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Commentaries on John

john commentaries

I spent over a year and a half preaching through the Gospel according to John. Preaching through John was one of the most encouraging, and enjoyable experiences I have had as a Pastor. I thought it may be helpful to list out a few of the most helpful resources that served my preparation well. 


Most Helpful:

1. The Gospel according to John by D.A. Carson (Pillar NT)

This was by far the most helpful commentary during my time in John. It may be, in fact, the single most helpful commentary I have ever read on any book in the Bible. Carson provides a helpful balance of critical engagement with other academic voices, language studies, and pastoral application. He is particularly helpful threading together the many themes in John which are crucial to understand in order to preach the book effectively. If I could only have one commentary, it would be this one.

2. John-Acts  by Jim Hamilton (ESV Expository Commentary)

Crossway’s new ESV Expository Commentary set is fantastic. It provides helpful insight into the original languages, as well as text structure, all the while driving towards pastoral application and christian response. The format is well laid out, and the chapters are short, while packing in a lot of good content. This set is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I eagerly await more volumes to be produced. The pastoral response sections were very helpful during my time in John.

3. Let’s Study John by Mark Johnston (Let’s Study ____ by Banner of Truth)

The Let’s Study series by Banner of Truth is often overlooked, and incredibly underrated. This is designed for lay people, and it is by far the most accessible volume I read during my time in John. It’s accessibility does not mean, however, that it is lacking in theological or textual depth. In a few short pages, each chapter helpfully breaks down the structure of a passage, explains it, and applies it practically. I found myself often coming to this commentary at the end of my sermon prep, only to find that Johnston and I had nearly the same outline for the text! If you are studying John, or any other book devotionally, this series is for you.


Honorable Mentions:

1.  John by RC Sproul 

R.C.’s commentaries are always theologically rich. This would be another option for anyone seeking to read through John devotionally, as R.C. does a great job clarifying key theological concepts and themes in the book.

2. John by John Calvin (Calvin Commentaries)

Calvin’s commentaries will always be on my “favorites” lists. Textual, insightful, and devotional.

3. John vols 1 + 2  by Richard Phillips (Reformed Expository Commentary)

Phillips’ 2 volume set on John was one of the more helpful resources from the explicitly Reformed perspective. In particular, I found his pastoral tone very helpful as I thought through applications for my own congregation.


Additional commentaries:

John by John MacArthur (MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

The Gospel of John by J. Ramsey Michales (NICNT)

John by Gary M Burge (The NIV Application Commentary)

John by R. Kent Hughes (Peaching the Word)

John by Colin Kruse (Tyndale NT)