Order of Contents
The Best Commentaries on 1 Corinthians
Calvin, John – Commentary on 1 Corinthians
*** – Spurgeon
Dickson, David – The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Analytically Expounded in An Exposition of All St. Paul’s Epistles together with an explanation of those other epistles of the apostles St. James, Peter, John & Jude… Buy (1659), pp. 38-70
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.’ – Spurgeon
An Exposition of 1 Corinthians (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 ed. William Robertson Nicoll, 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.
Clark focuses on exegesis, is very clear and is sometimes humorous. He takes a premillennial interpretation of 1 Cor. 15, which is not recommended.
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
Commentaries on 1 Corinthians
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
Simple & Brief
Hughes, Philip E. – ‘1 Corinthians’ in ed. Henry, Carl, The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book with General and Introductory Essays & Exposition 1 vol. ed. (1960; A.J. Holman, 1973)
This little known commentary set by leading evangelicals (many of which were reformed) is brief (think airplane view) but helpful.
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
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, 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 – Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1960)
“Does not measure up to the stature of the other volumes in this series.” – Cyril J. Barber
This is a more simple commentary than that below.
“A brief, perceptive study.“ – Cyril J. Barber
“A compact, serviceable commentary which will prove valuable to those who teach through this epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber
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
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 & 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
Robertson, Archibald & Alfred Plummer – A Critical & 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
Witherington III, Ben – 1 Corinthians in Conflict & Community in Corinth: a Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 & 2 Corinthians (Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 69-324
Witherington III is an American Wesleyan-Arminian New Testament scholar, having written many books, and has been a professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, as well as a pastor in the United Methodist Church.
This commentary excells in in-depth historical info on the 1st century Corinthian setting.
Early Church on 1 Corinthians
ed. Bray, Gerald & Thomas Oden – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: 1 & 2 Corinthians Buy
ed. Kovacs, Judith L. – 1 Corinthians Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators (Eerdmans, 2005) 370 pp. ToC
Questions & Answers on 1 Corinthians (chs. 5-6, 9-10, 12) at Patristic Bible Commentary
** ‘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
Augustine – Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament by S. Augustine in A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1839), pp. 792-815 ToC
Cyril (c. 376 – 444)
Theodoret of Cyrus – Commentary on The Letters of St Paul, vol. 1: Romans, 1-2 Corinthians Buy (Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2007) 330 pp.
Theodoret (c. 393 – c. 458/466) was an influential theologian of the School of Antioch, biblical commentator and bishop of Cyrus.
Old Irish Gloss on 1 Corinthians at Patristic Bible Commentary
Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on 1 Corinthians at Isidore
Jewish Background to 1 Corinthians
Lightfoot, John – Hebrew & 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 ToC 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.
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.”
1st Half of 1 Corinthians
Lightfoot, J.B. – Analysis and Commentary on 1 Cor. 1-7
1 Corinthians 3
“‘I belong to Paul.’ No you don’t… Paul belongs to you (1 Cor. 3:22).”
John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan
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.
1 Corinthians 7
Erasmus, Desiderus – An Exhortation to the Diligent study of scripture: An Exposition of 1 Corinthians 7 (1529)
Luther, Martin – Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7 in Luther’s Works, ed. Hilton Oswald (Concordia, 1973), vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, pp. 1-56
1 Corinthians 11
Fuller, Thomas – Joseph’s Party-Colored Coat: a Commentary on [the 2nd Half of] 1 Corinthians 11 (1640)
Fuller was a reformed Anglican.
1 Corinthians 13
Boys, John – The Epistle, 1 Cor. 13 in Works, pp. 204-14
Edwards, Jonathan – Charity and its Fruits, or Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart & Life on 1 Cor. 13
Jones, J.D. – Exposition of 1 Corinthians 13 Buy
“A valuable, devotional work.” – Cyril J. Barber
1 Corinthians 15
Luther, Martin – Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15 in Luther’s Works, ed. Hilton Oswald (Concordia, 1973), vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, pp. 57-214
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