Bonar studied at Edinburgh; was minister at Collace, Perthshire, 1838 – 1856 (both in the Church of Scotland and the Free Church); and of Finnieston Free Church, Glasgow, 1856 till his death. He joined the Free Church in 1843, and was its moderator in 1878. He was identified with evangelical and revival movements and adhered to the doctrine of premillennialism. With Robert Murray McCheyne he visited Palestine in 1839 to inquire into the condition of the Jews there. During the visit of Dwight L. Moody to Britain in 1874 and 1875, Moody was warmly welcomed by Bonar, despite the latter receiving considerable criticism from other Calvinist ministers in the Free Church.
- A Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland in 1839 (Edinburgh, 1842) ISBN 1-85792-258-1
- Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray McCheyne (1845) ISBN 0-85151-084-1
- "The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne"
- Commentary on Leviticus (1846) ISBN 0-85151-086-8
- Redemption Drawing Nigh, a defence of the premillennial advent (1847)
- The Development of the Antichrist (1853) online at 
- The Life and Labours of Asahel Nettleton, with Bennet Tyler (1854) ISBN 0-85151-701-3
- The Visitor's Book of Texts or The Word Brought Near the Sick (Edinburgh, 1856) ISBN 978-1-84871-071-9
- Christ and his Church in the Book of Psalms (1859) ISBN 1-899003-65-7
- Bonar also edited Samuel Rutherford's Letters (1863); Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Religious Tract Society, London 1891 and wrote many tracts, pamphlets, and minor biographies.
- His daughter Marjory edited his Diary and Letters, his Reminiscences, Heavenly Springs (ISBN 0-85151-479-0) (Portions selected from his diary, letters, and sermons), and Wayside Wells (Thoughts for Sabbath evenings, selected from his writings and sermons).
- in-print publications include containing the Diary and Letters and the Reminiscences is:
- Bonar, Andrew A; Bonar, Marjory (ed) (1984). Andrew A Bonar: Diary and Life. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. ISBN 0-85151-432-4.
while the Reminiscences are available separately as:
- Bonar, Marjory (1999). Andrew A Bonar: The Good Pastor. Belfast: Ambassador Productions. ISBN 1-84030-045-0.
- Bonar, Andrew Alexander; M'Cheyne, Robert Murray (1849). Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland in 1839. Edinburgh: Whyte. p. 361.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Jackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1914). "article name needed". New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls. The editors of the online edition at CCEL.org have given permission for material from articles to be used in Wikipedia.
- Ferguson, Fergus (c. 1893). The Life of the Rev Dr Andrew A Bonar. Glasgow: John J Rae.
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