The Best 100 Academic Christian Books

What follows are my top 100 Christian theological  and scholarly works (along with my favorite New Testament commentaries) created April 2012.

Note that these titles were selected out of the Christian academic books I’ve actually read – which admittedly is a small slice of what’s been written. There are thousands of academic books I’ve never read, and I’m still sifting through volumes that people recommend to me.

I created this list because many people who read my Best 100 Christian Books Ever Written list wanted my “theological and scholarly works” recommendations, including New Testament commentaries.


Please keep the following in mind as you view this list:

* To keep the list to 100 volumes, it only contains books written during the 20th and 21st centuries.

* I’ve not added Old Testament commentaries simply because I haven’t read enough of them to rate them against one another. What’s listed are the most helpful New Testament commentaries I have come across so far.

* Just because a book or a commentary appears on this list doesn’t mean that I agree with every word of it. Nor does it mean that I agree with everything the author has ever said or done.

* The books do not appear in any particular order, except that the commentaries appear at the end. Some of the books listed do not show the book covers, but they are still available for purchase. Shipping is free for orders of $25 or more.

* I’m an Amazon affiliate, so if you purchase a book from this list, I receive a small commission.

To read my non-academic Christian book list, click the 100 Best Christian Books Ever Written. (There are a few academic works on that list, but they are accessible.)


Psalm 115:1 

Christian Academic Books

The Beauty of the Infinite by David Bentley Hart

Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels by James D.G. Dunn

Jesus Remembered by James D.G. Dunn

Unity and Diversity in the New Testament by James D.G. Dunn

Act and Being by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Creation and Fall by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Christ the Center by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A Mind for What Matters by F.F. Bruce

Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright

The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright

The New Testament and the People of God by N.T. Wright

The Climax of the Covenant by N.T. Wright

Paul Among Jews and Gentiles by Krister Stendahl

Christus Victor by Gustaf Aulen

Inspiration and Authority by Paul J. Achtemeier

Trinity and Society by Leonardo Boff

After Our Likeness by Miroslav Volf

Scripture as Communication by Jeannine Brown

Jesus and the Father by Kevin N. Giles

Christ in Eastern Christian Thought by John Meyendorff

Paul’s Narrative Thought World by Ben Witherington III

Empire in the New Testament by Cynthia Westfall and Stanley Porter

The Presence of the Kingdom by Jacques Ellul

Anarchy and Christianity by Jacques Ellul

Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth

Incarnation by Thomas F. Torrance

Atonement by Thomas F. Torrance

The Christian Doctrine of God by Thomas F. Torrance

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI

Women Leaders and the Church by Linda Belleville

Reason Within the Bounds of Religion by Nicholas Wolterstorff

The Common Life in the Body of Christ by Lionel Thornton

The Body by John A. T. Robinson

Torah and Canon by James A. Sanders

Ordination: A Biblical-historical View by Marjorie Warkentin

The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce

The New Testament Documents by F. F. Bruce

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig L. Blomberg

Theology for the Community of God by Stanley J. Grenz

Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon

A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas

Against the Nations by Stanley Hauerwas

Flame of Love by Clark H. Pinnock

A Theology of the New Testament by George Eldon Ladd

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith

The Royal Priesthood by John Howard Yoder

Four Views on Hell by William Crockett

Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World by John Hick, Clark H. Pinnock, Alister E. McGrath, et. al

Four Views on Eternal Security by Michael S. Horton, Norman L. Geisler, Stephen M. Ashby, and J. Steven Harper

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond by Craig A. Blaising, Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., and Robert B. Strimple

Five Views of Sanctification by Melvin E. Dieter, Anthony A. Hoekema, Stanley M. Horton, et. al

Predestination & Free Will by John Feinberg, Norman Geisler, Bruce Reichenbach, and Clark Pinnock

Jesus and the Old Testament by R. T. France

According to the Scriptures by C. H. Dodd

The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments by C. H. Dodd

Answers to Questions by F. F. Bruce

The Fullness of Christ by John H. Yoder

New Testament Commentaries 

New Testament for Everyone Set by N.T. Wright

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament by G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson

The Epistles of John by I. Howard Marshall 

The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Gordon D. Fee

Paul’s Letter to the Philippians by Gordon D. Fee

The Gospel of Luke by Joel B. Green

The Book of the Acts by F. F. Bruce

The Epistle to the Hebrews by F. F. Bruce

The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians by F. F. Bruce

The Acts of the Apostles by Ben Witherington III

Conflict and Community in Corinth by Ben Witherington III

Paul’s Letter to the Romans by Ben Witherington III and Darlene Hyatt

1 and 2 Thessalonians by Ben Witherington III

The Gospel of Mark by Ben Witherington III

Grace in Galatia by Ben Witherington III

The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians by Ben Witherington III

Paul’s Letter to the Philippians by Ben Witherington III

The Gospel of Matthew by Craig S. Keener

The Epistle to the Galatians by F. F. Bruce

The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon by James D. G. Dunn

The Gospel of Luke by I. Howard Marshall

The Message of Ephesians by John R.W. Stott

The Message of Galatians by John R.W. Stott

The Message of Romans by John R.W. Stott

The Letters of John by John Stott

Acts: An Exegetical Commentary by Craig Keener (4 Volumes)

Colossians and Philemon by N.T. Wright

Ephesians by Harold Hoehner

The Epistle to the Romans by Karl Barth

Matthew by Robert H. Gundry

The Gospel of John by Craig S. Keener

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans by G. Campbell Morgan

God’s Ultimate Purpose by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

New International Biblical Commentary: Philippians by F. F. Bruce

Romans by F. F. Bruce

The Gospel of John by F. F. Bruce

The Epistles of John by F. F. Bruce

1 & 2 Thessalonians by F. F. Bruce

First Epistle to the Corinthians by C. K. Barrett

Second Epistle to the Corinthians by C. K. Barrett