Philippians Commentaries for Pastors

Philippians 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 Philippians 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



Philippians (New International Version Application Commentary) by Frank Thielman


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “outstanding exposition for pastors”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Philippians; “useful in the preparation of sermons and lessons”

D.A. Carson: “one of the more substantive entries in the series”

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.



Philippians (The Story of God Bible Commentary) by Lynn H. Cohick


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Story of God Bible Commentary is a new commentary for today’s world. It’s the first commentary series to explain and illuminate each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. This “story-centric” approach makes SGBC a fruitful resource for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and everyday readers.”



Philippians (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Dennis E. Johnson


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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.



Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes


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

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.



Philippians (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Fred Craddock


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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 commentary series.



Philippians (Christ-Centered Exposition) by Tony Merida and Francis Chan


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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.”



Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (For Everyone) by N.T. Wright

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 (Holman New Testament Commentary) by Max Anders

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.”



Philippians (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary) by Frank Thielman

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.”



Commentaries by Well-Known Pastors



Philippians (MacArthur New Testament Commentary) by John MacArthur


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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.”



Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon by Charles Swindoll

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.”



Philippians: An Expositional Commentary 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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