Focus on the Bible Commentaries (FOB) | Reviews, Theology

The Focus on the Bible commentary series is a biblical studies resource from Christian Focus publishing.

Christian Focus is an evangelical publisher whose authors have Reformed convictions theologically, though they may belong to different denominations.

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Current Focus on the Bible cover design

All authors hold to the inerrancy of Scripture.

According to the publisher, the target audience for the the Focus on the Bible series is pastors and small group leaders. Volumes in this series are known for their easy-to-read explanations of the biblical text. In-depth exegesis is not an aim of the series.

Authors do not interact with the original languages of Scripture or advanced scholarship. The Mentor commentary series is the publisher’s mid-level, exegetically-focused commentary series.

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

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Focus on the Bible commentaries author interviews on Best Bible Commentaries

Preview: A few authors in the Focus on the Bible series have particiapted in Q&A interviews with Best Bible Commentaries. Please follow the provided links to read the interviews in full.

Allan Harman on Deuteronomy

Preview: “Deuteronomy consists of Moses’ preaching to the children of Israel before the entry into Canaan. The sermons come to a climax in chapters 29 and 30, and I was amazed at the intensity with which Moses pressed home his message. He sets before Israel the alternatives of life and death, and wants them to choose life (30:19-20).”

Richard Belcher on Job

Preview: “There is something unique in this commentary that very few commentaries have. A personal story of suffering is told as one reads the commentary.”

Also see these Q&A’s from this series:

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previous Focus on the Bible cover design

Volumes and Reviews in the FOB Commentary Series

The links below go to Amazon, which sells new and used books.

Matthew – Charles Price 

Mark – Geoffrey Grogan 

Acts – Bruce Milne 

Romans – Paul Barnett 

R. Kent Hughes, retired senior pastor, College Church:

“Distinguished New Testament historian and pastor, bishop Paul Barnett, has given us a clearly written commentary on Romans which, while critically conversant with the present debate over the new perspective, is clear and accessible to preachers and Bible teachers.

The deft hand of a scholar preacher is everywhere evident in the neat organization, precision, lucid explanative and warmth of this most helpful work.”

1 Corinthians – Paul Barnett 

David Jackman, former president, The Proclamation Trust:

“A scholar’s eye for background detail, a preacher’s careful attention to meaning, a pastor’s application to the challenges of our contemporary context.

All three combine in this clear-minded and warm-hearted exposition of First Corinthians, to make Paul’s great letter come alive with sparkling insights and pressing relevance.”

2 Corinthians – Geoffrey Grogan  

Galatians – Joseph A. Pipa Jr.

Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary:

“Here is a clear, succinct, and powerful exposition of a key Pauline letter. Pipa writes pastorally, an apt reflection of Paul’s own desire to inform and edify.

He writes learnedly, aware of challenges to Paul’s gospel from Federal Vision and New Perspective quarters.”

Ephesians – Paul Gardner

Steve Wilmshurst, Evangelical Now: “…handles the text soundly and carefully and also provides applications at the end of most sections.”

Philippians – Hywel R. Jones

Colossians and Philemon – John Woodhouse

Bill Cook, professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“This commentary by John Woodhouse is a rich source of biblical insight on the texts of Colossians and Philemon.

This volume is a great resource for the pastor as he prepares to feed his flock, but it is equally helpful for students of the Bible who desire to understand better these magnificent letters.

Maybe even more importantly, the text reflects the author’s own love for the Savior. I can gladly commend it.”

1 and 2 Thessalonians – Richard Mayhue

1 and 2 Timothy, Titus – Douglas Milne 

Anthony E. Bird, Reformed Theological Review:

“This is a valuable resource that will promote better understanding of these much neglected epistles and their message.”

Hebrews – Walter Riggans 

James – Derek Prime 

James – B. Dale Ellenburg and Christopher W. Morgan 

Robert A. Peterson, professor of systematic theology, Covenant Theological Seminary:

“…this is a solid and useful commentary written by two pastor-scholars to help the church be the church as God intended.”

1 Peter – Derek Cleave  

Richard Mayhue, professor of theology and pastoral ministries, The Master’s Seminary:

“An indispensable research source for pastors, teachers, and bible students.”

2 Peter and Jude – Paul Gardner  

Norris Wilson, Evangelical Times: “Not only does he begin the exposition of each book by giving an excellent outline, but he also ends each section with tremendously apt and relevant application, under the heading ‘Special Lessons for Today.’ Altogether, this is warmly recommended for individuals or groups.”

1, 2, and 3 John – Michael Eaton 

Revelation – Paul Gardner  

Richard L. Pratt, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando:

“Paul Gardner has given us an in-depth, but clear, approach . . . His insights into the meaning of this book will touch every dimension of the Christian life.”

Old Testament Volumes

Genesis – Richard Belcher 

Deuteronomy – Allan Harman 

Dale Ralph Davis, former professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary:

“He keeps the connectedness of the text before us and yet can dash off to capture a Hebrew participle or suffix, pilfer a bit of Near Eastern background, or serve up the succinct result of a word study—all to light up a passage.”

Joshua – Dale Ralph Davis 

Richard A. Bodey, professor of homiletics, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School:

“A happy blend of exegetical and historical study on the one hand, and homiletical treatment and application on the other. Ideas pop out everywhere, even in the most unlikely places.

New insights abound. No one who reads this book will ever find Joshua dull and tedious again.”

Judges – Dale Ralph Davis 

Southwestern Journal of Theology:

“The most practical expository work that this reviewer has ever encountered.”

Judges and Ruth – Stephen Dray 

Ruth & Esther – Barry C. Davis and A. Boyd Luter  

1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart – Dale Ralph Davis 

Warren Wiersbe, author, Be Series:

“Dale Ralph Davis brings cultural and historical color to the task of interpretation and adds a pastor’s heart for personal application.

You will find a point of contact with the lives of Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David as Davis answers the question, “What does God seek when he looks on the heart?”

Davis presents a simple exposition of the literary and theological character of the text in a bright and fascinating way. . . presents historical and theological material in a way that can only excite the expositor.”

2 Samuel – Dale Ralph Davis 

Mark Johnston, Banner of Truth Magazine:

“He combines the depth of understanding of a thorough-going Old Testament scholar with the breadth of insight of a biblical theologian and the perception of a preacher well-used to addressing contemporary audiences to provide us with a commentary that brings the preaching potential of these books to life.”

1 Kings – Dale Ralph Davis 

Simon Gathercole, lecturer in New Testament studies, University of Cambridge:

“One of the reasons I enjoy Davis’ exposition so much is that I feel confident that he has done his exegetical homework, and so is not just delivering blessed, unhistorical thoughts on the text. Yet at the same time, he applies the text so well.”

2 Kings – Dale Ralph Davis  

Keith Essex, assistant professor of Bible exposition, The Master’s Seminary:

“Today there is a renewed emphasis on the preaching of Old Testament narrative in evangelical circles . . . The six volumes of Ralph Dale Davis of which 2 Kings: The Power and Fury is the culmination are excellent guides for contemporary expositor as he preaches from the ‘former prophets.’

Davis has laid an excellent foundation; may many expositors build upon his work as they preach Old Testament narrative.”

1 Chronicles – Cyril J. Barber 

2 Chronicles – Cyril J. Barber  

Job – Bill Cotton  

Psalms 1–89 – Eric Lane 

Psalms 90–150 – Eric Lane 

Geoffrey Grogan, former principal emeritus, Glasgow Bible College:

“A commentator of yesteryear once said that he never wrote a commentary on a Bible book before he had read the book through at least 50 times.

Eric Lane shows the same extensive direct contact with the text and this gives his work an attractive and stimulating freshness. His views on the chronological order of the psalms are somewhat controversial but will likewise stimulate the reader.”

Proverbs – Eric Lane 

Evangelicals Now:

“Here is a book which is orthodox, evangelical, and reformed. It is characterized throughout by a profound sense of seriousness—manifestly written from a depth of personal experience and written not simply to inform the mind but to transform life . . . useful material for discussion and for study groups as well as for personal thought and meditation . . . I warmly commend this book.”

Song of Songs – Richard Brooks 

Isaiah – Allan Harman

Alec Motyer, former principal, Trinity College, Bristol, England:

“With Allan Harman’s Isaiah before me, I know what the saying means that ‘even a cat can look at the queen!’ His work has made me wish wholeheartedly that I could start all over again.

The detailed interpretative work is superb, and Harman’s defense of the unity of Isaiah is robust (to say the least), and, in my view, unanswerable.

I thrill to a commentator whose prime aim is to understand and explain the Hebrew text, not just to distill the opinions of others. Thank God for this book—and its author.”

Hosea – Michael Eaton

Amos – T. J. Betts 

Daniel L. Atkin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“What a wonderful gift to the pastor who wants to allow the text of Scripture to drive his sermon. T. J. Betts’ commentary will be ready at hand when I prepare to teach from the prophet Amos. It is a treasure trove for the serious expositor.”

Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah – John L MacKay 

Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi: God’s Restored People – John L MacKay 

John Currid, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS:

“Professor Mackay has done it again! This is an excellent piece of work on three ‘minor’ prophets that are not well known in the church today. Mackay’s commentary is a must read for pastors and serious Bible students who want to become familiar with what these three prophets have to say to the church today . . . this is a fine work.”

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