Commentary Recommendations & Resources: Romans

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F.F. Bruce – Paul: Apostle of a Heart Set Free
This is a classic work on Paul that gives a lot of biographical information on Paul based on the New Testament and historical/extra biblical literature. As always with Bruce the book is very readable and enjoyable.

E.P. Sanders – Paul and Palestinian Judaism
This is a work that kicked off the New Perspective on Paul. Sanders goes into extra-biblical material from Judaism to help us understand how the Jews viewed their own religion. Rather than imposing Luther back on the Torah, this book advises letting Judaism speak for itself. This allows you to read the Torah and the Old Testament with new ears with a greater degree of accuracy. This book has been challenged in several areas but still stands as an important reference work by its own right. There are other works that are shorter and have the benefit of another few decades of scholarship like the next book.

James Dunn – The New Perspective on Paul
James Dunn has been one of the foremost scholars on the New Perspective. His commentaries on Romans (Word Biblical) and Galatians (Black’s) reflect this approach. This book provides helpful insights into understanding the New Perspective.

Karl Donfried (ed) – The Romans Debate
This is a compilation of essays on the purpose and occasion of Romans. Authors include: F.F. Bruce, Jacob Jervell, David Aune, Jame Dunn, and many more.


F.F. Bruce – Romans (Tyndale)
This is a very short/concise commentary on Romans by one of the foremost NT scholars of the last century. As it is now a bit dated it won’t make use of some of the more helpful Pauline discussions of the last few decades but still an inexpensive and accessible commentary that you will find beneficial.

C.E.B. Cranfield – Romans: A Shorter Commentary
Shorter doesn’t mean short. It is shorter compared to Cranfield’s 2 Volume ICC commentary. This one is sufficient enough without spending the money on the ICC ones. The downside is the same as Bruce’s downside but still all around an excellent commentary and one I would be sure to consult when teaching or preaching from Romans.

James Dunn – Romans (Word Biblical Commentary)
I haven’t used this commentary but I keep it around for when I need a good commentary on Romans that takes into account the scholarship on the New Perspective on Paul

Douglas Moo – Romans (NIV Application Commentary)
Ideal for teaching and preaching. Very easy to read and understand. It doesn’t take any knowledge of Greek. It is also geared toward making contemporary connections with the meaning of the text and application for teachers and preachers. Douglas Moo is a solid NT scholar and this commentary would be the one I would hand an adult Bible class teacher who wanted study material for their class. If you want more depth from Moo try out his NICNT commentary on Romans.

Robert Jewett – Romans (Hermeneia)
This is widely recognized as one of the most influential and scholarly commentaries on the book of Romans. This along with Hebrews are probably the two most helpful in the Hermeneia commentary series. The detail of this commentary is exceptional. It will require some knowledge of Greek in order to get the fullest enjoyment and help from this commentary but it is possible to use it without knowing Greek. It is also pretty expensive. I lucked out and found mine on clearance at the Pepperdine bookstore for $15.00 still in the wrapper.

Ben Witherington – Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
This is a “must have” on Romans. Witherington traces Paul’s argumentation/rhetoric through the book that will help you get the sense of what Paul is communicating in his letter. I wouldn’t do without this on the shelf.

Tom Wright – Paul for Everyone: Romans
Very introductory of the major themes of Romans. Wright has a way of getting to the point and making it understandable and applicable all in a very small amount of space. If you want more in depth Wright on Romans check out his Romans commentary in the New Interpreter’s Bible.


N.T. Wright – Romans and the Theology of Paul

N.T. Wright – New Perspectives on Paul

N.T. Wright – Paul and Caesar: A New Reading of Romans

N.T. Wright – The Law in Romans 2

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