Commentaries on Luke

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For more great commentaries on Luke check:
Commentaries on All the Four Gospels, The Life & Times of Christ, Commentaries on the Whole New Testament & Whole Bible Commentaries.




Life & Times of Christ
Events in Christ’s Life
Bible Characters in Gospels



Order of Contents  23+

Best  5
Commentaries  16
Early & Medieval  16+
Jewish Background  1
Luke Generally  4
Bible Characters
Magnificat  1
Prodigal Son  12+
Authenticity  2



The Best Commentaries on Luke

Intermediate, 1800’s

Foote, James – Lectures on the Gospel According to Luke, vol. 1 (chs. 1-8), 2 (8-24)  (1849)

***  “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.



Marshall, F. – The Gospel of St. Luke  Pre  Buy  (1921)  188 pp.

“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

Arndt, William – The Gospel According to St. Luke  (Concordia, 1956)  535 pp.  ToC

“A thorough exposition by a conservative Lutheran scholar.” – Cyril J. Barber

Geldenhuys, Johannes Norval – Commentary on the Gospel of Luke  in The New International Commentary on the New Testament  (Eerdmans, 1951)  690 pp.  ToC

“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

Reiling, J. & J.L. Swellengrebel – A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of Luke  (Brill, 1971)  810 pp.  ToC

“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

ed. Just, Jr., Arthur – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Luke  Pre  Buy  (IVP Academic, 2003)  425 pp.  ToC


Individual Fathers

Tatian – The Earliest Life of Christ… being the Diatessaron of Tatian (c. 160 AD), with a Historical & Critical Introduction, Notes & Appendix by J. Hamlyn Hill  (1894)  400 pp.

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 – Homilies on Luke, Fragments on Luke  in The Fathers of the Church  Buy  (Catholic University of America Press, 1996)  280 pp.  ToC

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

Evagrius (345–399)



Sermons 97A-116  ToC  in Sermons III/4 (94A-147A) on the New Testament  trans. Edmund Hill  in The Works of Saint Augustine: a Translation for the 21st Century  (Hyde Park, NY: 1990), pp. 40-208

Augustine (354–430)

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 of Alexandria – Commentary on the Gospel of Luke  at  156 sermons  HTML

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

Lk. 2:1-14
Lk. 3:1-11
Lk. 7:36-50
Lk. 8:4-15
Lk. 9:23-27
Lk. 10:1-9
Lk. 12:35-40
Lk. 13:6-13
Lk. 14:16-24
Lk. 14:26-33
Lk. 15:1-10
Lk. 16:19-31
Lk. 18:31-43
Lk. 19:41-47
Lk. 21:9-19
Lk. 21:25-33
Lk. 24:13-35


Commentary on the Gospel of Luke  in Translated Texts for Historians  Ref  (Liverpool University Press, 2023)  752 pp.

Bede (672/3 – 735)

Homilies on the Gospels: bk. 1 (Advent to Lent), bk. 2 (Lent to Dedication of Church)  Ref 12  (Cistercian Publications, 1991)

Hildegard of Bingen – Homilies on the Gospels  trans. Beverly M. Kienzle  Pre  (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2011)  210 pp.  ToC

Hildegard (c. 1098 – 1179)

Aquinas, Thomas – Golden Chain (Catena Aurea): Luke  at Isidore

Aquinas (1225–1274)

Bonaventure – Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, vol. 1 (1-8), 2 (9-16), 3 (17-24)  Ref 123  (Franciscan Institute Publications, 2001)  2459 pp.

Bonaventure (1221–1274)

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 [1695])

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, Ned – The Witness of Luke to Christ  (Eerdmans, 1951)  180 pp.  ToC

Stonehouse was an early Westminster Seminary scholar.

“A formal defense of the historical and theological accuracy of Luke’s Gospel.” – Cyril J. Barber

Marshall, Howard – Luke: Historian & Theologian  (Zondervan, 1971)  230 pp.  ToC



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



Luke 1-2

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

See also our pages on The Parables and on the significant strand of historic, reformed Christianity that has taught that God is a Father to All People by Creation.



Cowper, William – A Mirror of Mercy or the Prodigal’s Conversion Briefly & Learnedly Expounded, & Full of Comfortable Consolations for All Penitent Sinners  (1615)  272 pp.

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

Rutherford, Samuel – On Luke 15:11-32, The Forlorn Son, Sermons 9-15  Buy  (†1661)  125 pp.

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.



Edwards, Jonathan

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’

vv. 20-24  ‘The Return of the Prodigal to his Father’

‘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

Spurgeon, Charles

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

‘The Sympathy of the Two Worlds’  #203
‘A High Day in Heaven’  #2791  with an exposition of Lk. 15 appended

On 15:17

‘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

On 15:20-21

‘A Program Never Carried Out’  #2520  with an exposition of Lk. 15 appended

On 15:20

Prodigal Love for the Prodigal Son  #2236, MTP 37.649-660
The Prodigal’s Return
The Turning Point  #1189, MTP 20.469-480
He Ran, and He Ran
‘The Prodigal’s Reception’  #588, MTP 10.497-508

On 15:22-23

‘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, Alexander – ‘Strictures on Some Parts of the Remarks of the Ecclectic Review, May 1, 1829, on Dr. Schleirmacher’s Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke’  (1830)  16 pp.

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




Related Pages

Bible Commentaries

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Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries