Best Luke Commentaries | Updated for 2020

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


Best-Reviewed Gospel of Luke Commentaries


Luke (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Darrell L. Bock

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Luke commentary by Darrell Bock

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Darrell Bock on this volume

Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Luke; “comprehensive, well written, and intelligent”

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Luke

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “very helpful for pastors”

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

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Luke; “comprehensive,” “clear,” “reader friendly”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bock takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Bock is a progressive dispensationalist.1 This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume is theologically conservative, moderately technical, and includes insights for pastors. Bock is well-known for his Acts commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that the aim of the BECNT series is to provide evangelical commentaries “that 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 Luke (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Joel B. Green

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Luke commentary by Joel Green

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ seven-question interview with Joel Green on this volume

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “a useful exposition”

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

D.A. Carson: “full of thoughtful interaction with contemporary scholarship”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Green takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian. Green is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He is an editor for the Common English Bible. Green teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume minimizes historical discussion and maximizes literary insights. The publisher notes that the NICNT series provides “earnest students of the New Testament with 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 of Luke (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by I. Howard Marshall

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Luke commentary by I. Howard Marshall

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “careful treatment of the Greek”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Luke, “a wealth of helpful material here for those willing to dig”

D.A. Carson: “those with [Greek] skills will benefit greatly from reading it”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Marshall takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was Arminian (d. 2015). Marshall identified himself as an Evangelical Methodist. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. It’s theology is conservative. Marshall is well-known for his 1 Peter commentary in the TNTC series. About the NIGTC series, “at a time when the study of Greek is curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament.” See more about the New International Greek Testament Commentary series.


Luke (New American Commentary) by Robert H. Stein

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Luke commentary by Robert Stein

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “a lucid and clear commentary for pastors and scholars”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Luke; “very helpful intermediate level commentary for pastors and teachers”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Stein 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. This volume is known for being pastor-friendly. Stein wrote the Mark commentary in the BECNT series. The publisher notes that the NAC series bridges “the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.” It helps “pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.


Luke (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by David E. Garland

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Luke commentary by David Garland

Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Luke; “strong at the exegetical level and helpful at the homiletical level”

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Garland takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. Garland taught Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for 21 years. This volume is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers.  Garland is known for his 1 Corinthians commentary in the BECNT series.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.


Luke (Word Biblical Commentary) by John Nolland

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Luke commentary by John Nolland

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “for those engaged in technical research”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Luke; “seminary students will definitely find much of value in this work”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Nolland is an Anglican priest. He is Arminian. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. In this volume, Nolland takes a critical approach to the text. This commentary consists of two volumes and is 1,300+ total pages. Nolland also wrote the Matthew commentary in the NIGTC series. 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.


The Gospel According to Luke (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by James R. Edwards

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Luke commentary by James R. Edwards

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ seven-question interview with James Edwards on this volume

Reviews and Accolades:

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Edwards takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Presbyterian. Edwards teaches at Whitworth University. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. In this volume, Edwards argues that Luke utilized a “Hebrew Gospel”. He also wrote the Romans commentary in the UBCS series. The publisher notes that the PNTC 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.


Luke (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Leon Morris

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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Luke, “great introductory level commentary on Luke”

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. Morris is well-known for his Revelation commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that the TNTC series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…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 New Testament Commentary series.


Luke (Sacra Pagina) by Luke Timothy Johnson

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “clear exposition by a Roman Catholic scholar”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Johnson is Roman Catholic. He teaches a Emory University. Johnson has been an outspoken critic of The Jesus Seminar. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Johnson is known for his Hebrews commentary in the NLT series. The publisher notes that this series is “written by an international team of Catholic biblical scholars, it is intended for biblical professionals, graduate students, theologians, clergy, and religious educators.” See more about Sacra Pagina commentaries.


The Gospel According to Luke (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Joseph A. Fitzmyer

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “invaluable for interpreting Luke”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Fitzmyer was a Catholic priest (d. 2016). This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. Fitzmyer takes a critical approach to the text. The publisher notes that the Anchor 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.


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Luke (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Philip Graham Ryken

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Ryken 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 series reads like printed sermons. This commentary consists of two volumes and is 1.300+ pages. Ryken also wrote the Galatians commentary in the same series. From the publisher: 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.


Luke (NIV Application Commentary) by Darrell L. Bock

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bock takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Bock is a progressive dispensationalist.1 This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Bock also wrote the Luke volumes in the BECNT and IVPNTC series (see above and below). The publisher notes that the NIVAC 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. Also compare NIVAC and IVPNTC commentaries.


Luke (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised) by Walter L. Liefeld and David W. Pao

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: The authors takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. They both teach at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Originally published in 1984, this commentary was revised in 2007. The publisher notes that the REBC series is “committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series, original and revised.


Luke (New Testament Library) by John T. Carroll

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Carroll graduated from a Presbyterian school and teaches at a Presbyterian seminary. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Carroll takes a critical approach to the text, focusing on literary construction. The publisher notes that the NLT series “offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, providing 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.


Luke (The IVP New Testament Commentary) by Darrell L. Bock

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bock takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Bock is a progressive dispensationalist.1 This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Bock also wrote the Luke volumes in the BECNT and NIVAC series (see above). 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.


Luke (Concordia Commentary) by Arthur A. Just

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Please also see Luke 9:51-24:53 by Dr. Just.

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Just 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.” See more about the Concordia Commentary series.


Luke (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Justo L. Gonzalez

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Gonzalez is a Methodist. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that in this series “scholars focus less on traditional historical and literary angles in favor of a theologically focused commentary that considers the contemporary relevance of the texts.”


Luke (Brazos Theological Commentary) by David Lyle Jeffrey

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Jeffrey teaches at Baylor University. 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 Brazos series “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.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.


Luke (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Craig A. Evans

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Evans teaches at a Baptist University where he is the professor of Christian Origins. 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 this series UBCS “break down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.


Luke (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries) by Robert C. Tannehill

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Tannehill is Arminian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This series focuses more on exegesis than exposition. From the publisher: Volumes “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 the Abingdon Commentary Series.


Technical Commentaries


Luke (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament) by Alan J. Thompson

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Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Alan Thompson on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Thompson is lecturer in New Testament at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Croydon, New South Wales, Australia. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. The publisher notes that the EGGNT series “makes interpreting any given New Testament book easier, especially for those who are hard pressed for time but want to preach or teach with accuracy and authority.” See more about the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series.


Luke (Hermeneia) by Francois Bovon

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bovan was the Frothingham Professor Emeritus of the History of Religion at Harvard Divinity School (d. 2013). This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. This commentary consists of three volumes. The publisher notes that this volume “is justly renowned for its combination of judicious historical and literary treatment of the Evangelist’s context and for its theological sensitivity, informed by the wealth of the Christian interpretative tradition.” See more about the Hermeneia Bible Commentary series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Luke (Crossway Classics Commentary Series) by J.C. Ryle

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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Ryle was an English evangelical Anglican bishop (d. 1900). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that this series “presents the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.” See more about Crossway Classic Commentaries.


Luke (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Arthur Just Jr.

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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. From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights.” See more about the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series.

Are you a pastor?

On the page Luke Commentaries for Pastors you find commentaries that uniquely designed for pastors in that they focus on application and spend less time on technical discussions.


Also see:

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


Footnotes:

  1. All dispensationalists view the dispensations as chronologically successive. Progressive dispensationalists, in addition to viewing the dispensations as chronologically successive, also view the dispensations as progressive stages in salvation history.