Top Commentaries on the Book of Joel

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Joel are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Joel 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. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)

Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Joel



Joel (The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expositional Commentary) by Raymond Bryan Dillard


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on The Minor Prophets

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “a thoughtful and profound commentary”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Joel, “very useful, especially on the details of the Hebrew text”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “With their messages of doom and judgment, the Minor Prophets have not been popular subjects in the history of biblical interpretation. Here noted evangelical scholars–such as Bruce Waltke, Tremper Longman III, F. F. Bruce, and J. Alec Motyer–remedy this neglect by offering an authoritative, evangelical treatment of the prophets. In this edition, which now combines three volumes into one, the authors not only provide meticulous exegesis of the Hebrew text but also relate the message of the ancient prophets to contemporary life in practical and meaningful ways.”



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (Word Biblical Commentary) by Douglas Stuart


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “one of the best recent commentaries on the Minor Prophets…a must-buy for everyone preaching on these books”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “The best commentary on Joel. Evangelical in perspective.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Joel, “his commentary is always worth consulting on these books…very highly recommended”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Leslie C. Allen


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “up-to-date, insightful, and careful”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “A good, in-depth analysis.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



Joel and Amos (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by David Allan Hubbard


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “well written and very useful”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Joel, “written at a much more accessible level”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



Joel, Obadiah, Malachi (New International Version Application Commentary) by David W. Baker


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “[Baker] writes clearly as he skillfully exposits the meaning and application of these three Minor Prophets”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.



Hosea, Joel (New American Commentary) by Duane A. Garrett


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “Garrett is a clear writer who reaches his exegetical conclusions in a reasoned manner”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new 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.



Joel (Welwyn Commentary Series) by O. Palmer Robertson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Joel, “written at an accessible introductory level”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The certainty and severity of God’s judgements that are to fall first on God’s own people and then on all the nations of the world, and the prominence of the Day of the Lord in the purposes and plans of God, all display the lordship of God in human history. Joel reminds the people of the divine summons to heartfelt repentance and the glorious truth of the consummate blessing of the Lord in the renewal of the earth by the outpouring of His spirit on men and women, young and old, Jew and Gentile.”



Joel, Obadiah and Micah (The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary) by Thomas J. Finley


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “a fully conceived commentary interested in all aspects of the biblical books”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written especially for the informed layman, student, and scholar, all exegesis and exposition is based on the original languages of the Bible books. Translations used are those of the author. Textual criticism and word study are included where appropriate. This in-depth commentary also includes extended excursuses on important topics of theological, historical, and archaeological interest. The text is interpreted according to a historical, critical, grammatical hermeneutic and propounds a conservative, evangelical theology. But the reader will not get a narrow view of problem passages. This commentary interacts with a range of major views, both evangelical and nonevangelical.”



Joel and Amos (Hermeneia) by Hans Walter Wolff


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: scored 5 out 5 stars, “a benchmark study of both books”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Hermeneia commentary series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books… The name Hermeneia, from the Greek, 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…The editors of Hermeneia impose no systematic-theological perspective upon the series (directly, or indirectly by selection of authors).”



Joel and Obadiah (The Old Testament Library) by John Barton


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, Barton is “an engaging writer”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



More Bible Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by James Limburg


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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 Bible commentary series.



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (The Preacher’s Commentary) by Lloyd J. Ogilvie


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



The Minor Prophets by Charles L. Feinberg


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “A comprehensive commentary on all twelve of the minor prophets free of footnotes and devotional in style.”



The Message of Joel, Micah and Habakkuk (The Bible Speaks Today) by David Prior


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “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.



Minor Prophets (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary) by Richard D. Patterson and Andrew E. Hill


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”



Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah (Holman Old Testament Commentary) by Trent C. Butler


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary. When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience.”



Joel (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Richard D. Patterson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



Exegetical Commentaries



Joel (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament) by Joel Barker


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The idea for this 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 [original] text…We arrived at a design that includes seven components for the treatment of each biblical passage”: Literary Context, Main Idea, Translation and Graphical Layout, Structure, Exegetical Outline, Explanation of the Text, and Theology in Application.”



Technical and Critical Commentaries



Joel (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by James L. Crenshaw


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The 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.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



The Minor Prophets: An Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) was senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also president and cofounder of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the parent organization of The Bible Study Hour on which Boice was a speaker for more than thirty years…Boice has created a unique blend of scripture insight, rich devotional application, and vivid illustration in this commentary.”



Minor Prophets (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.



Joel (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

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.”



Joel (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by John Calvin


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “His great gifts as an interpreter are clearly evident here in his treatment of the oft-neglected Minor Prophets. In these volumes he opens up their rich contents to our hearts and minds: here is God’s Word concerning false religion, spiritual adultery, injustice, judgment, the remnant, the restoration and sovereign love.”


Also see:

<< Hosea Bible Commentaries | Amos Bible Commentaries >>