Philemon Commentaries for Pastors

Philemon 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 Philemon 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


Colossians, Philemon (NIV Application Commentary) by David E. Garland


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Colossians; “offers great insight into the text and its contemporary application”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “an excellent exposition for pastors”

D.A. Carson: “do not avoid the volume on Colossians [and Philemon] by David E. Garland”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

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.


Colossians and Philemon (For Everyone) by N.T. Wright


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “brief and insightful commentary”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “N.T. ‘Tom’ Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the end of each volume.”


Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon: The Fellowship of the Gospel and The Supremacy of Christ (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes


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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.” See more about the Preaching the Word commentary series.


Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Ralph P. Martin


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

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.


Colossians and Philemon (For You) by Mark Meynell


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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “God’s Word For You is a series of expository guides which walk you through books of the Bible verse-by-verse. These flexible resources can be used for reading, for feeding and for leading: read them simply as a book; use them to feed on God’s word as a daily devotional, complete with reflection questions; or use them as you prepare to lead small-group Bible studies or teach in your church.”


Philemon (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary) by S.M. Baugh


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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It’s like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read the Bible through the eyes of a first-century reader! Discoveries await you that will snap the world of the New Testament into gripping immediacy. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context.” See more about the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary series.


1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (Holman New Testament Commentary) by Knute Larson


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “One in a series of twelve New Testament verse-by-verse commentary books edited by Max Anders. Includes discussion starters, teaching plan, and more. Great for lay teachers and pastors alike.”


Commentaries by Well-Known Pastors


Colossians and Philemon (MacArthur New Testament Commentary) by John MacArthur


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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “If you’re familiar with John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching, you have an idea of what you’ll find in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary takes you deep into each passage, verse by verse—sometimes word by word. It’s like having a Bible teacher sitting next to you as you study Scripture.”


First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee


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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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.”


Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon by Charles Swindoll


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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

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

Purpose: From the publisher: Mark’s Gospel is fast-paced and action-packed. In this volume, Chuck unpacks both Jesus’ story and how Mark wants his readers to see themselves in this story. “From beginning to end, we will see the Master preparing His disciples and then propelling them forward to encounter challenges they felt ill-prepared to meet.” See more about Swindoll’s Living Insights Commentary series.


Also see:

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