One of my favorite books of the New Testament is the epistle to the Romans. It is a tremendously rich letter written to all the beloved in Rome (1:7) around the year 57 A.D. with Justification by Faith as it’s preeminent theme. I have studied through this epistle many times and it is essential to building a good understanding of the purposes of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are entire tomes written on the epistle to the Romans including multi-volumes (Martin Lloyd-Jones) that are significant and recommended by many. My aim however with posting these recommendations is to give a few suggestions for commentaries that I currently use. It would be a pleasure to someday work through Lloyd-Jones’ commentary however for now I will continue with the original format.
The first commentary that I would like to recommend is from Douglas Moo in the New International New Testament Commentaries series. It is undoubtedly the best commentary I’ve ever read on the epistle. It is not only my favorite commentary on Romans but unquestionably one of my favorite commentaries in general. If you are serious about studying through the book of Romans then this is a must have! The commentary is a total of 1012 pages and Dr. Moo spares no word in bringing out the meaning of this divine letter. Moo blends history, a careful analysis of the languages and well thought out argumentation for his interpretation of various parts of the letter. Moo deals with interpretations from other well-known commentaries and thinks through their arguments while giving his reasons for agreement or disagreement. While I didn’t agree with his understanding of Romans 6-7, I still appreciated his argumentation and I can see why he holds to his position of a pre-conversion Paul. His exegesis of Romans 8-11 is absolutely phenomenal and to read his exegesis of Romans 9 along with John Piper’s “The Justification of God” cannot be matched. He has a massive amount of footnotes to help enlighten his readers to further information for his arguments as well as more technical terminology. While the commentary is somewhat technical, there are some wonderful moments of devotion within the commentary that give this volume a wonderful balance. I would recommend purchasing this volume since there is no doubt that you will get much use out of it.
While there are a few more commentaries on the epistle to the Romans that I have in my library, I will limit my recommendations to one more commentary that I feel worthwhile to own. This second commentary that I use to study the epistle is called “The Epistle to the Romans” which is part of the Pillar New Testament Commentaries written by Leon Morris. This volume is written similarly to that of Douglas Moo in many ways and a great companion to Moo’s commentary. Morris spends approximately 586 pages exegeting the passages of this wonderful letter with a very informative introduction to the letter. He is a very humble writer and you can sense the care he has for the text of scripture as you go through this volume. The scholarship in this commentary is superb and Morris takes his time to delve into the text with care and precision. Morris’ commentary will allow you to get a good handle of Romans and to be quite honest, I agreed far more with his interpretation of chapters 6-7 than that of Moo.
Once again, I welcome your recommendations. Please post away!