Recommended Books for Preaching Jonah

slide-wide-jonah-1I finished preaching through the book of Jonah several months ago and was tremendously blessed by the message of that book. You can watch a video of my overview of the book here. You can also listen to the whole series by going to our church’s sermon player here.

The book of Jonah is about far more than a giant fish swallowing a man and spitting him back up again. It’s a book that’s all about “God’s Great Heart for the Lost”. To my dismay, I found very few good commentaries on the book of Jonah. After a lot of searching and trial and error here are some of the best resources that I found for preaching expositionaly through this remarkable book.

1) ESV Study Bible – The ESV Study Bible didn’t have any more information than these other commentaries, but it did bring it all together to one place where I could get a good overview of each passage that I was preaching.

2) Liberty Bible Commentary – I don’t even know how I got a copy of the Liberty Bible Commentary set. It’s a two volume set put out by Jerry Falwell, who isn’t exactly in my normal circle of “go to” commentators. Oddly enough, I actually found the comments on Jonah to be very helpful. I think the main benefit was listening to someone that I don’t usually spend time with and letting his thoughts stimulate my own.

3) Expositors Bible Commentary – This is an old stalwart commentary that does a great job of giving you as much relevant information as possible in a short amount of space. I have to admit that I was often times disappointed in Expositors, but it was still one of those that I felt like I had to read.

4) The Minor Prophets by Charles Feinberg – This was by far one of the best commentaries that I read on the book of Jonah. Feinberg does an outstanding job of explaining the text in a powerful, compelling manner. If I could only buy two commentaries on Jonah, I’d buy this one and Boice’s.

5) The Minor Prophets (Volume 1) by James Montgomery Boice – This was the best commentary that I read on Jonah. It’s obviously based on a sermon series that Boice preached, but it was extremely helpful. I couldn’t have made it through the series without Boice walking beside me and pointing out things that I had passed by

6) Surprise by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels by Tulian Tchividjian – This is a relatively recent book on Jonah by Tulian Tchividjian. It isn’t really a commentary as much as a detailed overview of the book, but it was extremely helpful to me as I wrestled through the message of Jonah and needed to step back and take in the big picture.

Preaching through Jonah was a great privilege and a particular joy for me and for the church here. It has had a significant impact on our understanding of the character of God and His great heart for the lost.

Jonah artwork from Mark Retzloff. You can purchase the set here.

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July 11 2012 04:00 am | Blog

2 Responses to “Recommended Books for Preaching Jonah”

  1. Mark Retzloff on 25 Nov 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Please add a design credit with URL for the Jonah artwork use in this post.

    URL should link to:

  2. Drew on 26 Nov 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Thanks Mark, I just updated the post.