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Z. A. Canter
2 Stars Out Of 5
Not What I'd Hoped
August 29, 2012
Z. A. Canter
While I had assumed that this commentary was somewhat abridged from the originals, I was not expecting such short--and sometimes confusing--notes. I was also dissappointed to find out that several books in the New Testament use the NRSV instead of the KJV. Just not what I had hoped for in a "Classic" commentary.
The marketing description is misleading. I was expecting a selection of many authors recommended by Spurgeon on individual OT & NT books. Instead, this is a lightly edited reprint of Calvin's Commentaries on 1 OT and 4 NT books, Jamieson, Faucett & Brown on 20 OT & 9 NT, Matthew Henry on 9 OT & 4 NT, Ryle on Luke, Hodge on 1&2 Cor, Luther on Gal, Lightfoot on Col/Philemon, and John Wesley on 10 OT & 2 NT. Of Wesley's works Spurgeon said, "those on the OT are meager and unsatisfactory." The individual commentators (Wesley excepted) are some of the best of their era, and my low rating ie meant as a warning for the deceptive advertising. If your library is empty consider this book as a starter. However, many of the full sets and individual books are available on CD-Rom, which is money better spent.
Some things that are not apparent in the publisher's description of this book:1) Rather than each commentator contributing on a verse-by-verse basis, this book assigns each of the 66 books of the bible to a single commentator. So for example, you get to see what Hodge says about Ephesians, but you dont get to see what any of the other commentators say about Ephesians. When I bought the book, I assumed that all of the commentators would be "taking turns" within Ephesians (and for all of the books of the bible).2) If you are looking for a reformed (or Calvinistic) commentary, you will be disappointed that the very un-reformed (even anti-reformed) John Wesley is allowed to be the sole commentator on three of the most important "salvation books" of the new testament: Romans, Hebrews, and Matthew. So for those three critical books you wont get a reformed perspective. Instead what you will get is John Wesley saying things like this for the Golden Chain of Salvation (Romans 8:29-30): "Paul does not say that the same number of men are called, justified, and glorified". Wesley also comments for this same passage: "Paul does not deny the a believer may fall away". These comments clearly defy reformed doctrine and exegesis, and that was just one example from Wesley.This is not exactly what I would hope for in a reformed commentary. But it is still a useful book to purchase, simply for reading what some of the other great commentators have to say (including Hodge, Luther, Calvin, and Matthew Henry) for some of the books of the bible. Read with discernment however.