Commentaries on 1 Corinthians

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Romans  ⇐ ⇒  2 Corinthians

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For more great commentaries on 1 Corinthians, be sure to check:
Commentaries on the Epistles, New Testament Commentaries
& Whole Bible Commentaries

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Order of Contents

The Best Commentaries  7
Commentaries  17
Early Church  3
Medieval Church  1
Jewish Background to  1
Chapters in 1 Cor.
Head Coverings in Worship (1 Cor. 11)

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The Best Commentaries on 1 Corinthians

Reformer

Calvin, John – Commentary on 1 Corinthians

*** – Spurgeon

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1600’s

Dickson, David – An Exposition of all St. Paul’s Epistles together with an explanation of those other epistles of the apostles St. James, Peter, John & Jude, wherein the sense of every chapter and verse is analytically unfolded and the text enlightened  (Romans-Jude)  Buy  1659  

Dickson was a prominent Scottish covenanter.

*** – ‘Dickson is a writer after our own heart.  For preachers he is a great ally.  There is nothing brilliant or profound; but everything is clear and well arranged, and the unction runs down like the oil from Aaron’s head.  In this volume the observations are brief.’

Note that the Banner of Truth reprint contains Dickson’s commentary on less books than the original.

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Intermediate

1800’s

Hodge, Charles

An Exposition of 1 Corinthians  Buy  1860  Reformed, Princeton

***  “The more we use Hodge, the more we value him.  This applies to all his commentaries.” – Spurgeon

Questions on Hodge’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians: Designed for Bible Classes and Sunday Schools  1857  by Charles Hodge

Lange’s Commentary – Commentary on 1 Corinthians  by C.F. Kluig

*** – Spurgeon

Edwards, Thomas – 1 Corinthians  in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Edwards was a Welsh evangelical presbyterian.  The work was reprinted by Klock & Klock publishers with a commendation by Cyril J. Barber.

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1900’s

Clark, Gordon – First Corinthians  Buy

Clark focuses on exegesis, is very clear and is sometimes humorous.  He takes a premillennial interpretation of 1 Cor. 15, which is not recommended.

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Advanced

Godet, Frederick – Commentary on 1 Corinthians, vol. 1, 2  1890

Godet (1812–1900) was a Swiss Protestant theologian.  He was conservative, but not altogether wholly orthodox (see Wiki).

“Scholarly, exegetical comments on the text and theme of the epistle make this work one of the outstanding treatments of all time.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Commentaries on 1 Corinthians

1500’s

Colet, John – An Exposition on 1 Corinthians  d. 1519  rep. 1874  

Colet was a reforming, English, humanist, Roman Catholic Priest who as critical of the Church and was a friend of Erasmus.

**  “A curiosity and nothing more.  This same ancient Dean Colet, the friend of Erasmus, wrote also on the Romans.” – Spurgeon

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Simple & Brief

Hughes, Philip E. – ‘1 Corinthians’ in The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book with General and Introductory Essays and Exposition, 3 vols.  Buy  ed. Carl Henry  1960

This little known commentary set by leading evangelicals (many of which were reformed) is brief (think airplane view) but helpful.

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Intermediate

1800’s

Beet, Joseph Agar – A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians  1895  565 pp.

Beet was a liberal.

“A careful study based upon the Greek text.” – Cyril J. Barber

Brown, David – Commentary on 1 Corinthians in A Popular Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Philip Schaff

Brown was a professor of the Free Church of Scotland, known as the ‘Brown’ in Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.

Lothian, W. – Expository Lectures on Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians  1828  The volume is inscribed to Thomas Chalmers of the Free Church of Scotland

** “This work must have done good service in its day, as in some degree an antidote to Macknight; it is good and sound; but the student need not distress himself if he cannot procure it, for it is not indispensable.” – Spurgeon

Olshausen, H. – Biblical Commentary on 1 Corinthians  1851

Olshausen was a liberal.

**  “Dr. Lindsay Alexander says that this comment is highly esteemed for its happy combinations of grammatico-historical exegesis, with spiritual insight into the meaning of the sacred writers.” – Spurgeon

Pridham, Arthur – Notes and Reflections on 1 Corinthians  1866

**  “We do not always agree with Mr. Pridham, but we always admire the quiet, candid, and unaffected manner in which he writes.”

Robertson, Frederick W. – Expository Lectures on St. Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians  1872  560 pp.

**  “Robertson’s doctrinal vagaries are well known; yet he is a great thinker and a prompter of thought in other men.  Read with discretion.” – Spurgeon

“Devotional and practical studies by an outstanding Anglican preacher of the last century.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Moffatt, James – The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians  n.d.  320 pp.

Moffatt was a liberal.

“A critical, and in some respects helpful treatment of the problems arising directly from a study of the text.” – Cyril J. Barber

Morgan, G. Campbell – The Corinthian Letters of Paul: an Exposition of 1 & 2 Corinthians  Buy  1947  179 pp.

Morgan, known for his reformed, exegetical preaching, was the predecessor of Martyn Lloyd Jones at Westminster Chapel.

“A renowned pulpiteer addresses himself to the problems which plague the church. His statements are timely and show a mastery of the subject matter.” – Cyril J. Barber

Grosheide – The First Epistle to the Corinthians  Buy  1953  in the New International Commentary on the New Testament

“Does not measure up to the stature of the other volumes in this series.” – Cyril J. Barber

Bruce, F.F. – 1 & 2 Corinthians  Buy  1971  256 pp.  in The New Century Bible Commentary

“A brief, perceptive study.“ – Cyril J. Barber

Morris, Leon – 1 Corinthians  Buy  in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

“A compact, serviceable commentary which will prove valuable to those who teach through this epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Advanced

1700’s

Pearce, Zachary – Commentary on 1 Corinthians  1777

Pearce (†1774) was an Anglican.

**  “We ought to value this work greatly, for the author was a renowned scholar; but we confess we do not think much of his productions.” – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Billroth, Gustav – A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol. 1 (1-11), 2 (12-16)  1836

Billroth was a German professor of philosophy in Halle.  The work as translated by W. Lindsay Alexander, a Scottish Congregationalist professor of theology not altogether orthodox.

**  “To be prized for its criticism.  The author tries to bring forth from each passage the sense which the Apostle intended to convey.  Observations and reflections there are none; but we are not among those who throw away ‘the dry bones of criticism’–bones are as needful as meat though not so nourishing.” – Spurgeon

Stanley, Arthur P. – The Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians, with Critical Notes and Dissertations  4th ed. 1882  625 pp.

Stanley was a liberal.

**  “We do not advise the purchase of these volumes; for although Dean Stanley is an instructive writer, our perusal of his notes does not impress us with any sense either of their value or soundness.” – Spurgeon

“A scholarly, critical study with numerous digressions on the theme of the epistle, paraphrases of the text, and dissertations on thoughts which have arisen in the writer’s mind as a result of this study.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Robertson, Archibald & Alfred Plummer – A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians  1911  520 pp.  in The International Critical Commentary

The authors and the series were liberal.

“A monumental work which has earned for itself a deserved place on the Bible teacher’s bookshelf.” – Cyril J. Barber

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The Early Church on 1 Corinthians

Compilation

ed. Bray, Gerald & Thomas Oden – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: 1 & 2 Corinthians  Buy

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Individual Fathers

Ambrosiaster – Commentaries on Romans and 1 & 2 Corinthians  Buy

Chrysostom – Homilies on 1 &2 Corinthians

**  ‘Enough of solid truth and brilliant utterance will be found here to justify this father’s title of ‘Golden Mouth’; but still all is not gold which fell from his lips, and to modern readers Chrysostom is not so instructive as he was to his own age [A.D. 349-407].’ – Spurgeon

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The Medieval Church

Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on 1 Corinthians

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Jewish Background to 1 Corinthians

Lightfoot, John – Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations upon 1 Corinthians, to which is added a discourse concerning what Bibles were used to be read in the religious assemblies of the Jews  See also the table of contents to the Addenda to 1 Cor. 14

Lightfoot was a mid-1600’s reformed divine who was invited to the Westminster Assembly.  He mined the Jewish writings for anything and everything that may be of help in understanding the New Testament.  Here are his results.  This is the only work of its kind in English.  

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Chapters in 1 Corinthians

“The writers on small portions of these Epistles are too numerous to be mentioned in our short Catalogue.  Burgess, Branston, Thomas Fuller, Sibbes, Manton, Watson, and other masterly writers have all left a contribution to the expository stores of the Church of Christ.”

Spurgeon

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The First Half of 1 Corinthians

Lightfoot, J.B. – Analysis and Commentary on 1 Cor. 1-7

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1 Corinthians 3

“‘I belong to Paul.’  No you don’t…  Paul belongs to you (1 Cor. 3:22).”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Burgess, Cornelius – The Scripture Directory for Church Officers and People, or, a Practical Commentary upon 1 Cor. 3  1659

Burgess (d. 1664) was one of the Westminster divines.

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1 Corinthians 7

Erasmus, Desiderus – An Exhortation to the Diligent study of scripture: An Exposition of 1 Corinthians 7  1529

Luther, Martin – Works, vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy  Buy

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1 Corinthians 11

Fuller, Thomas – Joseph’s Party-Colored Coat: a Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11  1640

Fuller was a reformed Anglican.

See also our page on Head Coverings in Worship

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1 Corinthians 13

Edwards, Jonathan – Charity and its Fruits, or Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life   on 1 Cor. 13

Jones, J.D. – Exposition of 1 Corinthians 13  Buy

Scroggie, W. Graham – The Love Life: 1 Cor. 13  Buy  1935  96 pp.

“A valuable, devotional work.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1 Corinthians 15

1500’s

Luther, Martin – Works, vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy  Buy

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1800’s

Brown, John – The Resurrection of Life: an Exposition of 1 Cor. 15, with a Discourse on our Lord’s Resurrection  1852  330 pp.

This is by John Brown of Edinburgh, the U.P.C. exegetical commentator.

“A rich, full expository treatment which includes a lengthy essay on our Lord’s resurrection. To be purchased if found.” – Cyril J. Barber

Candlish, Robert – Life in a Risen Savior, Discourses on the Argument of 1 Cor. 15  1858  410 pp.

Candlish was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland.

Milligan, William – The Resurrection of the Dead, an Exposition of 1 Cor. 15  1894  260 pp.  Contains some Greek words and phrases in the main text left untranslated.

Milligan was a liberal professor of divinity in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Cox, Samuel – The Resurrection: Twelve Expository Essays on the 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians  1879

“A series of twelve expository messages. Well organized and ably presented.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Related Pages

Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries