Friday, September 12, 2014

19th Century Bible Commentaries

In an attempt to get an idea of how Joseph Smith Jr would have read the Bible, I started looking at Bible commentaries available online that either Joseph Smith Jr or the preachers that he encountered might have read. I choose 1827 as my somewhat arbitrary cut-off date, since that is the beginning of the Book of Mormon translation effort; Joseph Smith Jr received the plates in September of that year.

Whole Bible Commentaries

  • Joseph Benson, an early Methodist minister and friend of John Wesley, wrote a Commentary on the OT & NT
  • Adam Clarke (1760?-1832), a British Methodist theologian and supporter of Wesley, wrote a six-volume commentary.
  • Thomas Coke (9 September 1747 - 2 May 1814) was the first Methodist Bishop and is known as the Father of Methodist Missions. He wrote a six-volume commentary (1801-1803).
  • John Gill (November 23, 1697-October 14, 1771) was an English Baptist, a biblical scholar, and a staunch Calvinist. Between 1746 and 1763, he wrote An Exposition of the New Testament (3 vols., 1746-8), and an Exposition of the Old Testament (6 vols., 1748-63).
  • Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was a Devonian vicar of the Anglican Church and the most prominent of the vicars of Charles Church, Plymouth, Devon. His grandson was Cornish poet Robert Stephen Hawker. He wrote a book of Biblical notes called Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary.
  • George Leo Haydock (1774-1849), scion of an ancient English Catholic Recusant family, was a priest, pastor and Bible scholar. His edition of the Douay Bible with extended commentary, originally published in 1811, became the most popular English Catholic Bible of the 19th century on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Matthew Henry (18 Oct 1662 - 22 June 1714) was an English Presbyterian minister who wrote a renowned commentary on the whole Bible, An Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (1708-10, known also as Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible), which went up to Acts and was completed by like-minded authors after his death in 1714. A more compact version, Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible was published in 1706 already.
  • Matthew Poole (1624 - 1679) was an English Nonconformist theologian. His English annotations on the Bible were republished until 1840.
  • Charles Simeon (24 September 1759 – 13 November 1836), was an English evangelical clergyman, and founder of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews (now known as the Church's Ministry Among Jewish People or CMJ) in 1809. His major opus the Horae Homileticae was published in London starting in 1819, with many editions and reprints.
  • John Trapp, (5 June 1601, Croome D'Abitot - 16 October 1669, Weston-on-Avon), was an English Anglican Bible commentator. His large five-volume commentary is still read today and is known for its pithy statements and quotable prose.
  • John Wesley was a Church of England cleric and an Arminian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield. His Notes on the New Testament (1755) are enlightening.

New Testament

  • Johann Albrecht Bengel (24 June 1687 – 2 November 1752) was a Lutheran pietist clergyman and Greek-language scholar known for his edition of the Greek New Testament. The other great work of Bengel, and that on which his reputation as an exegete is mainly based, is his Gnomon Novi Testamenti, or Exegetical Annotations on the New Testament, published in 1742.
  • William Burkitt (25 July 1650 in Hitcham, Suffolk, England - 24 October 1703, Essex) was a biblical expositor and vicar in Dedham, Essex, England. Burkitt is known for his Bible commentary, Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament (Gospels published 1700, Acts to Revelation published 1703).

Contemporaries of Joseph Smith Jr

  • Albert Barnes (1789-1870), from Rome, New York, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1823, but did not begin publishing his Notes until the 1830s, AFAIK.
  • Joseph Sutcliffe (+ 1854) wrote his commentary after retiring as a Wesleyan circuit preacher at age 74 in London; it was published around 1836.

No comments:

Post a Comment