Best Jonah Commentaries | Updated for 2020

The best Jonah commentaries are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews.

You will also find options for commentaries on Jonah 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.


Jonah Commentaries: Best Reviews


Jonah
The Minor Prophets:

An Exegetical and Expository Commentary
by Joyce Baldwin

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Minor Prophets commentary McComiskey

Reviews and Accolades:

• Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on The Minor Prophets

• Tremper Longman: “Baldwin is always worth reading on any book on which she chooses to comment”

• Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Jonah, “Baldwin also questions the arguments of those who identify Jonah as a work of fiction.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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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Jonah commentary Douglas Stuart

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: “An excellent commentary, evangelical and thorough in its treatment of the text.”

• Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Jonah, “It is a must-read on the first five Minor Prophets. On Jonah, Stuart argues for the historicity of the book.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.


Obadiah, Jonah, Micah
Tyndale Old Testament Commentary
by T. Desmond Alexander

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Jonah commentary Tyndale

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “a very helpful guide to the historical background and theology of the book”

• John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “An evangelical treatment less technical than many others.”

• Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Jonah, “clear and concise, and Alexander also argues for the historicity of the events described in the book”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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, Jonah, and Micah
New International Commentary on the Old Testament
by Leslie Allen

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Jonah commentary Leslie Allen

Reviews and Accolades:

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

• John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Broadly evangelical, though does not take the book as a record of actual events.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.


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

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Jonah commentary Sinclair Fergueson

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”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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
NIV Application Commentary
by James Bruckner

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Jonah commentary James Bruckner

Reviews and Accolades:

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

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.”

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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Jonah commentary Bryan Estelle

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”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.


Jonah
Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised
by John H. Walton

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Jonah commentary Expositor's

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “Walton has a wonderful knowledge of Near Eastern background and great exegetical sensitivity”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.”

See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.


Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah
Interpretation
by James Limburg

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Jonah commentary Interpretation

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
The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries
by Jack M. Sasson

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Jonah commentary Jack Sasson

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “provocative…well worth adding to a reference library”

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.


Obadiah and Jonah
A Continental Commentary
by Hans Walter Wolff

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Jonah commentary Wolff

Reviews and Accolades:

• Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “a very helpful commentary”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each book in the Continental Commentary Series includes comprehensive introductory material, including an explanation of narrative themes, an overview of the historical and cultural context, an analysis of textual traditions, and an evaluation of recent literature.

The remainder of each volume is divided according to each pericope of Scripture, with each section containing a summary of secondary literature, a fresh translation of the text, an evaluation of the literary form and the setting in life, and a lengthy commentary.

Each volume also contains indexes on Hebrew words, subjects, names and authors, and other material.” See more about the Continental Commentary series.


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Jonah and Micah
Reformed Expositional Commentary
by Richard D. Phillips

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Jonah commentary Phillips

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.


Amos, Obadiah, Jonah
New American Commentary
by Billy K. Smith and Frank S. Page

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Jonah commentary Billy Smith

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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 “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.


Jonah
Concordia Commentary
by Reed Lessing

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Jonah commentary Reed Lessing

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Reed Lessing on this volume

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Gibbs 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.

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 the Concordia Commentary series.


Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah
Abingdon
by Daniel J. Simundson

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Jonah commentary Simundson

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament.

In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves.

These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.”

See more about Abingdon commentaries.


The Minor Prophets
by Charles L. Feinberg

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Jonah commentary Feinberg

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.”


Jonah
Brazos Theological Commentary
by Phillip Cary

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Jonah commentary Phillip Cary

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

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Phillip Cary on this volume

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places.

The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”

See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.


Jonah
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament
by Kevin J. Youngblood

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Jonah commentary Block

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Kevin J. Youngblood on this volume

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.”

See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series.


The Book of the Twelve
by George Adam Smith

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Jonah commentary Smith

Reviews and Accolades:

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Classic Old Testament commentary, with the exposition of Hosea and Amos deserving of special attention.”

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

Purpose: This book was originally published prior to 1923, and represents a reproduction of an important historical work, maintaining the same format as the original work.

Jonah
The Old Testament Library
by James Limburg

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Jonah commentary James Limburg

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.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Jonah
Geneva Series of Commentaries
by Hugh Martin

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Jonah commentary Hugh Martin

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “In this book, John Calvin provides an engaging commentary on three Minor Prophets in the Old Testament: Joel, Amos, and Obadiah. Calvin begins his commentary on each book with a short introduction.

When commenting on a book, he frequently offers his own translations of a passage, explaining the subtleties and nuances of his translation. His treatment of the text reveals his keen pastoral insights.

And as always, he interacts with other theologians, commentators, and portions of the Bible when interpreting a particular passage.

After several hundred years, Calvin’s Commentary on Joel, Amos, and Obadiah remains an instructive and interesting commentary to several Old Testament books.”


Minor Prophets
Ironside Expository Commentaries
by H.A. Ironside

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Jonah commentary Ironside

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.


The Minor Prophets
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
edited by Alberto Ferreiro

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Minor Prophets Ancient Christian commentary

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

Purpose: See more about the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series.


Also see:

Compare 75 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart

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