Resources for Luke
For the past year I have been researching the gospel of Luke. In that time period I have taken a graduate course, taught an adult Bible class, and prepared a meditation schedule all on the gospel of Luke. I am also in the middle of preaching through the entire gospel of Luke. I do not say these things to boast, but only to point out the fact that I have read lots of books and articles on Luke. Here are some of the books that I have found most helpful when it comes to teaching and preaching on Luke.
If I were going to start somewhere these would be the first four books I would recommend.
Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Vol. 3 Luke By David E. Garland This volume was published by Zondervan in 2011. When teaching or preaching you always need one good commentary to reference. There are other commentaries that are more popular and well known, but I have found this one to be the most helpful for the weekly task of putting together a lesson. David Garland is the dean of Truett Seminary at Baylor University. He is a wonderful Biblical scholar that also understands the role of the minister. This volume is broken into sections with comments on the literary aspect of each section. It is then broken into verses with verse by verse commentary. The original Greek and the author’s translation are both provided. At the end of every section there is something called Theology in Application. I have found this feature helpful for both teaching and preaching. It usually contains a reflection on the theology of the text and an application for the church today. I highly recommend this volume.
Luke for Everyone by N.T. Wright This volume was published in 2004 by WJK. Whenever I begin a new sermon series or a class on a book in the New Testament the first place I turn to is this series by N.T. Wright. These are inexpensive commentaries intended for laypeople that are brilliant. I have recommended these volumes to friends and family members who want a daily Bible study. Wright presents a fresh and unique translation of the text followed by a very practical commentary on a particular section of Scripture. He often gives insight into the historical background that I was unaware of. He is also very good at tying a section of Scripture into the entire narrative of the Bible. You will not find detailed commentary here, or information on the Greek text, but this set of commentaries is invaluable and should be in every preacher’s library.
Luke by Justo L. Gonzalez This volume was published in 2010 by WJK and is part of their Belief series. Recently there have been more commentaries published which offer a theological reflection on the text. WJK has the Belief series. Brazos has published the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible and Eerdmans has the Two Horizons series. I have found theological commentaries to be hit and miss. Some are outstanding and some are almost painful to read. This volume by Gonzalez is one of the outstanding ones. If you are wrestling with how to approach a text, Gonzalez is often helpful. Even if you don’t agree with his viewpoint he will help to get the theological juices of the brain flowing. The commentary is also filled with helpful quotes from theologians and others.
Parable for Preachers: Year C by Barbara E. Reid This book was published by The Liturgical Press in 2000. This book is a little off the beaten path and is probably not as recognizable as some of the others. There are lots of parables in Luke and many of them are unique to Luke. There are also lots of books on the parables, but this one focuses solely on the parables in Luke and it is written for preachers. Reid covers all the parables in Luke and offers some tremendous help to those who have the difficult task of interpreting and preaching them from week to week. She begins by looking at how the parable fits in Luke, and then offers commentary on the parable, followed by some thoughts for preaching the parable. You may have never heard about this book, but it is well worth it if you plan on spending much time in Luke.
Here are some other helpful resources.
If you have time to do some background work on Mary I would recommend The Real Mary: Why Evangelicals can Embrace the Mother of Jesus by Scot McKnight. It is very helpful and may generate several sermon ideas on Mary.
If you want another good commentary on Luke you may want to check out Luke Timothy Johnson’s commentary in the Sacra Pagina series. It is not one of the massive commentaries on Luke, but it is still very helpful. It offers commentary on each verse and is followed by an interpretation section which reflects on the entire section as a whole.
Here is a bibliography of other books and commentaries I have looked at and used over the past year.
Darrell L. Bock, Luke Vol. 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1994)
___________. Luke, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1994)
Michael Card, Luke: The Gospel of Amazement, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2011)
Fred Craddock, Luke, (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1990)
David Fleer, and Dave Bland, eds. Preaching from Luke/Acts, (Abilene, TX: ACU Press, 2000)
Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997)
___________. The Theology of the Gospel of Luke, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)
Luke Timothy Johnson, Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011)
Rubel Shelly, A Jewish Savior Through Gentile Eyes, (Nashville: 20th Century Christian, 1990)
Robert C. Tannehill, Luke, (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996)