeting and teeming with practical application.”


1 Corinthians
Understanding the Bible Commentary Series
by Marion L. Soards

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1 Corinthians commentary Marion Soards

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Soards takes a moderately evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.

The publisher notes that the UBCS series offers “section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted…” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.


First Corinthians
The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries
by Jospeh A. Fitzmyer

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1 Corinthians commentary Joseph Fitzmyer

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Fitzmyer takes a critical approach to Scripture. Those who have been trained in Greek will maximize this commentary. Fitzmyer also wrote the Luke commentary in the same series.

The publisher notes that the Anchor series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.”


I Corinthians: A Shorter Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary
by Anthony C. Thiselton

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1 Corinthians commentary Thiselton

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: From the publisher: Anthony Thiselton’s lengthy New International Greek Testament Commentary volume The First Epistle to the Corinthians (see above) has become a standard work on 1 Corinthians.

In this shorter commentary, Thiselton draws on his excellent exegesis from that volume, but combines it afresh with keen practical and pastoral application for readers at all levels.


Classic First Corinthians

1 and 2 Corinthians
Geneva Series of Commentaries
by Charles Hodge

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1 Corinthians commentary Charles Hodge

Synopsis: From the publisher: Charles Hodge’s work on 1 and 2 Corinthians, which is part of the Geneva Series of Commentaries, forms one of the most significant parts of the plan for a series of popular commentaries on the New Testament. He projected to do this with J. A. Alexander in the 1850s.

When the early death of Alexander prevented the completion of the series, the individual volumes were quickly prized in their own right and went through many editions on both sides of the Atlantic.


1-2 Corinthians
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
edited by Gerald L. Bray

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1 Corinthians commentary Bray

Synopsis: From the publisher: “The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture.”


Also see:

Compare 75 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart

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Get Karen Jobes 1-3 John commentary from Logos Bible Software here.