It took ten years, with relaxation often at Henry Ashurst's house. The prospectus of Poole's work mustered of eight bishops and five continental scholars. A patent for the work was obtained on 14 October , and the first volume was ready for the press, when difficulties were raised by Cornelius Bee, publisher of the Critici Sacri ; the matter was decided in Poole's favour. Rabbinical sources and Roman Catholic commentators are included; little is taken from John Calvin, nothing from Martin Luther.
The book was written in Latin and is currently being translated into English by the Matthew Poole Project. Poole also wrote English Annotations on the Holy Bible, a work which was completed by several of his Nonconformist brethren, and published in 2 vols fol. The work was continued by others last edition, three volumes, This work has chapter outlines which are among the best available.
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Powered by Light speed Technology. Preferences Subscriptions Lists. During the first thirty years of the 5th cent. Biblical interpretation reached its greatest heights for that age. The great orator Chrysostom a. Fifty-eight of his homilies on the Psalms and fifty-five sermons on the Book of Acts have survived. The only complete commentary on Acts that has survived from the first centuries. If Chrysostom was the great commentator for the Gr. He has rightly been called Doctor Maximus sacris Scripturis explanandis. His first commentary on Obadiah has not been preserved.
His important commentary on Daniel, with many references to works now lost, has recently been tr. The great bibliographic work by Jerome on the lives of Biblical commentators, in which he enumerates the writings of authors, has never been tr. Approximately at the same time, but less famous as a commentator, was Theodore of Mopsuestia a. Theodore was careful to make a minute study of the context, and paid a great deal of attention to grammar and punctuation and to the aim of the writer he was considering.
He shunned the allegorical method. He believed that all of the Psalms were written by David, which forced him into some peculiar interpretations. His commentary on the minor epistles of Paul have been preserved complete in Lat. For a recent discussion of his works, see the Cambridge History of the Bible , Vol. I, pp. Augustine, the greatest of all the Church Fathers a. The City of God , than through his commentaries.
His first book, written at the age of forty, was a commentary on the early chs. Probably his greatest work of this type, apart from his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, was on the Psalms. He wrote homilies on the Gospel of John and an unfinished commentary on Romans. Gregory Nazianzus a. Fragments of Polychrenius d. The great Archbishop, Cyril of Alexandria d.
There are also remains of some of his commentaries on the Psalms and on the epistles of Paul. Theodoret a. Lightfoot said that his commentaries on St. Paul have been assigned the palm over all patristic expositions of Scripture. The last of the traditional doctors of the church was Pope Gregory the Great a. His homilies on the gospels and his other commentaries have not survived. The commentaries of the Fathers of the Church down to the beginning of the 7th cent. As a corollary, they recognized that their own writings were definitely inferior in authority and penetration to the NT. Again, they insisted that the entire Bible belongs to Christian believers, even though the OT is primarily Jewish and concerns Jewish history and law.
The writings of the Fathers were uniformly Christocentric. There was a heavy emphasis on allegory, and a deep interest in eschatological themes. Although there were commentaries now lost which included almost all the books of the Bible, those most frequently considered were Genesis, Psalms, the Song of Solomon, the prophetic books, the gospels of Matthew and John, the epistles of Paul, and Revelation. The existence of these commentaries indicates a great passion in the Early Church for Biblical study which exceeded even that for the defense of the Christian faith in the numerous controversies of that period.
The Middle Ages. The commentators of the Middle Ages were for the most part not gifted with great originality. Undoubtedly the most important of them between Augustine and the beginning of the 12th cent. He devoted his entire life to the study of the Scriptures, and though his works have been carefully studied by numerous scholars, many of them still remain untranslated from the Lat.
His commentary on Genesis was taken largely from Basil, Ambrose, and Augustine. As a commentator in the first half of the 12th cent. Bernard of Clairvaux had an extraordinarily intimate knowledge of the Scriptures, and has been designated by some as the last of the Fathers.
It was the Song of Solomon. Bernard published eighty-six sermons on the Song of Solomon with the threefold interpretation of historical, moral, and mystical. The monastery at St. Victor was the chief home of medieval mysticism. There Hugo of St. Victor and Andrew of St. Victor d. Andrew wrote extensive commentaries on the Octateuch, frequently quoting from Origen, Augustine, and Jerome, and extensively from his predecessor, Hugo.
He wrote also on the major prophetical volumes, the Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. At the end of the 12th cent. Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote glosses on the Octateuch in which he referred frequently to Andrew of St. Victor, the result of lectures given in the schools at Paris. He wrote also on most of the prophets and on the Song of Solomon. The most famous of all Biblical writers in the Middle Ages was Thomas Aquinas , though his theological works were far more extensive, and certainly more influential, than his commentaries.
It has been estimated that in his Catena of the Gospels he quoted from twenty-two Gr. He wrote commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalms, Job, and esp. Because he was under the domination of the idea that all Scriptures had four different meanings, he did not advance an understanding of them despite all of his vast learning. He was fully acquainted with Jewish expositors. His famous work, Postillae Perpetuae in Universam S. Scripturam , which was the first Biblical commentary to be printed, had a wide influence. The Reformation.
With the coming of the Reformation, this basically important area of Christian lit. Luther and Calvin made a revolutionary return to the study and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures based on their literal meaning and emphasizing the preeminent theme of Christ in both the OT and NT. Luther insisted on the necessity for grammatical knowledge and on a serious consideration of the times and circumstances in which a book was composed, on the need of faith for understanding the Scriptures and on the preeminence of Christ in both the OT and NT.
His commentaries on Genesis and the Psalms are classics of the classical age. Luther rejected the authoritativeness of the Lat. In spite of the enormous amount of lit. At present Concordia-Muhlenberg Publishing House is publishing a new tr. The greatest commentator of the Reformation and in some ways the greatest commentator of modern times was John Calvin Calvin published his first commentary on the Epistle to the Romans when he was barely thirty years of age in Isaiah appeared in ; Acts, the following year; Genesis, in In the epochal fifty-three-volume set of Calvin published by the Calvin Translation Society , forty-three of the fifty-three volumes were taken up with his commentaries.
His weakest area of interpretation was eschatology. His discussion of the difficult chronological prophecies of Daniel 8 and 9 involves some strange interpretations which no one today, whatever his eschatological views, would think of accepting. A new tr. The seventeenth century. Only one commentary from the first half of the 17th cent.
In he issued his widely used Contemplations on the Old Testament , followed in by his Contemplations on the New Testament. Later in the same cent. In this cent. It had been preceded in by the lesser known work of Walton, Biblia Sacra Polyglotta , in six volumes. In the same generation appeared the most famous of all this type of commentary, The Synopsis Criticorum Bibliorum , in five folio volumes in Lat. It contained the opinions of about scholars.
Poole later published Annotations upon the Holy Bible The work by Poole himself extended only to Isaiah It is said that sets of the Synopsis were sold. In Hugo Grotius, the Dutch theologian, published his Annotations. He put great emphasis on philological matters with close adherence to the ecclesiastical tradition, but with a varying repudiation of the inspiration of Holy Scripture. The eighteenth century. The most widely used of all Eng. Matthew Henry prob. This commentary has continued to be published for more than two hundred years, and recently a one-volume ed.
Also at the beginning of the 18th cent. The first ed. It was the first large commentary to be reprinted in the United States from Two outstanding commentaries of that era were published on the continent of Europe: A.
Bengel in The Eng. The early nineteenth century. Although limited to only one portion of Scripture a valuable work, now almost forgotten, was produced by Edward Greswell: An Exposition of the Parables and of the Other Parts of the Gospels , in six volumes at London It contains the profoundest study of Matthew 13 that has prob.
Toward the middle of the cent. Within ten years it passed through six edd. Everett Harrison. In the last half of the cent. Albert Barnes contributed his Notes in twelve volumes, published in America, which have had a circulation of more than a million copies. It was written progressively from to , and in was revised by the author. It has been tr. The most widely used and frequently published commentary of this period was the Commentary Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson , A.
Fausset , and David Brown Fausset and Brown were prolific authors of books that are still valuable. This work was published in in six volumes, and contains approximately three million words.
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It has been republished in numerous editions, the last by Eerdmans in The work by Fausset was esp. Several series of commentaries appeared late in the cent. Cook, was published in ten volumes betwen and Parts of it were contributed by some of the leading Biblical scholars of the day, such as R. Payne Smith on Jeremiah, W. It was the outcome of the consultation with several bishops to produce a commentary that would defend the Scriptures against the attacks of prevailing skepticism.
In , under the editorship of Bishop Perowne and A. Kirkpatrick, was begun the production of the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. The Cambridge Greek Testament under the editorship of Bishop Perowne, was begun in , and publication continued into the next cent. Both contained work by experts, and have been widely used. The Cambridge Greek Testament has been partly rewritten in recent years.
The International Critical Commentary , begun in , has never been completed. Most of these volumes are highly technical, but a few of them have proved to be milestones of Biblical interpretation; e. Charles on Revelation, and esp. Sanday and Headlam on Romans.
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Another work that never received due recognition was the Popular Commentary on the New Testament edited by Philip Schaff in four volumes The widely used Pulpit Commentary in 49 volumes, edited by H. Spence and J. Exell was largely homiletical in purpose. It contained numerous excellent individual works by noted scholars; some of the introductions are superb.
A series of short but rich commentaries was issued under the direction of Marcus Dods and Alexander Whyte entitled Handbooks for Bible Classes. Apart from these excellent and widely differing series of commentaries there were innumerable commentaries on separate books of the Bible issued in the last cent. A few of these deserve special mention: on Genesis, R. Candlish and J. Murphy ; on Leviticus, A. Bonar, fifth edition ; on Judges, the rare but valuable work by A. Wright ; on Isaiah, T. Birks ; on Ezekiel, A. Davidson ; and on the minor prophets, a three-volume work by G. Findlay Especially valuable on the Epistles of John were the lectures by R.