Aug 31, 2021

Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Deuteronomy

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The book of Deuteronomy is one of the most frequently cited Old Testament books in the New Testament. Only Psalms and Isaiah are quoted more. Containing Moses’ final messages to the people of Israel before their entrance into the promised land, the book is rich in theological significance. The following are five of the most helpful commentaries on this book of Scripture.

1. Peter C. Craigie — The Book of Deuteronomy (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1976).

There is such a wealth of commentaries on Deuteronomy that it is difficult to select the best. When everything is taken into consideration, however, Craigie’s commentary in the NICOT series is probably still the best place to start. It is a competent and clear work written from an evangelical perspective.

2. J.G. McConville — Deuteronomy (Apollos Old Testament Commentary, 2002).

Another strong contender for the top spot is the commentary by McConville. The layout of the Apollos commentaries makes them somewhat more helpful for those seeking contemporary application. If you can afford more than one commentary on Deuteronomy, this one is well worth considering.

3. J.A. Thompson — Deuteronomy (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1974).

For those seeking a good introductory-level commentary on the book of Deuteronomy, the commentary by Thompson in the Tyndale series is the best place to begin. For an introductory level commentary, it is surprisingly insightful.

4. John D. Currid — Deuteronomy (EP Study Commentary, 2006).

Combining exegesis and application, Currid’s commentaries on the books of the Pentateuch have so far been very helpful. His commentary on Deuteronomy continues the standard of excellence.

5. Jeffrey H. Tigay — Deuteronomy (JPS Torah Commentary, 1996).

As mentioned in previous top 5 posts, the JPS Torah Commentaries are written by Jewish scholars and are highly technical. Tigay writes from a somewhat critical stance, so this commentary can only be recommended with qualification for discerning pastors and seminary students. Those doing scholarly work on Deuteronomy will find it immensely helpful.


There are a number of other commentaries on the book of Deuteronomy that are worth consulting. Among them are those by Edward J. Woods, Michael Grisanti, Eugene Merrill, Duane L. Christensen (Vol. 1, Vol. 2), Allan Harman, Raymond Brown, Christopher J.H.Wright, Daniel Block, David Payne, and if you can find it used or in a library, the one by J. Ridderbos.

Helpful Related Works:

I mentioned Daniel Block’s commentary in the “Runners Up” section above. He has also written several books on the theology of Deuteronomy that are worth reading: How I Love Your Torah, O Lord: Studies in the Book of Deuteronomy (2011); The Gospel of Moses: Theological and Ethical Reflections on the Book of Deuteronomy (2012); The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes (2017).

This article is part of the Top 5 Commentaries collection.