Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Romans

from Aug 19, 2008 Category: Articles

There are a handful of biblical books for which there is no shortage of commentaries. One thinks immediately of books such as Genesis, Psalms, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Book of Revelation. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, however, may very well be the one book of the Bible that has inspired the most commentaries. The sheer number of commentaries on Romans makes it somewhat difficult to choose a “Top 5.”  Our own Dr. Sproul has himself written an outstanding introductory level commentary on Romans. I recommend this volume to anyone who is not familiar with the great themes of Paul’s epistle. In addition to this volume, the following are five of the most helpful commentaries on the book of Romans.


1. Douglas Moo — The Epistle to the Romans (New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1996).

Douglas Moo’s commentary on Romans is judged by many to be the best all around evangelical commentary on this epistle. It is thorough, but it is not overly technical. Moo presents his exegetical arguments carefully and cogently. This reader is especially impressed by his treatment of Romans 11. In terms of intermediate-advanced level commentaries, this one is the best place to begin.


2. Charles Hodge — Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (1864).

Although written well over one hundred years ago, Charles Hodge’s commentary on Romans should still be required for those doing serious study of the text. Hodge was a systematic theologian, but contrary to what many today think, this was no hindrance to doing good exegetical work. This commentary is rich in exegetical and theological insight.


3. John Murray. — The Epistle to the Romans (1960).

Originally part of the NICNT series, until it was replaced by Moo’s work in 1996, John Murray’s commentary on Romans remains a valuable work well worth consulting. Like Hodge, Murray was a systematic theologian, and like Hodge, this did not in any way hinder his exegetical work.



4. Leon Morris — The Epistle to the Romans (Pillar New Testament Commentary, 1988).

Students of Scripture should read anything they can find by Leon Morris, and his commentary on Romans is no exception. Morris is always careful and considered in his judgment. Highly recommended.



5. C.E.B. Cranfield — Romans 1-8, Romans 9-16 (International Critical Commentaries, 2004).

Anyone doing serious in-depth study of the book of Romans will need to consult Cranfield’s technical two-volume commentary. This is one of the most thorough commentaries on this book, and because it deals with every aspect of the Greek text, it does require a working knowledge of the original language. Readers should also be aware that Cranfield at times takes a somewhat Barthian approach to Romans, so the commentary should be used with care. For those who do not require the detailed exegetical information an abridged version is also available.

Runners Up:

There are a number of other helpful commentaries on the book of Romans. Among them are the classic sixteenth-century commentary by Martin Luther. Banner of Truth publishes the older work of Robert Haldane and the more recent 14 volume work by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Among the more recent evangelical scholarly commentaries are those by Robert H. Mounce and Thomas R. Schreiner. An older evangelical work is that of F.F. Bruce. Among those works that will help preachers are the commentaries by Paul Barnett and James Montgomery Boice.

The commentaries by James Edwards, Ben Witherington, and C.K. Barrett are also worth consulting.

Other “Top 5 Commentaries” blog posts:

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