Brazos Theological Commentaries | Reviews, Theology

The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series is a modern-day reference collection that interprets the bible by means of theological explanation. In each volume, authors discuss Scripture, the theological implications of the text, as well as give some attention to the history of interpretation. The Brazos series is not technical, so people who don’t have knowledge of the original languages can follow along easily. Pastors, teachers, bible study leaders, and those who are interested in biblical studies combined with theology, will benefit from these volumes. The general editor for the Brazos series is R. R. Reno.

Note: See the Bible Commentaries Comparison Chart to see how the Brazos series compares to dozens of other commentary series.

Brazos Theological Bible Commentaries: Reviews

brazos theological bible commentaryMark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame:

“The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church’s sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt.”

Calvin Miller, emeritus professor of preaching and pastoral ministry, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University:

“Contemporary application of the Bible to life is the preacher’s business. But no worthy contemporary application is possible without a thorough understanding of the ancient text. The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher’s application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary offers just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be.”

Author interviews from the Brazos series on Best Bible Commentaries

Ruth by Stephen Fowl: (click to read full Q & A)

“One of the things people note about Ruth is that God plays such a limited role in the story. God’s will is accomplished through people being willing to act in ways that seem good to them. One could get hung up trying to distinguish God’s will from human actions in this story. I take it that one of the theological points one might make, however, is that this story shows that in the lives of devoted followers of God, it becomes ever more difficult to disentangle God’s will from their will and it is less crucial to do so.”

Purpose of the Brazos Theological Commentary Series

From the publisher: “Leading theologians read and interpret scripture for today’s church, providing guidance for reading the Bible under the rule of faith. Each volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible is designed to serve the church–through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth–and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”

Volumes in the Brazos Theological Commentary Series

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Genesis – R. R. Reno

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society:

“Reno’s commentary on Genesis stands out by providing a purely theological approach to the Scriptures. . . . A great commentary for those who seek to be exposed to a wide diversity of theological views that have been put forth regarding the book of Genesis.”

Leviticus – Ephraim Radner


“Preachers will . . . find considerable assistance and rich theological material in Leviticus. . . . [Radner] is well known as a theologian. With this volume, he makes a serious contribution to biblical scholarship as well.”

Numbers – David L. Stubbs

Deuteronomy – Telford Work

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society:

“[Work’s] desire to recover [Deuteronomy] for the church is commendable. . . . This commentary will force readers to remember it is not enough to leave this wonderful revelation in its historical context.”

1 Samuel – Francesca Aran Murphy

David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary:

“[Francesca Murphy] pays fastidious attention to the theological readings passed down to us throughout the centuries, from Origen to von Balthasar. She does not discard the modern hermeneutic; rather, she uses it in the service of doing faithful theology for our time.”

2 Samuel – Robert Barron

1 and 2 Kings – Peter J. Leithart

Toronto Journal of Theology:

“Leithart does an eminently satisfying work of exposition. . . . The two disciplines of biblical and theological studies can only benefit from cross-disciplinary engagement and, certainly, Leithart demonstrates that both disciplines can be used critically and in service of the Church.”

Ezra and Nehemiah – Matthew Levering

Ray Van Neste, assistant professor, Nihon University:

“This is a good addition to other commentaries helping preachers take the step from close examination of the text to seeing how each portion of this story fits in the whole flow of redemption. . . . [It] points the way to thinking more theologically in these books.”

Esther and Daniel – Samuel Wells and George Sumner

Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School:

“A fascinating conversation between two books that capture opposite aspects of the life of faith emerges in this volume of the Brazos Theological Commentary. In Esther, God seems to disappear from history, leaving the faithful to their own desperate devices. And in Daniel, we read about God breaking into the chaos of history. Imaginatively and convincingly, Wells and Sumner show the theological, ethical, and even missional importance of these ‘outlier’ books within the Christian canon. Powerfully written, this book is designed to stimulate serious conversation in the church.”

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes – Daniel J. Treier

Raymond C. Van Leeuwen, professor of biblical studies, Eastern University:

“Treier’s new commentary is a rare gift: rich theological reflection and wisdom from and on Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. It fills a serious gap in much Christian thought and practice.”

Song of Songs – Paul J. Griffiths

Richard S. Hess, Earl S. Kalland Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Denver Seminary:

“A wonderful commentary on the New Vulgate text of the Song of Songs. Readers will benefit from Griffiths’s introduction defending the value of the study of translations, his close study of the translation he has chosen, and his theological interpretations of Christ and the church.”

Ezekiel – Robert W. Jenson

Jonah – Phillip Cary

Stephen Fowl, Department of Theology, Loyola College:

“Cary writes with an energy and clarity rarely found in biblical commentaries of any type. . . . This volume will both edify and repay repeated reading.”

Matthew – Stanley Hauerwas

Princeton Theological Review:

“A fresh perspective on Matthew that is aberrantly insightful, colorful, compelling, and powerful. Well-written, fast-paced, and accessible to laity, Hauerwas delivers thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation between Matthew’s gospel and American culture.”

Luke – David Lyle Jeffrey

Markus Bockmuehl, professor, Keble College, University of Oxford:

“With its exciting, theologically vibrant range of reference across 20 centuries of interpretation, this is a terrific contribution . . . Jeffrey brings the evangelist to life for us on a brilliant exegetical and theological tour of attentive Gospel interpretation down the ages.”

Acts – Jaroslav Pelikan

Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame:

“[Acts] has all the marks of Pelikan’s scholarship: a close reading of the Greek text; a verse-by-verse commentary on that text studded with references to the great patristic commentators; and a constant eye on the theological and homiletical possibilities of the text itself, as well as its place in the liturgical life of the church both West and East.”

Colossians – Christopher R. Seitz

Books and Culture:

“[Seitz’s] theological interests shine brightly. . . . Seitz offers a wealth of canonical and theological commentary on the text of Colossians. . . . By and large, readers will be enriched both theologically and historically. . . . Seitz’s commentary, while paying due attention to the history and importance of theological interpretation as represented in the Nicene tradition, seems to prioritize the scriptural text. Well done!”

1 and 2 Peter – Douglas Harink

A. K. M. Adam, lecturer in New Testament, University of Glasgow:

“An outstanding, illuminating, impressive example of a commentary written in the canonical mode. This commentary displays instructive subtlety and scope in braiding scriptural, patristic, Reformation, modern, and postmodern wisdom together with the texts of 1 and 2 Peter.”

The Pastoral Epistles with Philemon and Jude

I. Howard Marshall, emeritus professor of New Testament exegesis, University of Aberdeen:

“Saarinen’s commentary does an excellent job of mediating the insights of recent large-scale works in a readable exposition that concentrates on theology. This is a stimulating study that helpfully and sympathetically challenges some traditionalist approaches.”

Revelation – Joseph L. Mangina

Travis Kroeker, professor of religion, McMaster University”

“This well-written, literate, and illuminating commentary on a classically obscure text is at once theologically astute and ecclesiastically up-building—a rare combination indeed. I gladly commend it to scholars and teachers, preachers and laypeople alike.”