Growing in your knowledge of God through studying the Gospel of Luke can change your life. Luke’s teaching about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, fulfilled prophecy, the end times and other topics is trustworthy and relevant. Bible commentaries on Luke explain and clarify Luke’s Gospel so you can understand its message and apply it to your life.
The Bible instructs Christians to seek wisdom (Prov. 1:7, James 1:5), and who better to learn from than pastors, theologians, and professors who have been studying and teaching Luke for decades?
10 Best Luke Commentaries
The best Luke commentaries are listed below. The recommendations include commentaries for every reading level and purpose, including individual Bible study, small groups, Sunday school, preaching, and teaching. The “Top 10” list is based on aggregate reviews.
Readers are encouraged not to use commentaries to replace prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the individual’s diligent study of Scripture. Nevertheless, a list based on aggregate reviews will likely point you in the right direction to find the right resource for your purposes.
Please use the list below as a starting point for learning about commentaries on Luke. It’s not intended as the “final word” on the topic but merely a “helpful word.”
1. Luke by Darrell L. Bock (BECNT)
Darrell L. Bock is a prominent biblical scholar and theologian. His areas of specialization include the study of the Gospels, the historical reliability of the New Testament, the life of Jesus, the book of Acts, and the theology of Luke-Acts. (Also see #10)
A conservative, evangelical commentary
New Testament scholar D.A. Carson calls Bock’s Luke commentary “comprehensive, well written, and intelligent.” Bible scholar Thomas Schreiner says it’s “very helpful to pastors.”
The two-volume set is Desiring God’s (i.e., the ministry of John Piper) #1 recommended commentary on the Gospel. Keith Mathison of Ligonier Ministries also ranks it the number one commentary on Luke, calling it “comprehensive,” “clear,” and “reader-friendly.”
Bock is recognized for his balanced and rigorous approach to biblical interpretation, combining scholarly research with a commitment to the authority and inspiration of Scripture. Bock is well-known for his Acts commentary in the same series, considered one of the best Acts commentaries.
The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) series focuses on providing in-depth exegesis and interpretation of the New Testament books. The main body of each commentary provides a verse-by-verse analysis, including detailed explanations of key terms and grammatical insights.
Also, see Best Commentary Series: The Top 50 based on aggregate reviews.
2. The Gospel of Luke by Joel B. Green (NICNT)
Joel B. Green is a prominent biblical scholar and theologian specializing in New Testament studies. His areas of specialization include the Gospels, particularly the Gospel of Luke, as well as Pauline theology, hermeneutics, and the intersection of biblical interpretation and theology.
An evangelical Arminian commentary
Carson praises Green’s commentary for its interaction with modern biblical scholarship. Schreiner calls it a valuable exposition for pastors and those studying Luke’s Gospel.
In this volume, Green pays attention to the smallest details, such as linguistic nuances and literary features, while addressing broader theological and thematic aspects. This comprehensive approach appeals to readers who desire a thorough exploration of the Gospel.
Green is Arminian. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. Green is an editor for the Common English Bible. He teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary.
The New International Commentary on the New Testament series is known for its high academic standards, rigorous scholarship, and commitment to the authority of Scripture. It aims to engage with the original Greek text, explore historical and cultural contexts, and offer insightful theological analysis.
Also, see the Best One-Volume Bible Commentaries based on aggregate reviews.
3. The Gospel of Luke by I. Howard Marshall (NIGTC)
I. Howard Marshall (1934-2015) was a highly respected biblical scholar and theologian. His scholarship encompassed many topics within New Testament studies, including the Gospels, Pauline theology, the Book of Acts, and the General Epistles.
A commentary on the original Greek of Luke
Mathison calls Marshall’s Luke commentary “a wealth of helpful material here for those willing to dig.” Schreiner summarizes it as a “careful treatment of the Greek.” Carson says, “Those with [Greek] skills will benefit greatly from reading it.”
Marshall is recognized as a respected scholar and authority in New Testament studies. His commentary reflects his extensive research, deep knowledge of the Greek language, and familiarity with the historical and cultural background of Luke’s Gospel.
Marshall’s writings are known for their scholarly rigor, careful analysis of the biblical text, and theological insights. He was Arminian. Marshall referred to himself as an Evangelical Methodist.
The New International Greek Testament Commentary series aims to engage with the original Greek text of the New Testament, providing an in-depth analysis of linguistic, grammatical, and textual aspects.
4. Luke by David E. Garland (ZECNT)
David E. Garland is a prominent biblical scholar known for his expertise in the New Testament and biblical interpretation. His scholarly work primarily focuses on various New Testament books.
A commentary for pastors from a Baptist author
Carson calls Garland’s commentary “strong at the exegetical level and helpful at the homiletical level.” The volume blends rigorous scholarship, theological insight, and practical application. Garland is known for making complex biblical concepts accessible to a wide audience.
The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT) series gives readers a thorough understanding of the biblical text by engaging with the Greek language, exploring historical and cultural contexts, and offering insights into each book’s literary structure and theological themes.
5. The Gospel According to Luke by James R. Edwards (PNTC)
James R. Edwards is a notable biblical scholar known for his expertise in the Gospel of Mark and the Epistle of James. In his scholarship, Edwards combines textual analysis with a commitment to theological reflection and practical application.
Edwards argues for a Hebrew Gospel as Luke’s source
Bible scholar Craig Blomberg lists Edwards’ commentary as one of his recommended resources on the Gospel. In this volume, Edwards argues that Luke utilized a “Hebrew Gospel.”
Edwards is Presbyterian. He teaches at Whitworth University. He also wrote the Romans commentary in the UBCS series. See best Romans commentaries for more.
The publisher notes that the Pillar New Testament Commentary series “combines rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible.”
6. Luke by Leon Morris (TNTC)
Leon Morris (1914-2006) was a highly respected biblical scholar and theologian. His scholarship encompassed a wide range of New Testament topics, including the Gospels, the Pauline Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. Morris was Anglican.
A conservative, introductory commentary
Mathison says Morris’ volume is a “great introductory level commentary on Luke.” Morris’ commentary reflects a conservative evangelical perspective, emphasizing the authority and inspiration of Scripture.
Morris’s writings were known for their pastoral relevance. He connected the biblical text with the practical concerns of Christian life and discipleship. He is well-known for his Revelation commentary. See best Revelation commentaries for more.
The publisher notes that the Tyndale New Testament Commentary 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.”
7. Luke by Robert H. Stein (NAC)
Robert H. Stein is a well-known biblical scholar and theologian specializing in the study of the New Testament. His scholarly work encompasses a range of topics within New Testament studies, with a particular focus on the Gospels and the historical Jesus.
A mid-level commentary for pastors
Mathison calls Stein’s Luke commentary a “very helpful intermediate-level commentary for pastors and teachers.” Schreiner says it’s “a lucid and clear commentary for pastors and scholars.”
Stein’s commentary demonstrates a conservative approach to biblical interpretation, combining historical-critical methods with a commitment to the authority and inspiration of Scripture. He is known for his careful attention to the historical and cultural contexts of the biblical text and rigorous exegesis.
The publisher notes that the New American Commentary 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.”
8. Luke by John Nolland (WBC)
John Nolland is a biblical scholar known for his expertise in the Gospel of Matthew. His writings reflect a deep engagement with the text, employing a range of critical methods to reveal the meaning of Matthew’s Gospel. Nolland is an Anglican priest.
More technical than most pastors need
Schreiner says Nolland’s Luke commentary is “for those engaged in technical research.” Mathison comments, “Seminary students will definitely find much of value in this work.”
Nolland takes a critical approach to the Gospel, including literary criticism, textual criticism, source criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism. He also interacts heavily with modern scholarship.
The publisher notes that the Word Biblical Commentary series “delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation.”
9. Luke by Philip Graham Ryken (REC)
Philip Graham Ryken has had a distinguished career in biblical scholarship and leadership within the Christian community. He served as the President of Wheaton College (2010-2021). Before that, he was the pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA.
A two-volume exposition of Luke
The REC series is rooted in Reformed theology, emphasizing the doctrines of the Reformed tradition. The commentaries reflect a theological perspective that upholds the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, the work of Christ, and the application of the Gospel in the life of believers.
While maintaining scholarly rigor, the Reformed Expository Commentary series is focused on practical application. The commentaries address the contemporary relevance of the biblical text and provide insights for living out its teachings in everyday life.
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…”
10. Luke by Darrell L. Bock (NIVAC)
Darrell L. Bock is a prominent biblical scholar and theologian. His areas of specialization include the study of the Gospels, the historical reliability of the New Testament, the life of Jesus, the book of Acts, and the theology of Luke-Acts. (Also see #1.)
Bock focuses on applying Luke in this commentary
Bock has the number-one ranked commentary on Luke in the BECNT series (see above). He also wrote the Luke volume in the IVPNTC series (see below). The BECNT volumes have the most depth. The NIV Application Commentary volume has the most application. The IVPNTC commentary is best for beginners.
The primary focus of the NIVAC series is on practical application. The commentaries emphasize how the Bible can be understood and lived out in contemporary life. They seek to address the relevance and implications of the text for issues faced by individuals, families, churches, and society at large.
10 More Commentaries on the Gospel of Luke
Why are the Luke commentaries below not in the “Top 10”? It’s not because they have received poor reviews or people haven’t found them helpful. The reasons vary.
Some are relatively new and haven’t been widely reviewed, read, or used. Others haven’t been broadly distributed, so getting enough information to aggregate is difficult. And others may be outdated in relation to biblical scholarship or out of print and difficult to acquire.
The “Top 10” list is reviewed annually. Readers are encouraged to consider the volumes in this section before purchasing a Luke commentary. These ten are not in any particular order.
Luke by Liefield and Pao (EBCR)
David Pao is a notable Bible scholar specializing in New Testament studies and biblical hermeneutics. He has served as a professor of New Testament and chair of the New Testament department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This commentary was revised in 2010
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) is a well-known and widely used biblical commentary series first published in the 1970s. It was edited by Frank E. Gaebelein and included contributions from a team of scholars. The series was updated from 2007-2010.
Luke by John T. Carroll (NTL)
John T. Carroll is a prominent Bible scholar known for his expertise in Old Testament studies and Hebrew Bible. He has served as a professor of Old Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary.
A mid-level series from Westminster John Knox Press
The commentaries in the NTL series are aimed at a scholarly audience, including pastors, theologians, and advanced students of the Bible. They engage with the original Greek text and draw on various critical methodologies to provide a comprehensive understanding of the biblical text.
Luke by Darrell L. Bock (IVPNTC)
See #1 and #10 above for a description of Darrell Bock.
Bock’s third volume on the list is the most affordable
The IVP New Testament Commentary series is designed to provide accessible and practical explanations of the biblical text for pastors, teachers, students, and general readers. One of the distinctive features of this series is its emphasis on bridging the gap between the ancient biblical world and the modern reader.
Luke by Justo L. Gonzalez (Belief)
Justo L. González is a highly esteemed and influential Bible scholar, theologian, and church historian. He was born in Cuba and has made significant contributions to the study of church history, particularly about Latin America and Hispanic Christianity.
A church historian writes a Luke commentary
The Belief series consists of commentaries that are written by scholars and theologians who engage with the biblical text from various theological perspectives, aiming to offer fresh insights and reflections on the theological dimensions of the Bible.
Luke by David Lyle Jeffrey (BTC)
David Lyle Jeffrey is a respected Bible scholar and literary critic. He is a professor emeritus of literature and humanities at Baylor University.
A variety of writers contribute to this series
Unlike traditional commentaries that may primarily focus on historical, linguistic, or critical aspects, the Brazos Theological Commentary series emphasizes the theological depth and richness of the Bible. The commentaries draw upon various theological traditions, including Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox.
Luke by Craig A. Evans (UBCS)
Craig A. Evans is a prominent Bible scholar and New Testament professor. He has made significant contributions to the study of the New Testament, particularly in textual criticism, historical Jesus research, and archaeology.
Formerly, the NIBC series
Each volume in the series focuses on a specific book of the Bible, providing verse-by-verse commentary and analysis. The commentaries provide historical and cultural background information, explore the literary structure and themes of the text, and offer explanations of key concepts and passages.
Luke by Robert C. Tannehill (ANTC)
Robert C. Tannehill is a respected Bible scholar known for his contributions to the field of New Testament studies, particularly in the Gospel of Luke and Acts. He has served as a professor of New Testament at Methodist Theological School.
A commentary from a Methodist publisher
The Abingdon New Testament Commentary series employs various critical methods and approaches, including historical-critical analysis, literary analysis, and theological interpretation. Volumes engage with the Greek text while also considering the broader context of the biblical book and its relevance for contemporary readers.
Luke by Luke Timothy Johnson (Sacra Pagina)
Luke Timothy Johnson is a prominent biblical scholar and theologian known for his contributions to the study of the New Testament and early Christianity. His scholarly work focuses on the Gospels, the Pauline Epistles, the Book of Acts, and the study of early Christianity.
A Catholic commentary on Luke
The Sacra Pagina commentary series is a renowned collection of Catholic biblical commentaries on the books of the New Testament. It is published by Liturgical Press and is intended to provide insightful and scholarly interpretations of the biblical text from a Catholic perspective.
Luke by Alan J. Thompson (EGGNT)
Alan J. Thompson teaches at Sydney Missionary and Bible College in Australia. He specializes in teaching courses on New Testament studies and Biblical Theology.
A resource for Greek readers
Each volume in the EGGNT series is dedicated to a specific book or section of the New Testament. The commentaries provide verse-by-verse analysis of the Greek text, exploring grammatical, syntactical, and lexical features to aid in the interpretation and understanding of the original language.
Luke by J.C. Ryle (CCC)
J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) was a notable theologian and Anglican bishop. He became a prominent figure in the evangelical movement in the Church of England during his time. Ryle gained recognition for his commitment to biblical orthodoxy, personal piety, and strong evangelical convictions.
A modern approach to classic commentaries
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.”
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