This is the best English commentary on James I’ve read. (I only read English commentaries). I preached 20 expository sermons on James to my local church in 2012. I used commentaries by Doug Moo (Pillar and TNTC), Alec Moyter (BST), Blomberg/Kammel (ZECNT), and Varner’s smaller discourse analysis volume. This Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) is the best of all I used. Some of those commentaries listed above were good at exegesis and historical background. Varner’s EEC volume was better and more thorough. Others listed were good on theological discussion. Varner’s was better here as well. He doesn’t avoid hard questions and yet manages to not get so bogged down in secondary discussions that you lose sight of the text your considering. Moyter’s was the best in application, but Varner’s was almost as good and better than all the others. If you can only have one English commentary to aid your study of God’s Word to preach or teach it, use Varner’s EEC volume. If you will use more than one, make sure this one is one of those you use or you’ll certainly miss key insights to the book.
I can’t speak highly enough about the commentary. I’ve been challenged and fed by the book of James. Varner helped me appreciate James’ place in the church and the place of his letter in the canon in a way no other commentary has.
Pastor, First Southern Baptist Church
Bellflower, Los Angeles County, CA