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Recommended Commentaries for Galatians

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I will be recommending commentaries for the book of Galatians with this post.  I recommend commentaries based on their usefulness toward developing a redemptive-historical perspective of a particular book.


Galatians, by Phillip Ryken.  If you are looking for a commentary that is sensitive to redemptive-historical issues while applying the text, then get Ryken’s commentary.


The Message of Galatians, by John Stott.  Despite the short length of this commentary, Stott has done an excellent job bringing out the theology of Galatians. 


Galatians, by Martin Luther.  Although many of Luther’s insights are restricted to his historical setting, any study of Galatians must consider this volume.


The Epistle to the Galatians, by F. F. Bruce.  Bruce has done a good job writing a technical Greek commentary while dealing with the theology of Galatians.  If you are looking for a solid technical commentary then read Bruce’s volume, which I think is better than Richard Longenecker’s commentary on Galatians.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Churches of Galatia, by Herman Ridderbos.  The cover for this book is dark blue and I didn’t feel like taking a picture of my copy nor could I find a picture of it so I put up a photo of Herman Ridderbos.  Ridderbos’ volume is the original commentary on Galatians from The New International Commentary on the New Testament series.  This book is out of print, but if you are able to find a copy, buy it.  Although the commentary is short in length it provides many helpful redemptive-historical insights. 


The Epistle to the Galatians, by Ronald Fung.  Fung’s volume took the place of Ridderbos’ commentary on Galatians.  Fung’s commentary is helpful and he does touch on some redemptive-historical issues; however, I thought Ridderbos’ work was better.

I would also recommend Moises Silva’s short commentary on Galatians in the New Bible Commentary.

The three forthcoming commentaries listed below will be the new gold standard on the book of Galatians when they are released.  Carson, Moo, and Schreiner have a clear grasp of redemptive-history and how it plays out in the Bible, which I am confident will be reflected in their commentaries.

Galatians (Pillar New Testament Commentary), by D. A. Carson, forthcoming. 

Galatians (Baker Exegetical Commentary), by Douglas Moo, forthcoming.

Galatians (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary), by Thomas Schreiner, forthcoming.

  1. September 24, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Hey Chad, thanks for the recommendations! I wasn’t aware of Ridderbos’s work, and I didn’t know that Carson, Moo, and Schreiner are coming out with Galatians commentaries. That will be great! I’ll try to track down Ridderbos for his redemptive-historical insights.

  2. Juan
    September 24, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Great Books- I have finished preaching on Galatians and I used most of the ones on your list as references.
    I am looking forward to the new books coming out!

  3. September 24, 2007 at 5:42 pm


    I can’t believe you didn’t recommend Ben Witherington’s commentary on Galatians?! IMHO it is the best available. If you have read it, is there some reason you have not included it even in the list? He is especially good on some of these redemptive historical issues.

  4. Chad
    September 24, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    I have not read Witherington’s volume. These lists are not a survey of every commentary available for a book, but commentaries I have used and found helpful in terms of redemptive-historical issues.

  5. John Meade
    September 25, 2007 at 9:57 am


    Any idea when those three forthcoming commentaries are due to come out?


  6. Chad
    September 25, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    I know Baker is releasing Mark (Stein), 1-3 John (Yarbrough), and Matthew (Turner) next year, so I think Moo’s will be a few more years. Schreiner told me that his commentary will be out in a few years and Carson’s will still be a few years (he has a lot of good stuff he’s working on). I wish they were out sooner, but oh well.

  7. John Meade
    September 27, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks Chad!! Me too!!

  8. September 28, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Longenecker is better than Bruce, in my opinion. I found Longenecker to be the best available, even in developing redemptive-historical interpretation.

  9. dms
    October 24, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    You overlooked the best comm on Gal – Longenecker, WBC.
    I strongly disagree w/ you re: Schreiner. From his Rom comm and NT theo, he does not really understand faith alone. I think that he wants to combat the antinomianism in evangelicalism and therefore pulls obedience into places where Paul writes of faith *alone*. Schreiner does not have the faith to believe faith in Christ justifies and sanctifies.
    As for the Mosaic law, I find Moo’s contribution in Five Views to be far superior to Schreiner’s efforts. Ignore Schreiner, period.

  10. October 24, 2007 at 5:30 pm


    I think Longenecker is a fine commentary, I just didn’t find it as helpful as others. I disagree with some of Longeneckers work on hermeneutics (see “Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period), which comes through in his commentary.

    I think you are wrong about Schreiner. He is at times misunderstood, perhaps, because of an association with Piper and then Fuller; however, I have asked Schreiner on this issue and he holds to faith alone. Schreiner is a humble man with solid positions.

    I do agree with you that Moo’s work is solid on the law, especially his essay on the “Modified Lutheran View,” in “Five Views on the Law and Gospel.

    Thanks for your imput.


  11. John
    September 24, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Thanks for the post, Chad. I’m rough-planning out my sermons for 2011 and will likely be preaching through Galatians about mid-way through the year. Schreiner’s work will be out then, but not Carson or Moo’s unfortunately!

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