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Recommended Commentaries for Hebrews

I will be recommending commentaries for the book of Hebrews with this post.

Hebrews, by William Lane.  Lane’s two-volume work is probably the best technical commentary available.  Lane has produced a fine exegetical, structural, and theological commentary on Hebrews.

The Epistle to the Hebrews, by F. F. Bruce.  Bruce’s commentary is very readable and offers a wealth of information in the footnotes.  At times, Bruce leaves you wanting more, but he is aware of redemptive-historical issues.  

The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, by Geerhardus Vos.  This is not a commentary per se, but an overview and examination of certain themes in Hebrews.  Although this volume is quite short it does provide some stimulating insights.

Hebrews, by John Owen.  Just as any serious student would consult Luther on Galatians, so one should consult Owen’s on Hebrews.  Any man who writes seven volumes on Hebrews is worthy of consideration (abridged volume featured above).  Seriously, much like any work by Owen, his writings are rich in Christ-centered thinking.

The Epistle to the Hebrews, by Paul Ellingworth.  Ellingworth’s commentary is much like Lane’s in that it is a technical work.  Despite many good theological points by the author, Lane’s two-volume work is better. 

Hebrews, by Richard Phillips.  Phillips has written a commentary that is much like the other volumes in the series: a commentary that focuses on redemptive-historical truths in sermon format.  I have yet to thoroughly work through this commentary, so my recommendation is based simply on the aim of the series.

A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, by Philip Hughes.  Hughes’ volume was probably the most helpful to me.  While I thought Lane and Bruce were excellent commentaries, Hughes points out many redemptive-historical truths while providing good exegetical observations. 

The three forthcoming commentaries listed below should provide many fresh and exciting insights based on the renewed interest in the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament.  Once published, Carson’s work will probably be the best commentary on Hebrews, although Moo and O’Brien are sure to produce excellent commentaries too.

Hebrews (Baker Exegetical Commentary), by D. A. Carson. 

Hebrews (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary), by Douglas Moo. 

Hebrews (Pillar), by Peter T. O’Brien.

  1. January 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I really, really like Attridge’s work, as well as all these excellent works.

  2. John Meade
    January 9, 2008 at 8:11 am


    Your list is a good one. Attridge is ok, but I still find Lane’s to be the best commentary on Hebrews. With that said, your list also indicates how in need of good commentaries the church is today.

    On another related note, Guthrie’s chapter in the new commentary On the Use of the OT in the NT is lengthy and is very good.


  3. January 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Chad, I liked the old blog format better. FWIW!

  4. Chad
    January 12, 2008 at 11:17 am


    I wanted to change the format and my selection of the tan theme wasn’t my first choice, but now I’ve gone with this current theme. Hopefully, its a little more aesthetic and easy on the eyes.

  5. January 12, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t think the bookshelf banner on the top and some other graphics loaded the first time I went to the blog, it was just plain tan. it looks better now!

  6. Chad
    January 12, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    The tan format was its own template. I wanted to have something more basic, so I selected the tan template, but it was hard to read and a bit too basic, so I switched to the current theme.

  7. Clifton Vandegriff
    February 8, 2008 at 10:14 am

    R.T. France, F.F. Bruce, and Donald Guthrie are also excellent commentaries on Hebrews.

  8. Russ
    February 19, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for posting this list. I didn’t see Westcott’s commentary mentioned, however. It presupposes some a working knowledge of Greek, but Westcott is hard to beat for assimilating background, exegesis, & profound theological insights. His elucidation of chapter 1, verse 3, remains one of the best.

  9. Clifton Vandegriff
    July 14, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Is there a tentative date for Carson’s forthcoming commentary?

  10. Chad
    July 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    The last I heard it would be a few more years.

  11. July 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Carson is working on Galatians next once he’s done with I-III John for NIGTC. O’Brien’s will be the next of the three forthcoming commentaries listed. That might be out within a year. He had the bulk of it written a year ago, and it usually takes Eerdmans a full year to publish books once it has their final manuscript (for reasons that can’t be morally allowable, whatever they are). So it could be soon. It won’t be in the next few months, though, because they’ve already forecast a few months ahead and only listed Moo on Colossians and Philemon.

    I believe Moo is doing Galatians next also and putting off Hebrews until after he’s done with that. I wonder if this is a plan with Carson to write them together and feed off each other’s manuscripts the way Hoehner and O’Brien did on Ephesians.

  12. April 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Do you know when O’Brien’s commentary is comming out? The previous post explained it release in about a year. I’ve searched the internet and can’t find anything. Thanks

  13. Chad
    April 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    It may be later this year, but these things always change.

  14. May 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Chad, any word on when the 3 commentaries you mentioned at the end (Carson, Moo, Obrien) will come out?

    Thanks and I enjoy your site.


  15. Chad
    May 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm


    I emailed Moo and O’Brien and asked them directly.

    1.) O’Brien says the Hebrews manuscript is at Eerdmans and awaiting publication. He hopes by early 2010. He is also taking some of the material that did not make it in the commentary and writing a “Theology of Hebrews” that will be part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology Series (ed. Carson). No date on the “Theology of Hebrews” book.

    2.) Moo told me that if he has a productive summer then he should finish Galatians this fall with a release of early 2011. He said Hebrews is still far off (maybe 2016) because he is writing four books before it.

    This is exciting news. Can’t wait for these volumes.


  16. jv
    February 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Homer Kent’s little commentary provides the best overview for the entire book.

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