Zondervan Exegetical Commentary (ZECOT, ZECNT) | Reviews, Theology

The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series is a broadly evangelical, reader-friendly, biblical reference resource that helps pastors, teachers, and readers interpret and apply the biblical text. The series began in the early 2000’s. Volumes are still being released. The New Testament volumes are original.

zondervan exegetical commentary on the new testament
New Testament volumes in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series have a white background

A few Old Testament volumes were re-branded for the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series, having first been published in Zondervan’s now-defunct, Hearing the Message of Scripture series. The content in the re-branded volumes is the same as the original.

Which commentary series is best for your purposes? See Best Bible Commentaries: Top 50. Based on aggregate reviews.

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The 7 Sections in ZEC Volumes

Zondervan Exegetical Commentaries divide every biblical passage into seven components:

The Literary Context: In this section, the author discusses the passage in light of what comes before and after it in the text.

Main Idea: Here, the passage is synthesized into two to three sentences, which preachers should find especially helpful.

The Translation and Graphic Layout: This feature visually organizes words and phrases in the English-language biblical text.

Structure: Next, the author describes the “flow of thought” that leads to interpretation.

Exegetical Outline: Here, the overall structure of the passage is displayed in outline form.

Explanation of the Text: In this section, the author discusses the meaning of the text, which includes discussion on the original languages, though the explanations are not overly technical.

Theology in Application: This is another component preachers will find helpful because it offers suggestions on how to apply the passage today. [1]

See how the ZECNT and ZECOT series compares to dozens of other commentary series on the Bible Commentaries Comparison Chart.

The most popular book of the Bible to get a commentary on is Revelation. See Best Revelation Commentaries for more.

Zondervan Exegetical Commentaries: Reviews

Many of the best biblical scholars today are contributing to this well-reviewed series.

Clinton E. Arnold, Dean of Talbot School of Theology, is the General Editor of New Testament volumes, as well as author of the Ephesians volume, which is considered one of the best Ephesians commentaries.

Other New Testament volumes that have been highly praised are Mark Strauss’ Mark commentary and Thomas Schreiner’s Galatians commentary. [2]

Daniel I. Block, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Wheaton College, is the General Editor of Old Testament volumes, as well as the author of the Ruth commentary.

Associate editors include George Guthrie, who is well-known for the Hebrews commentary in the NIVAC series, and Thomas Schreiner, who is well-known for his 1-2 Peter commentary in the NAC series.

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Old Testament volumes have a gray background

Interviews with Authors in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series

I am grateful to have conducted question-and-answer interviews with multiple authors in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary series. Links to these interviews are below.

Q & A with author Joel Youngblood on his Jonah volume

Q & A with author Mark Strauss on his Mark volume

Q & A with author Edward W. Klink on his John volume

Q & A with author Frank Thielman on his Romans volume

Q & A with author Clint E. Arnold on his Ephesians volume

Q & A with author Gary Shogren on his 1-2 Thessalonians volume

Q & A with author Mariam Kovalishyn (co-author with Craig Blomberg) on their James volume

Q & A with author Buist Fanning on the Revelation volume

Volumes in the ZECOT and ZECNT Series

The links below go to Amazon using each book’s exact ISBN.

New Testament Volumes (so far)

Matthew – Grant R. Osborne

In this volume of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, Grant Osborne offers pastors, students, and teachers a focused resource for reading the Gospel of Matthew.

Through the use of graphic representations of translations, succinct summaries of main ideas, exegetical outlines, and other features, Osborne presents the Gospel of Matthew with precision and accuracy.

Mark – Mark L. Strauss

In this commentary on Mark written for pastors and Bible teachers, Mark L. Straus exegetes each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context.

He argues that Mark is indeed energetic and forceful, yet at the same time presents a well-structured and powerful theological drama.

Luke – David E. Garland

The commentary presents a translation through a diagram that helps visualize the flow of thought, provides a summary of the central message of the passages, reveals how they function within the gospel, and offers an exegetical outline with a verse-by-verse commentary that takes notice of Jewish and Greco-Roman background evidence that sheds light on the text.

John – Mickey Klink

Klink received a B.A. from Trinity International University, M.Div. and Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

After serving for nearly a decade as a professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in southern California, he was led to transition from teaching and the professorate to preaching and the pastorate.

Acts – Eckhard J. Schnabel

This volume won the Christian Book Award for best Bible Reference of 2013 for its valuable insights and thorough commentary.

Romans – Frank Thielman

Frank Thielman has taught at Beeson Divinity School faculty since in 1989, teaching courses in Greek exegesis.

He is a noted New Testament scholar, concentrating primarily in the Pauline epistles.

1 Corinthians – Paul Gardner

Dr. Paul D. Gardner was senior pastor of Christ Church Presbyterian in Atlanta, Georgia.

Galatians – Thomas R. Schreiner

In his commentary on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner presents a brief and lucid commentary for pastors, students, and laypeople, while also attending to questions that have arisen in light of the New Perspective on Paul.

Schreiner, endorsing a Reformation reading of the text, reminds readers of Paul’s chief concerns in writing the letter: justification by faith, the full divinity of Christ, freedom from the power of sin through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, and dependence on the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.

Ephesians – Clinton E. Arnold

In this volume, Clinton Arnold highlights four themes that emerge in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians:

The superior power of God over spiritual powers, The unity of Jews and Gentiles through Jesus Christ, The encouragement for Gentile believers to live holy lives before God. 

The need for believers to be rooted in the knowledge of their new identity in Christ Jesus, Woven into Paul’s theology is a refrain of praise and adoration to the glory of God that insists that such praise should also be our response.

Colossians, Philemon – David W. Pao

In Colossians and Philemon, David W. Pao continues providing the powerful exegetical commentary this series has offered on other books of the Bible.

Written primarily for the pastor and Bible teacher, the text succinctly exegetes each passage of Scripture in its grammatical and historical context.

Each passage of Colossians and Philemon is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view of grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.

1 and 2 Thessalonians – Gary Shogren

1 and 2 Thessalonians treats the literary context and structure of the passage in its original Greek, as well as an original translation based on the literary structure.

Critical scholarship informs each step but doesn’t dominate the commentary, allowing readers to concentrate on Paul’s message to the Thessalonians as it unfolds.

While primarily designed for those with a basic knowledge of biblical Greek, all who strive to understand and teach the New Testament will find this book beneficial.

James – Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell

Authors Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell use the historical, theological, and literary elements of James to guide their interpretation of this often-overlooked early Christian text.

Their concise discussion of how the book delivers consistent, challenging instruction will help pastors and church leaders teach the message of James to today’s readers.

1, 2, and 3 John – Karen H. Jobes

In her commentary on John’s letters, Karen H. Jobes writes to bridge the distance between academic biblical studies and pastors, students, and laypeople who are looking for an in-depth treatment of the issues raised by these New Testament books.

She approaches the three letters of John as part of the corpus that includes John’s Gospel, while rejecting an elaborate redactional history of that Gospel that implicates the letters.

Jobes treats three major themes of the letters under the larger rubric of who has the authority to interpret the true significance of Jesus—an issue that is pressing in our religiously pluralistic society today with its many voices claiming truth about God.

Revelation – Buist Fanning

Buist Fanning is the department chair and senior professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Old Testament Volumes (so far)

Ruth – Daniel I. Block

Daniel I. Block is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College.

Obadiah – Daniel I. Block

Daniel I. Block is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College.

Jonah – Kevin J. Youngblood

Kevin Youngblood is associate Professor of Bible & Religion at Harding University.

Nahum – Daniel Timmer

Daniel C. Timmer is associate professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. 





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