Top Commentaries on Romans

Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Romans are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Romans 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. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)


Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Romans


Romans New 2nd Edition, pub. Nov. 2018 (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Douglas Moo


Cover links to 2nd edition

Reviews and Accolades:

D. A Carson: a “best buy” on Romans; “the best Romans commentary for pastors available in English”

Desiring God: a Top 3 recommended commentary on Romans

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

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a careful and theologically astute exposition”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Romans; “in terms of intermediate-advanced level commentaries, this one is the best place to begin”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Moo takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. It was published in 1996 and revised in 2018. Moo argues against The New Perspective on Paul in this volume. He also wrote the James commentary in the Pillar series. The publisher notes that the NICNT series provides readers “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 Epistle to the Romans (New Testament Commentary) by John Murray


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: a Top 3 recommended commentary on Romans

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “worth reading today, especially for its theological depth”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Romans; “a valuable work well worth consulting”

D.A. Carson: “will guide you stolidly with the heavy tread of the proverbial village police officer”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Murray takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Though this commentary now has the cover pictured above, it was the Romans volume in the NICNT series before Moo’s (above) replaced it. This commentary is considered a classic in Reformed circles. The published notes that Murray “provides a verse-by-verse exposition of the text that takes into account key problems that have emerged in the older and newer literature.”


The Epistle to the Romans (International Critical Commentary) by C.E.B. Cranfield


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Romans; “undoubtedly important…provides students with an education in grammatical exegesis”

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

Tom Schreiner: recommended: “technical but outstanding commentary,” “rich theological insights”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Romans; “one of the most thorough commentaries on this book”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Cranfield takes a mildly critical approach to Scripture. He was ordained Methodist, but later moved to the Reformed church (d. 2015).1 Later in life, Cranfield rejected The New Perspective on Paul, but that discussion is not found in this commentary. This volume is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The image above is of the abridged volume (pub. 1998), which has less Greek exegesis than the unabridged (pub. 1979). The publisher notes that the ICC series combines “all the relevant aids to exegesis, linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological to help the reader understand the meaning of the books of the Old and New Testaments.” See more about the International Critical Commentary series.


Romans (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Thomas R. Schreiner


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Romans

Desiring God: a Top 3 recommended commentary on Romans

Interview: Please see Best Bible Commentaries interview with Thomas Schreiner on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Schreiner takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist and Reformed. Schreiner argues against The New Perspective on Paul. This commentary is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. Schreiner also wrote the Hebrews commentary in the BTCP series. The publisher notes that the BECNT series combines “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.


Romans (Word Biblical Commentary) by James D.G. Dunn


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “exponent of the ‘new perspective'”

D.A. Carson: “certainly worthy of diligent study”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Dunn takes a moderately critical approach to Scripture. He is associated with the Church of Scotland and Methodism. This commentary is known, in part, for Dunn’s advocacy of The New Perspective on Paul. It is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Dunn also wrote the Galatians commentary in the BNTC 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 Epistle to the Romans (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by Leon Morris


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Romans; “careful and considered,” “highly recommended”

D.A. Carson: “its strength is the seriousness with which it takes the text”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Morris takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was Anglican and Reformed (d. 2006). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Published in 1988, Colin Kruse’s volume replaced this one in the series in 2012 (see below). Morris wrote the John commentary in the NICNT 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.


Romans (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by Richard N. Longenecker


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Longenecker takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He taught at McMaster Divinity College, which evangelical and multi-denominational, with Baptist heritage. This commentary is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary, yet Longenecker provides insights for pastors as well. He argues against The New Perspective on Paul in this volume. Longenecker also wrote the Acts commentary in the REBC series. The publisher notes that “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.


The Message of Romans (The Bible Speaks Today) by John Stott


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a meaty exposition with application to today”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Stott takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was Anglican and Reformed (d. 2011). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Stott’s commentaries are noted for being pastor-friendly and highly quotable. He also wrote the Ephesians commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that the BST series is unique because: (1) “authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) holds that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.


Romans (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by Colin G. Kruse


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “Kruse writes with clarity, verve, and good judgment, making this work another favorite for pastors”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Kruse takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. Kruse argues against The New Perspective on Paul. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Kruse also wrote The Letters of John commentary in the Pillar 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.”


Romans (Crossway Classic Commentary) by Charles Hodge


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Romans; “rich in exegetical and theological insight”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hodge was a Presbyterian theologian and principal of Princeton Theological Seminary (d. 1878). This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes that “The Crossway Classic Commentaries present the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.” See more about the Crossway Classics Commentary series.


Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Commentary by Peter Stuhlmacher


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a helpful brief exposition of Romans”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Stuhlmacher takes a mildly critical approach to Scripture. He argues against The New Perspective on Paul. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that “Stuhlmacher stresses the Old Testament and postbiblical Jewish traditions as the primary backdrop to Paul’s thought, as these traditions were known by Paul himself or mediated to him through Jesus and the early church.”


Romans (The Story of God Bible Commentary) by Michael F. Bird


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bird takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Anglican and Reformed. This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes that this series explains 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.” See more about the Story of God Bible Commentary series.


Romans (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Joseph A. Fitzmyer


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a brief commentary, including interaction with the church fathers, by a famous Roman Catholic scholar”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Fitzmyer takes a critical approach to Scripture. He is a Jesuit priest. This commentary is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. Fitzmyer also wrote the Luke commentary in the same series. 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.


When in Romans by Beverly Roberts Gaventa


Cover links to Amazon

Reviews and Accolades:

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Gaventa is an elder in the Presbyterian-USA Church. She teaches at Baylor University. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume is not part of a series. The publisher notes that Gaventa “invites us to linger in Romans. She asks that we stay with the letter long enough to see how Romans reframes our tidy categories and dramatically enlarges our sense of the gospel.”


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


New Release: Romans (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Frank Thielman


Cover links to Amazon

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Frank Thielman on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Thielman takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Thielman also wrote the Philippians commentary in the NIVAC series. The publisher notes that the goal of the ZECNT series “is not to review and offer a critique of every possible interpretation that has ever been given to a passage, but to exegete each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context.” Learn more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.


Romans (A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) by Ben Witherington


Cover links to Amazon

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Ben Witherington on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Witherington takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Witherington also wrote the 1-2 Corinthians commentary in the SRC series. The publisher notes that in the SRC series Scripture “is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read.” See more about the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.


Romans (NIV Application Commentary) by Douglas J. Moo


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Moo takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Moo’s volume on Romans in the NICNT series contains more Greek exegesis (see above). The editor notes that the aim of the NIVAC series “is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.


Romans (Lectio Continua) by J.V. Fesko


Cover links to Amazon

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with J.V. Fesko on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Fresko takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that “Fesko helps us understand both the big picture of Paul’s letters and also key passages in his writings by paying careful attention to the structure of redemptive history.” See more about the Lectio Continua commentary series.


Romans (For You) by Timothy Keller


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Keller 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 is designed to be pastor-friendly and Keller is highly quotable. Keller also wrote the Judges commentary in this series. The publisher notes: “Combining a close attention to the detail of the text with Timothy Keller’s trademark gift for clear explanation and compelling insights, this resource will both engage your mind and stir your heart.” See more about the For You commentary series.


Romans (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by F.F. Bruce


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bruce takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume was published in 1963, revised in 1985. Bruce also wrote the 1-2 Thessalonians commentary in the WBC series. The publisher notes that the TNTC 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.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.


Romans (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by James R. Edwards


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Edwards takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Presbyterian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Edwards also wrote the Mark commentary in the Pillar series. The publisher notes that volumes in the UBCS series 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.


Romans (IVP New Testament Commentary) by Grant R. Osborne


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Osborne takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was Arminian (d. 2018). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Osborne also wrote the Matthew commentary in the ZECNT series. The publisher notes that each volume in the IVPNTC series is “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.


Romans (New American Commentary) by Robert H. Mounce


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Mounce takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Mounce is know for his Revelation commentary in the NICNT series. The publisher notes that the NAC 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.


Romans (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised) by Everett Harrison and Donald Hagner


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: The reviser of this volume, Donald Hagner, is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Harrison wrote the original volume (pub. 1976) and Hagner wrote the revision (pub. 2008). Hagner argues against The New Perspective on Paul. 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.


Romans (Concordia Commentary) by Michael P. Middendorf


Cover links to Amazon

Please also see Romans 9-16 by Dr. Middendorf.

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Middendorf 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.”


Romans (The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary) by Douglas Moo


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Moo takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. Moo published this commentary in 1991 before the series was discontinued. He then re-worked it for the NICNT volume (see above). From the publisher: “Written especially for the informed layman, student, and scholar, all exegesis and exposition is based on the original languages of the Bible books.” See more about the Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary series.


Technical Commentaries


Romans (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament) by John D. Harvey


Cover links to Amazon

Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with John Harvey on this volume. 

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Harvey is Presbyterian. This commentary 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… The body is devoted to paragraph-by-paragraph exegesis of the Greek text and includes homiletical helps and suggestions for further study.” See more about Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series.


Romans (Paideia Commentary on the New Testament) by Frank J. Matera


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Matera takes a critical approach to the text. He taught at Catholic University. This commentary is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. This series employs Catholic and Protestant authors. The publisher notes that “each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions. Graduate and seminary students, professors, and pastors will benefit from this readable commentary, as will theological libraries.” See more about the Paideia commentary series.


Romans (Hermeneia) by Robert Jewett and Robert Jewett


Cover links to Amazon

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Jewett takes a critical approach to Scipture. He is an in-residence theologian at a Methodist church in Nebraska. This commentary is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. This volume is 1,100+ pages. Jewett argues against The New Perspective on Paul. The publisher notes that “the name Hermeneia, from the Greek, has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. Hermeneia is designed for the serious student of the Bible.” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Commentary on Romans by Martin Luther


Cover links to Amazon

Synopsis: Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation (d. 1546).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 popular edition, translated by Theodore Mueller, organizes Luther’s notes for modern readers, using explanatory subheadings and parenthetical comments to clarify the great Reformer’s thoughts.


Romans (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by Robert Haldane


Cover links to Amazon

Synopsis: Haldane was a Scottish theologian (d. 1842). This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes. From the publisher: “Robert Haldane’s Exposition of Romans, both in its contents and in the power of its influence, stands among the foremost of the many treatments of the epistle. As a commentary, Thomas Chalmers ‘strongly recommended it’; Spurgeon put it in the front rank, and more recently, Martyn Lloyd-Jones owed ‘much profit and pleasure to it’, characterising its contents as unsurpassed in ‘warmth of spirit’ and ‘practical application.'”


Romans (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries) by John Calvin


Cover links to Amazon

Synopsis: Calvin was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation (d. 1564). This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes “The power of John Calvin’s study of Romans and of 1 and 2 Thessalonians is captured in this superb translation by R. Mackenzie. Precise and authoritative, yet lucid and very readable, this volume will enrich all who are interested in understanding the full breadth and depth of these important sections of Scripture.”


Romans (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


Cover links to Amazon

Synopsis: 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.


Augustine on Romans


Cover links to Amazon

Synopsis: Augustine was a Roman African and early Christian theologian (d. 430).


Are you a pastor?

On the page Romans 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 65 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart


Footnotes:

  1. https://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/articles/the-reverend-professor-charles-e-b-cranfield-1915-2015/