Jonah Commentaries for Pastors

Jonah 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 Jonah 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



Man Overboard!: The Story of Jonah by Sinclair B. Ferguson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Jonah, “a treasure trove for preachers and teachers…exhibits a rare combination today — the insights of one who is both a pastor and a scholar”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Jonah is not a book about a great fish! It is really a book about God, and how one man came, through painful experience, to discover the true character of the God whom he had already served int he earlier years of his life. He was to find the doctrine about God come alive in his experience. It is this combination of doctrine and experience that makes Jonah such a fascinating, instructive and practical book. The teaching of Jonah searches our hearts and consciences in a special way because it is the story of a man who was on the run from God. It traces not only the path of his journey, but unravels the inner workings of his heart- his fears, motivations, and passing moods. Christians today still experience these ‘Jonah syndromes'”.



Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (New International Version Application Commentary) by James Bruckner


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “Bruckner does a nice job getting to the heart of the message”

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.



The Gospel According to Jonah (The Gospel According to the Old Testament) by Bryan Estelle


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Jonah, “shows how Jonah points forward to Christ and the Gospel ..although a brief work, it is thorough and thoughtful”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Though simple enough for a child to grasp, the book of Jonah is an extremely subtle and complex work full of wonderful literary artistry mixed with many layers of meaning. This study presents the book of Jonah as part of the unfolding, unified story of redemption pointing to Christ. Pastors, seminarians, and thoughtful readers interested in how the Old Testament points to Christ will appreciate this new study of Jonah.” See more about the Gospel According to the Old Testament commentary series.



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


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: scored 4 out of 5 stars, “well written with interesting comments about the use of the book in the New Testament”

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.



Jonah and Micah (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Richard D. Phillips


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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, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



Jonah (Christ-Centered Exposition) by David Platt


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

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.”



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.”



The Twelve Prophets (For Everyone) by John Goldingay


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “John Goldingay, an internationally respected Old Testament scholar, authors this ambitious Old Testament for Everyone series. Covering Scripture from Genesis to Malachi, Goldingay addresses the texts in such a way that even the most challenging passages are explained simply. Perfect for daily devotions, Sunday school preparation, or brief visits with the Bible, the Old Testament for Everyone series is an excellent resource for the modern reader.”



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.”



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.”



Commentaries by Well-Known Pastors



Jonah and Micah (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.”



The Minor Prophets: An Expositional Commentary (Ironside Expository Commentaries) 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.”



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