James commentaries for pastors are listed below. Some were written in the traditional commentary style, while others read more like printed sermons. This kind of Bible commentary is helpful to preachers and teachers, yet can be used by lay Christians such as those who are leading Bible studies or small groups. Since this kind of Bible commentary emphasizes application, the volumes below are also great as devotional aides.
To see the top James commentaries in any style — e.g. preaching focus, theological insight, exposition, technical, social background, original language — please follow the link provided.
Bible Commentaries for Preaching and Teaching
James (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Daniel M. Doriani
Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes
Purpose: 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
James (New International Version Application Commentary) by David P. Nystrom
Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.
James: Faith and Works (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes
Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.” See more about the Preaching the Word commentary series.
James (Christ-Centered Exposition) by David Platt
Purpose: From the publisher: This series “takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition presented as sermons and divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect and Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy reading, practical and friendly commentary.”
James (Teach the Text Commentary Series) by Jim Samra
Purpose: From the publisher: The Teach the Text series utilizes “the best of biblical scholarship” and provides “the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. By keeping the discussion of each carefully selected preaching unit to six pages of focused commentary, the volumes in this series allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. The text and its meaning are made clear, and sections dedicated to effectively teaching and illustrating the text help pastors prepare to preach.” See more about the Teach the Text Bible commentary series.
1-2 Peter, James, and Jude (Interpretation) by Pheme Perkins
Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation commentary series.
Hebrews and James (Holman New Testament Commentary) by Thomas Lea
Purpose: From the publisher: “One in a series of twelve New Testament verse-by-verse commentary books edited by Max Anders. Includes discussion starters, teaching plan, and more. Great for lay teachers and pastors alike.”
Commentaries by Well-Known Pastors
James by Charles Swindoll
Purpose: From the publisher: “This newly revised and expanded edition of Insights on James, 1 & 2 Peter, part of the 15-volume…Each volume combines verse-by-verse commentary, charts, maps, photos, key terms, and background articles with practical application. The newly updated volumes now include parallel presentations of the NLT and NASB before each section. This series is a must-have for pastors, teachers, and anyone else who is seeking a deeply practical resource for exploring God’s Word.”
James (MacArthur New Testament Commentary) by John MacArthur
Purpose: From the publisher: “If you’re familiar with John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching, you have an idea of what you’ll find in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary takes you deep into each passage, verse by verse—sometimes word by word. It’s like having a Bible teacher sitting next to you as you study Scripture.”
James (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee
Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”
- Best James Commentaries – any style
- Bible commentaries for pastors – index