For my money the top three works in the list are indispensable. The next two are important to have. I do not think the warning passages in Hebrews have yet been tackled adequately (and who is up to the task?). I personally hold that Hebrews should be read alongside the Olivet Discourse.
- Peter T. O’Brien – Yes, I know the author has gotten it in the neck for plagiarizing (but it is odd plagiarism, like repeating phrases, not exegesis). Because of this you’ll have to search for it at a decent price. But this is really very good.
2. William L. Lane – Could easily be first. Fetches help from many sources (e.g. Thompson’s Beginnings of Philosophy, which he cites constantly). I tend to agree more with O’Brien and Bruce, but you can’t afford to be without this work.
3. F. F. Bruce – Great prose. Has read everything up to publication date. Always solid.
4. Paul Ellingworth – A must-have for close exegesis. Take a deep breath and plunge in.
5. Phillip Edgcumbe Hughes – I really like Hughes’s blend of pious scholarship and solid theology. Needs to be supplemented by one of the above.
6. David A. DaSilva – A socio-rhetorical work called Perseverance in Gratitude.
7. R. T. France – Lovely style joined to extensive learning.
8. George H. Guthrie – Guthrie is an acknowledged expert on Hebrews. This is in the NIVAC series. A more exegetical treatment by him would rank highly. (His contribution to the Carson/Beale Commentary on the NT Use of the OT is terrific).
9. William Gouge – Massive Puritan work with surprisingly good exegesis. Easier to navigate than Owen.
10. Donald A. Hagner – Compact, terse, and nearly always helpful at a pinch.
There are many good commentaries on Hebrews at all levels. On the scholarly level Harold Attridge is highly skilled and liberal. It’s a toss up between him and Ellingworth. Ellingworth wins because he offers a bit more. I don’t think one needs both. Gareth Cockerill is good and could easily swap with France. B. F. Westcott’s classic might also have made the list, as might David Allen (whose thesis about Lukan authorship is interesting, if not completely convincing). Then there are Messrs Schreiner and Witherington. Old John Brown (BoT) is excellent if supplemented by newer scholarship. Finally there is John Owen’s masterful 7-volume work, which in many ways stands by itself. A lot of great stuff in Owen, but lots to get lost in too.