Best Gospel of John Commentaries

The best Gospel of John commentaries are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on John 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. [1]


Best-Reviewed Gospel of John Commentaries


The Gospel According to John (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by D. A. Carson

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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on John

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “the first choice for pastors”

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

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on John; “conservative evangelical scholarship at its best”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Carson 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 is well-reviewed for its quality exegesis and its helpfulness to pastors. It’s over 700 pages. Carson is well-known for his Matthew commentary in the REBC series. The publisher notes that this 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.


John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Andreas J. Kostenberger

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “an excellent work on the Greek text”

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

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on John, “a solid, thorough, and practical work that will be of benefit to students and pastors”

D.A. Carson: “a conservative commentary replete with many references to previous works”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Kostenberger takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. Kostenberger teaches at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This commentary is known for its Greek exegesis. It’s over 700 pages. The publisher notes that volumes in the BECNT series “blend scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness.” See more about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.


The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Craig S. Keener

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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on John; “despite the sheer quantity of material, the writing is accessible…indispensable for the serious student”

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

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on John, “those who are doing in-depth study of John cannot afford to be without this outstanding work”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Keener 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. It consists of two volumes and is 1,600+ pages. This volume is not part of a series. Keener is well-known for his Galatians commentary. The publisher notes that Keener “explores the Jewish and Greco-Roman settings of John more deeply than previous works, paying special attention to social-historical and rhetorical features of the Gospel. It cites about 4,000 different secondary sources and uses over 20,000 references from ancient literature.”


The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary by Herman Ridderbos

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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on John; “theologically richer than most commentaries”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “theological insightful”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on John; “a valuable and insightful commentary”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Ridderbos takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was an ordained minister in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (d. 2007). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. It has been well-reviewed for its theological reflection and insight. It is not part of a series. The publisher notes that in this volume “Ridderbos presents John in its distinctively apostolic character and includes important criteria for the literary and homiletical exegesis of the Fourth Gospel.”


The Gospel of John (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by J. Ramsey Michaels

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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on John; “the writing style is superb, and insights abound on just about every page”

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Michaels takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. Michaels taught at Gordon-Conwell and Missouri State. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume replaced Morris’ in the NICNT series (see below). Michaels also wrote the 1 Peter commentary in the WBC series. The publisher notes that the NICNT series provides “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.


The Gospel According to John (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Leon Morris

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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on John; ” a standard of conservative evangelical scholarship on [John]”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “thorough and reverent exposition”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Morris takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was an evangelical Anglican (d. 2006). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume was replaced by J. Ramsey Michael’s commentary (see above). Morris is known or his Romans commentary in the Pillar series. The publisher notes that the NICNT series “provides 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.”


John (NIV Application Commentary) by Gary M. Burge

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Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries seven-question interview with Gary Burge on this volume

Reviews and Accolades:

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Burge takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is a New Testament scholar at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Burge is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. 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 aim of the NIVAC series “is 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 compare NIVAC and IVPNTC commentaries.


John (Word Biblical Commentary) by George R. Beasley-Murray

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “fine treatment of the Greek text”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Beasley-Murray takes a critical approach to Scripture. He was Baptist (d. 2000). Beasley-Murray taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 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 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.


John (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Colin G. Kruse

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “a solid exposition for pastors”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Kruse takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. Kruse teaches at the Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Kruse also wrote the 2 Corinthians commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that the TNTC series “examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.


The Gospel According to St. John by C. K. Barrett

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “excellent exposition”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Barrett takes a critical approach to Scripture. He was a British Methodist minister (d. 2011). This commentary best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume was first published in 1955. It has been well-reviewed for its Greek exegesis. It is not part of a series. Barrett is also known for his Acts commentary in the ICC series. The publisher notes “C. K. Barrett’s Commentary on the Greek text of the Gospel of John has long been recognized as a major contribution to theological studies and has become the standard work in the field.”


The Gospel of John (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Raymond E. Brown

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “careful exposition by the renowned Roman Catholic scholar”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Brown takes a critical approach to Scripture. He was an American Catholic priest (d. 1998). Brown must not be confused with evangelical author Raymond Brown (no “E” initial) who wrote several volumes in the Bible Speaks Today series. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. The publisher notes that the Anchor series “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.


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Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


John (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. This commentary consists of two volumes. Phillips also wrote the Hebrews commentary in this series. The publisher notes that the REC series has four 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.


John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Edward W. Klink

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Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Edward Klink on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Klink takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He previously taught at BIOLA, now he is a full-time pastor. 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 ZECNT 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 Greek text.” See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series. Also see The Visual Aid Pastors Will Love in the ZEC commentary series.


John (Concordia Commentary) by William C. Weinrich

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Theology, Audience, Purpose: Weinrich 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.”


John (New American Commentary) by Gerald L. Borchert

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Borchert 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. 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.


The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Frederick Dale Bruner

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bruner takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. Bruner became a Christian under the teaching of Henrietta Mears. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. It is not part of a series. The publisher notes that “rather than relying primarily on recent scholarship, Bruner honors and draws from the church’s major John commentators throughout history, including Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Bultmann, Barrett, and many more.”


John (The New Testament Library) by Marianne Meye Thompson

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Thompson is Presbyterian. She is currently the George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. 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 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.


The Message of John (The Bible Speaks Today) by Bruce Milne

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Milne 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. The publisher notes three unique features to the BST series: (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.


John (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised) by Robert Mounce

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Mounce takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Mounce is known for his Revelation commentary in the NICNT series. The publisher notes that volumes in the REBC series are “that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible.” See more about the revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary series, original and revised.


John (IVP New Testament Commentary) by Rodney A. Whitcare

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Whitcare takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that volumes in the IVPNTC series are “informed by the best of 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.


John (Black’s New Testament Commentary) by Andrew T. Lincoln

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Lincoln takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. See more about Black’s New Testament Commentary series.


John (Paideia Commentary on the New Testament) by Jo-Ann A. Brant

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Brant is professor of Bible, religion, and philosophy at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that commentaries in this series approach “each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions.” See more about the Paideia Commentary series.


Technical Commentaries


John (Hermeneia) by Ernst Haenchen

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Haenchen takes a critical approach to Scripture. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. It consists of two volumes. The publisher notes that “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.” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


John (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside

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Synopsis: Ironside pastored Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois, and helped popularize dispensationalism in the early 20th century. This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes that H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books.”


John (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Joel C. Elowsky

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Synopsis: 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 vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture…Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”


Also see:

Compare 65 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart


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Notes

[1] See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.