Order of Contents 24
The Best Commentaries 6
James ch. 1
The Best Commentaries on James
Dickson, David – An Expositon 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. Note that the Banner of Truth reprint contains Dickson’s commentary on less books than the original.
*** – ‘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.’
Manton, Thomas – A Practical Commentary, or, an Exposition with Notes on the Epistle of James; delivered in Sunday Weekly Lectures d. 1677 460 pp.
*** “In Manton’s best style. An exhaustive work, as far as the information of the period admitted. Few such books are written now.” – Spurgeon
Johnstone, Robert – Lectures, Exegetical and Practical, on James 1871
Johnstone was a minister of the United Presbyterian Church in Scotland.
*** “A very useful, scholarly, and readable book.” – Spurgeon
“A classic in the field!” – Cyril J. Barber
Stier, Rudolph – Commentary on St. James 1859
Stier was a German protestant churchman. Some of his works have a mystical tendency. Stier also wrote commentaries on the Psalms, Isaiah, Proverbs, Ephesians, Hebrews and Jude, but they are either not in English and/or are not available on the internet.
*** “No one can be expected to receive all that Stier has to say, but he must be dull indeed who cannot learn much from him. Read with care, he is a great instructor.” – Spurgeon
Wardlaw, Ralph – Lectures on James 1869 376 pp.
Wardlaw was a Scottish presbyterian in the United Secession Church.
*** “The lectures are noteworthy specimens of expository preaching. They were Wardlaw’s last work, and are fully up to the mark.”
Mayor, Joseph – The Epistle of St. James, the Greek Text With Introduction Notes and Comments Buy 1892 This was reprinted by Klock & Klock
Mayor was a Cambridge scholar.
“An encyclopedic work on the Greek text regarded by many as being the most important critical commentary on this portion of God’s Word. Technical.” – Cyril J. Barber
Commentaries on James
Hemmingsen, Niels – A Learned and Fruitful Commentary upon James 1577
* “The price which this book fetches is preposterous. It is hard antique reading.” – Spurgeon
Turnbull, Richard – An Exposition upon the canonical Epistle of St. James, Divided into 28 lectures or sermons 1592
Turnbull (d. 1593) was reformed.
** “Old and occupied with Popish controversies. Good, solid, and tedious.” – Spurgeon
Mayer, John – Praxis Theologica: or the Epistle of James Resolved, Expounded and Preached upon 1629
On his whole Bible commentary: ** ‘A rare and valuable author… The six volumes, folio, are a most judicious and able digest of former commentators, enriched with the author’s own notes, forming altogether one of the fullest and best of learned English commentaries; not meant for popular use, but invaluable to the student. He is a link between the modern school, at the head of which I put Poole and Henry, and the older school who mostly wrote in Latin, and were tinctured with the conceits of those schoolmen who gathered like flies around the corpse of Aristotle. He appears to have written before Diodati and Trapp, but lacked opportunity to publish. I fear he will be forgotten, as there is but little prospect of the republication of so diffuse, and perhaps heavy, an author. He is a very Alp of learning, but cold and lacking in spirituality, hence his lack of popularity.’ – Spurgeon
Introductory & Practical
Robertson, A.T. – Studies in the Epistle of James Buy 1915
“The contents of this volume grew out of lectures delivered at Northfield, Chautauqua, and Winona Lake. Practical and unsophisticated.” – Cyril J. Barber
Strauss, Lehman – James, your Brother: Studies in the Epistle of James Buy 1956
“Lucid exposition of the practical and corporate relationships of the message of James.” – Cyril J. Barber
Motyer, J.A. – The Message of James: The Tests of Faith Buy 1970 in The Bible Speaks Today
“A short, readable commentary by an evangelical Anglican.” – Cyril J. Barber
Adam, John – An Exposition of the Epistle of James in a Series of Discourses 1867 435 pp.
Adam was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland in Aberdeen.
** “Good, plain, discourses, for which the author acknowledges his indebtedness to various eminent writers who have discussed the Epistle. Our readers had better make similar discourses of their own–if they can.” – Spurgeon
Dale, R.W. – The Epistle of James 1895
Jacobi, Bernard, of Prussia – Expository Lectures on the General Epistle of James 1838
** “A good, simple, practical set of expository Lectures. Safe in doctrine, or the Religious Tract Society would not have issued it.” – Spurgeon
Neander, Augustus – The Epistle of James Practically and Historically Explained 1851 57 pp.
Neander was the well-known, liberal (following Schleiermacher) German, Church historian.
** “Without dwelling upon the wording of the Epistle, Neander reproduces its spirit in other language, and so expounds it. The little work will be greatly appreciated by a certain order of minds.” – Spurgeon
Patterson, Alexander S. – Commentary on James 1851
Patterson was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland.
** “Notes of discourses, with much in them. Hints may be gleaned here in abundance by students who open their eyes.” – Spurgeon
Knowling, Richard John – The Epistle of St. James, with an Introduction and Notes 1904 240 pp. in Westminster Commentaries, ed. Walter Lock
“One of the better works in this series, but long out of print.” – Cyril J. Barber
Tasker, R.V.G. – The Letter of James Buy 1957 in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries
“Far superior to the author’s expositions on Matthew and John. Introductory data is carefully outlined, and the verse-by-verse exposition is practical and helpful.” – Cyril J. Barber
Ross, Alexander – The Epistles of James and John Buy in The New International Commentary on the New Testament
“A helpful practical exposition refuting the theories of C.H. Dodd, and defending the Johannine authorship of John’s epistles. Interprets epistles in the light of their first century setting.” – Cyril J. Barber
Zodhiates, Spiros – The Behavior of Belief: an Exposition of James based upon the Original Greek Text Buy 1970
“Formerly published in three volumes, these well-illustrated expository messages emphasize with simplicity, clarity, freshness, and seal the practical lessons to be learned from a study of this letter.” – Cyril J. Barber
Mitton, C. Leslie – The Epistle of James Buy 1966
“Provides a scholarly exposition of the meaning and message of James and its outworking in human relationships. The product of mature scholarship.” – Cyril J. Barber
Goodwin, Thomas – A Exposition of James 1:1-5, Patience and her Perfect Work d. 1680