Best Hebrews Commentaries | Updated for 2020

The best Hebrews commentaries are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Hebrews that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more.


Best-Reviewed Hebrews Commentaries


Hebrews 1-8 and 9-13 (Word Biblical Commentary) by William L. Lane

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Hebrews commentary by James Dunn

Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “accessible to pastors and students…[a] mix of technical comment and thoughtful theology”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Hebrews

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “a technical but enormously helpful commentary on Hebrews – best in my judgment”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Hebrews; “Of all the commentaries on Hebrews that I have looked at and used, I have found the two-volume set by William Lane to be the one I turn to first.”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Lane takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. Lane served on both the NASB and NIV translation committees. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This commentary consists of two volumes. Lane spent 15 years writing it. This commentary won the 1993 Christianity Today Critic’s Choice for “Book of the Year.” Lane is also known for writing the Mark commentary in the NICNT series. The publisher notes that the WBC series “delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.


The Epistle to the Hebrews (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by Paul Ellingworth

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Hebrews commentary by Paul Ellingworth

Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Hebrews

D.A. Carson: a “best buy” on Hebrews, “impressive.,” strong “in analyzing the subtleties of the Greek text”

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “technical details supplied, but it is hard to see the big picture”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Hebrews; “Paul Ellingworth’s commentary on Hebrews is a massive technical commentary on the Greek text. For those doing in-depth study of the book, it is invaluable.”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Ellingsworth takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was affiliated with the Methodist church (d. 2018). This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. This volume is more technical and less theological than Lane. The publisher notes that “at a time when the study of Greek is curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament.” See more about the New International Greek Testament Commentary series.


The Epistles to the Hebrews (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by F.F. Bruce

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Hebrews commentary by FF Bruce

Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “a great deal of useful exegetical information and writes with caution”

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “a clear exposition of the letter”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Hebrews; “Originally published in the mid-1960s, this commentary was completely revised and republished in 1990, the year of Professor Bruce’s death. The commentary is thorough yet accessible and should be consulted by all students of this book of Scripture.”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bruce takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He died in 1990. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume is often praised for its conservative exegesis. It was replaced by Cockerill’s commentary in 2012 (see below). Bruce is known for his Acts commentary in the NICNT series. The publisher notes that the NICNT series provides students “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.


Hebrews (Hermeneia) by Harold W. Attridge

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Hebrews commentary by Harold Attridge

Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: a “best buy” on Hebrews, “masterful…no serious student of the text can afford to ignore this commentary”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Hebrews

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “a technical and very helpful exposition of the letter”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Attridge takes a critical approach to Scripture. He was Dean of Yale Divinity School from 2002-2012. Attridge was a participant in The Jesus Seminar. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. The publisher notes that the Hermeneia series “has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. Hermeneia is designed for the serious student of the Bible.” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.


Hebrews (NIV Application Commentary) by George H. Guthrie

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Hebrews commentary by George Guthrie

Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “above average for the series”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Hebrews

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “lucid exposition with application to today’s world”

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with George Guthrie on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Guthrie takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. His PhD is from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Guthrie teaches at Regent College. He has been involved with the New Living Translation and the Holman Christian Standard Bible. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Guthrie is also known for writing the 2 Corinthians commentary in the BECNT series. The publisher notes that the NIVAC series aims to “help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series. Also see The Visual Aid Pastors Will Love in the ZEC commentary series.


Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews by David A. DeSilva

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Hebrews commentary by David deSilva

Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Hebrews

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “a social scientific commentary”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: deSilva 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. deSilva wrote the revised edition of the Galatians commentary in the NICNT 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.


A Commentary on the Epistles to the Hebrews by Philip Edgcumbe Hughes

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Hebrews commentary by Philip Hughes

Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: a “best buy” on Hebrews, “better than most commentaries at surveying the history of interpretation across the entire span of the church”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Hebrews; “If there is a second “must-read” commentary on Hebrews, it is the contemporary classic by Philip Hughes. He is particularly helpful in drawing out theological implications of the text.”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hughes takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was an Anglican priest and is Reformed theologically (d. 1990). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The focus of this volume is theological. The publisher notes that “Hughes makes a detailed verse-by-verse study of the text. Technical points are dealt with in notes and excursuses, making the work accessible to the specialist and nonspecialist reader alike.”


Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “a theologically astute exposition”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hughes 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. This commentary consists of two volumes. Hughes also wrote the Luke commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that the Preaching the Word series “has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible.” See more about the Preaching the Word commentary series.


Hebrews (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised) by R. T. France

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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Hebrews; “France has done extensive work on the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, which suits him particularly well as a commentator on Hebrews.”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: France takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He died in 2012. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume is 175 pages. France is known for writing the Matthew commentary in the NICNT series. 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, original and revised.


The Epistle to the Hebrews (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Gareth Lee Cockerill

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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Hebrews

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Cockerill takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian. Cockerill teaches as Wesley Biblical Seminary. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume replaced F.F. Bruce’s volume in 2012 (see above). 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.”


The Letter to the Hebrews (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by Peter T. O’Brien

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Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: a “best buy” on Hebrews, “the best commentaries for pastors…superb scholarship is intertwined with the least common gift, common sense”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: O’Brien 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. This volume combines exegetical and theological focuses. O’Brien also wrote the Philippians commentary in the NIGTC series. 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.

Also see: Why Peter O’Brien Commentaries Aren’t Publication Anymore


Hebrews (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Donald A. Hagner

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “a brief and insightful interpretation for the busy pastor”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hagner takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Presbyterian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume is 278 pages. The publisher notes that the UCBS series “breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Hebrews (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Richard D. Phillips

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Phillips takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. Phillips is the editor of the REC and contributed the John commentary. The publisher notes that the REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.


Hebrews (New American Commentary) by David L. Allen

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Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries interview with David Allen on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Allen 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. In this volume, Allen argues that Luke is the author of Hebrews. He also write the 1 John commentary in the Preaching the Word series. The publisher notes that the NAC 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.


Hebrews (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Donald Guthrie

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Guthrie takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He died in 1992. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Guthrie also wrote the 1-2 Timothy commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that volumes in the TNTC series examine “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.


The Message of Hebrews (The Bible Speaks Today) by Raymond Brown

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Brown takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is not to be confused with the Roman Catholic theologian, Raymond E. Brown. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Brown also wrote the Nehemiah commentary in the same series. See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.


Hebrews (The New Testament Library) by Luke Timothy Johnson

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Johnson takes a critical approach to Scripture. His background is Roman Catholicism. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Johnson also wrote the James commentary in the Anchor series. The publisher notes that the NLT series provides “fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.” See more about the New Testament Library commentary series.


Hebrews (Concordia Commentary) by John W. Kleinig

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Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with John W. Kleinig on this volume

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Kleinig 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.” See more about Concordia commentaries.


Hebrews (Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation) by Thomas S. Schreiner

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Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries interview with Thomas Schreiner on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Schreiner 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. Schreiner wrote the Romans commentary in the BECNT series. The publisher notes that the BTCP series relates “biblical theology to our own lives and to the life of the church.” See more about the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series.


Hebrews, James and Jude (A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) by Ben Witherington III

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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 wrote the Revelation commentary in the NCBC 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.


Hebrews (Lectio Continua) by David McWilliams

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Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with David McWilliams on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: McWilliams 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 consists of “expository commentaries authored by an array of seasoned pastor-scholars from various Reformed denominations on both sides of the Atlantic.” See more about the Lectio Continua commentary series.


Hebrews (The IVP New Testament Commentary) by Ray Stedman

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Stedman takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. Stedman served with Howard Hendricks and J. Vernon McGee in his ministry career. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes the IVPNTC series contains “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.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Hebrews (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by John Brown

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Synopsis: This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes, “By seeking to develop a style of exposition that was both edifying to his congregation and valuable to his divinity students, he produced commentaries which, in the words of Dr. William Cunningham, ‘formed a marked era in the history of Scriptural Interpretation.'”


Hebrews (Reformation Commentary on Scripture) by Ronald K. Rittgers

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Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Ronald K. Rittgers on this volume

Synopsis: In this volume of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, church historian and theologian Ronald K. Rittgers guides readers through a diversity of early modern commentary on both Hebrews and James. See more about the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series.


Hebrews and 1 and 2 Peter (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries) by John Calvin

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Synopsis: This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes, “The power of John Calvin’s verse-by-verse study of Hebrews and the First and Second Epistles of Peter is masterfully captured in this translation by William B. Johnston. Precise and authoritative, yet lucid and very readable…” See more about Calvin’s commentaries.


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On the page Hebrews Commentaries for Pastors you find commentaries that uniquely designed for pastors in that they focus on application and spend less time on technical discussions.


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