Order of Contents 23+
The Best Commentaries on Luke
*** “We frequently consult this work, and never without finding in it things new and old. To preachers who will not steal the lectures, but use them suggestively, they will be extremely serviceable.” – Spurgeon
Godet, F. – A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, with Notes by John Hall (1890) 600 pp.
*** “Dr. Meyer says: ‘ To an immense erudition, to a living piety, Godet unites a profound feeling of reality; there is here a vivifying breath, an ardent love for the Savior, which helps the disciple to comprehend the work, the acts, the words of his Divine Master.'” – Spurgeon
“An exhaustive, technical commentary which ably defends the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith while expounding the text. Deserves a place on the shelf of every pastor.” – Cyril J. Barber
Lange’s Commentary – Commentary on Luke by Oosterzee
*** – “Oosterzee in Lange is excellent.” – Spurgeon
Thomson, James – Exposition of the Gospel according to St. Luke, in a Series of Lectures, vol. 1 (chs. 1-9), 2 (9-20) (1849)
*** “Eminently instructive. Clear good sense, freshness, and earnestness are well combined. We have had great pleasure in examining these lectures.” – Spurgeon
Van Doren – A Suggestive Commentary on St. Luke, with Critical & Homiletical Notes, vol. 1 (chs. 1-12), 2 (13-24) (1881)
*** “Well named ‘suggestive’; it is all suggestions. It teems and swarms with homiletical hints.” – Spurgeon
Commentaries on Luke
ed. Kreitzer, Beth – Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Luke Buy
Marlorat, Augustin – A Catholic and Ecclesiastical Exposition of the Holy Gospel after St. Mark and Luke, gathered out of all the singular and approved divines, which the Lord has given to his church 1583
Marlorat (1506-1562) was reformed. His commentaries are particularly valuable as they are compendiums of block quotes from some of the best reformed divines of his day on the passages of that particular Biblical book. See here for an excerpt from his commentary on John.
On his commentary on Matthew: ** – “Marlorate was an eminent French reformer, preacher and martyr. His commentaries contain the cream of the older writers, and are in much esteem, but are very rare. He wrote on the whole New Testament, but we have in English only the Gospels [2-3 John] and Jude [and Revelation 1 & 13].” – Spurgeon
Introductory, Simple, Practical
Erdman, Charles – The Gospel of Luke: an Exposition (1921) 230 pp.
Erdman was a conservative liberal, who was the chief antagonist of J. Gresham Machen in restructuring Old Princeton Seminary in the early-1900’s.
“A devotional and practical exposition of the theme of Luke’s Gospel. Excellent as a study guide.” – Cyril J. Barber
Morgan, George C. – The Gospel According to Luke (Revell, 1931) 285 pp. no ToC
Morgan was reformed and was the predecessor of Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel in London.
“A carefully reasoned exposition which adheres closely to Luke’s argument, and provides an example of expository preaching at its best. Morgan follows the premillennial approach but, towards the end of his life, rejected this method of interpretation.” – Cyril J. Barber
Geldenhuys, J. Norval – ‘Luke’ in ed. Carl Henry, The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book with General & Introductory Essays & Exposition 1 vol. ed. (1960; A.J. Holman, 1973), pp. 889-938
This little known commentary set by leading evangelicals (many of which were reformed) is brief (think airplane view) but helpful.
Goodwin, Harvey – A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke (1865)
Goodwin (1818–1891) was a Cambridge academic and Anglican bishop.
** “This writer endeavors to give the results of learning in such a manner that working men may understand them. He says many good things.” – Spurgeon
Lindsay, Thomas – The Gospel According to St. Luke, with Introduction, Notes & Maps, vol. 1 (1-12), 2 (13-24) in eds. Dods & Whyte Hand-Books for Bible Classes (1893)
Lindsay was a professor in the Free Church of Scotland.
Major, J.R. – Gospel of St. Luke with English Notes Pre (1826)
** “Notes compiled with a view to the divinity examinations at Cambridge, containing a considerable amount of information.” – Spurgeon
Schaff, Philip & Matthew Riddle – The Gospel of Luke in A Popular Commentary on the New Testament (1879)
The commentary is good enough, but could be better: it lacks spiritual profundity and fervor. Schaff (1819–1893), the famed Church historian and N.T. scholar, came from a German-Reformed background, though was also the lead proponent of the High-Church Mercersburg Theology. Riddle (1836–1916) was of a Dutch Reformed background and had a similar professorial and literary career.
“Brief expository notes following a particularly thorough introduction. Presents a helpful defense of the Lukan authorship, deity of Christ, and miracles. Includes biographical sketches of persons mentioned in the Gospel. Of particular value to preachers.” – Cyril J. Barber
“A thorough exposition by a conservative Lutheran scholar.” – Cyril J. Barber
“A helpful exposition but inadequate treatment in explaining the argument of Luke’s Gospel.” – Cyril J. Barber
Plummer, Alfred – A Critical & Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Luke (1896) 690 pp.
Plummer was a liberal.
“A most exhaustive and helpful treatment of the Greek text.” – Cyril J. Barber
Burnside, W.F. – The Gospel According to St. Luke: the Greek Text Edited with Introduction & Notes for the Use of Schools in The Cambridge Greek Testament (1913)
This work appears to be more conservative than many in the series. Here is a short review of it.
“A critical and, in many respects, reliable commentary. Its chief value, however, lies in the writer’s interesting comments on the usage of Greek words, and his comparison of Luke with other Synoptic Gospels.” – Cyril J. Barber
“An invaluable work for translators.” – Cyril J. Barber
Marshall, Howard – The Gospel of Luke in The New International Greek Testament Commentary
The Early Church on Luke
Ford, James – The Gospels, Illustrated (Chiefly in the Doctrinal & Moral Sense) from Ancient & Modern Authors, vol. 3 (Lk) (London: Masters, 1851) 670 pp. no ToC
*** “Those who wish to see what the Fathers said upon the Gospels, and to read the choicest sayings of the early Anglican bishops, cannot do better than consult Ford, who has made a very rich collection. Some of the extracts do not materially illustrate the text, but they are all worth reading.”
Dunwell, Francis Henry – The Four Gospels, as Interpreted by the Early Church… (London: Clowes, 1876) 931 pp. no ToC Fathers
Tatian (120-180) was a Syrian Christian writer. This was his attempt at a harmony of the Gospels.
Hippolytus – On Lk. 2:7, 22 & 23 at Patristic Bible Commentary
Hippolytus (c. 170 – c. 235)
Origen (c. 185 – c. 253)
Eusebius of Caesarea – Fragments (Scholia) on Luke trans. Alex Poulos (2017) 49 pp. no ToC
Eusebius (c. 260/265 – 339)
Fortunatianus of Aquileia – On Luke (chs. 2-5) in Commentary on the Gospels trans. H.A.G. Houghton in CSEL Extra Seriem (De Gruyter, 2017), pp. 95-100
Fortunatianus (c. 300 – c. 370) was an African, Christian poet and bishop of Aquileia in the mid-fourth century during the reign of Constantius II. He is best known for this commentary.
Ambrosiaster – Questions & Answers on the Gospel of Luke (chs. 1-7, 14, 16, 21-24) at Patristic Bible Commentary
Ambrosiaster (c. 366-384)
Ambrose of Milan
Exposition of the Holy Gospel According to Saint Luke: with, Fragments on the Prophecy of Isaias Ref (Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1998) 456 pp.
Ambrose (c. 339 – c. 397)
Commentary on Luke at Patristic Bible Commentary
Evagrius Ponticus – ‘Notes on Luke’ in Evagrius Ponticus trans. A.M. Casiday in The Early Church Fathers Pre (Routledge, 2006), pp. 153-62
Sermons 48-66, on Luke in Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 6, pp. 415-57, the sermons start on Lk. 7
Luke Gospel Harmony at Patristic Bible Commentary
Cyril (c. 376 – 444)
The Medieval Church on Luke
Gregory the Great
Forty Gospel Homilies ed. David Hurst Ref (Cistercian Publications, 1990) 389 pp.
Gregory (c. 540 – 604)
Homiles on Luke at Patristic Bible Commentary
Commentary on the Gospel of Luke in Translated Texts for Historians Ref (Liverpool University Press, 2023) 752 pp.
Bede (672/3 – 735)
Hildegard (c. 1098 – 1179)
Aquinas, Thomas – Golden Chain (Catena Aurea): Luke at Isidore
Gregorius the Syriac – On the Four Gospels in A Clear & Learned Explication of the History of our Blessed Savior Jesus Christ, Taken out of Above Thirty Greek, Syriac, and Other Oriental Authors, by Way of Catena (Dublin )
Gregory Bar Hebraeus (1226–1286) was a Chief bishop of Persia of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the 13th century. He is noted for his works concerning philosophy, poetry, language, history, and theology; he has been called “one of the most learned and versatile men from the Syriac Orthodox Church.”
Jewish Background to Luke
Lightfoot, John – A Commentary on Luke from the Talmud and Hebraica
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; the scholarly, more complete work (vol. 1, Mt; vol. 2, Mk-Jn) that has improved, in some ways, upon Lightfoot, done in the early 1900’s by H. Strack and P. Billerbeck, has still not been translated out of the German.
If one is interested in seeing the results of the use of the Jewish writings in relation to the gospel accounts, see Edersheim’s Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, who thoroughly makes use of them from his encyclopedic knowledge of the Jewish writings from his orthodox Jewish upbringing his life’s work as a scholar.
On Luke Generally
Robertson, A.T. – Luke the Historian in the Light of Research (1920) 280 pp.
Robertson was an American, southern, reformed baptist.
“A formal, scholarly defense of the accuracy of Luke’s Gospel. Includes a discussion of Luke’s use of ‘medical terms,’ the account of Christ’s birth, miracles, etc.” – Cyril J. Barber
Stonehouse was an early Westminster Seminary scholar.
“A formal defense of the historical and theological accuracy of Luke’s Gospel.” – Cyril J. Barber
Hendriksen, William – ‘Four Special Features of Luke’s Gospel’ in Half-Hours with William Hendriksen: Stirring Devotional Surveys of Romans, Philippians, Luke & Revelation, with Other Gems (London: Wakeman Trust, 2007), pp. 39-48
Wycliff, John – ‘The Magnificat’ in Select English Works of John Wycliff (†1384), vol. 3, pt. 1, pp. 48-52
Luther, Martin – An Exposition upon the Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary, called Magnificat, Whereunto are added the Songs of Salve Regina, Benedictus & Nunc Dimittis ([Southwark] 1538) 195 pp. ToC
Liddon, Henry – The Magnificat: Sermons (1898) 150 pp.
Liddon was a high-church Anglican known for his Bampton lectures defending the divinity of Christ.
Lk. 15: the Prodigal Son
Cowper (1568–1619) was a Scottish bishop.
Gouge, William – A Recovery From Apostasy. Set out in a Sermon preached at the Receiving of a Penitent Renegado into the Church, Oct. 21, 1638. Herein is the history of the surprising & admirable escape of the said Penitent (1639) on Lk. 15:31
Sedgwick, Obadiah – The Parable of the Prodigal, containing The Riotous Prodigal, or, The Sinner’s Aversion from God; Returning Prodigal, or, The Penitent’s Conversion to God; Prodigal’s Acception, or, Favorable Entertainment with God (1660) 380 pp.
vv. 18-19 Sermon Notes on Lk. 15:18-19 in Sermons, Series II, 1734 (WJE Online Vol. 49)
v. 22 Sermon Notes on Lk. 15:22 in Sermons, Series II, January-June 1740 (WJE Online Vol. 55)
vv. 28-31 Sermon Notes on Lk. 15:28-31 in Sermons, Series II, 1735 (WJE Online Vol. 50)
Nettleton, Asahel – Sermon 7, ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Son’ in Remains of the Late Rev. Asahel Nettleton ed. Bennet Tyler (Edinburgh: Ogle, 1865), pp. 68-77 Also in Sermons, pp. 290-302
Smith, Samuel Stanhope – Sermons of Samuel Stanhope Smith (Philadelphia: Potter, 1821), vol. 1, pp. 82-126 American presbyterian, president of Princeton College
vv. 13-16 ‘On the Excesses of the Prodigal’
vv. 17-20 ‘The Repentance of the Prodigal’
‘Rabbi’ Duncan, John – ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Son’ in Rich Gleanings after the Vintage from ‘Rabbi’ Duncan (London: Jarvis), pp. 55-63 Free Church of Scotland
Exposition of Lk. 15:1-24 appended to ‘The Star out of Jacob’ #3343
Exposition of Lk. 15:1-24 appended to ‘Dangerous Lingering’ #3450
Exposition of Lk. 15:1-27 appended to ‘Peter’s Prayer’ #3409
Exposition of Lk. 15 appended to ‘Great Forgiveness for Great Sin’ #2863
On Lk. 15:10
‘Number One Thousand; or, ‘Bread Enough & to Spare’ #1000, MTP 17.385-396
‘The Prodigal’s Climax’ #2414, MTP 41.241-249 with an exposition of Lk. 15 appended
‘A Program Never Carried Out’ #2520 with an exposition of Lk. 15 appended
‘The Reception of Sinners’ #1204, MTP 20.649-660
Smyth, Thomas – ‘The Young Man Miserable’ in Works, vol. 6
Warfield, B.B. – ‘The Prodigal Son’ 1913 30 pp. in The Saviour of the World, pp. 3-33
Morgan, G.C. – The Parable of the Father’s Heart Buy (1949)
“A touching and reverent exposition of Luke 15 which concentrates on the prodigal son, but also includes material on the lost sheep and the lost coin. The climax is an appeal to service and provides an example of expository preaching.” – Cyril J. Barber
de Witt, John Richard – Amazing Love: the Parable of the Prodigal Son Buy 160 pp.
The Authenticity of Luke
Carson is known for his work on Providence.
Ramsay, William – Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? A Study on the Credibility of St. Luke (1898) 300 pp.
Ramsay was a conservative Scottish archaeologist.
“Understanding that a certain criticism [made against Ramsay] implied a sort of challenge to apply my theory of Luke’s character as a historian to the Gospel [as distinguished from the book of Acts], I took what is generally acknowledged to be the most doubtful passage, from the historian’s view, in the New Testament, Luke 2:1-4…
This passage, interpreted according to the view which I have maintained–that Luke was a great historian… I have enlarged these two articles into an argument against the view that Luke sinks, in the accessories of his narrative, below the standard exacted from ordinary historians…” – Ramsay, Preface