Overview Matthew Henry Bible Commentary application:
- Matthew Henry (18 October 1662 22 June 1714) was a Nonconformist minister and author, born in Wales but spending much of his life in England. He is best known for the six-volume biblical commentary Exposition of the Old and New Testaments.
Matthew Henry's well-known six-volume Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (170810) or Complete Commentary, provides an exhaustive verse by verse study of the Bible, covering the whole of the Old Testament, and the Gospels and Acts in the New Testament. After the author's death, the work was finished (Romans through Revelation) by thirteen other nonconformist ministers, partly based upon notes taken by Henry's hearers, and edited by George Burder and John Hughes in 1811.
Henry's commentaries are primarily exegetical, dealing with the scripture text as presented, with his prime intention being explanation, for practical and devotional purposes. While not being a work of textual research, for which Henry recommended Matthew Poole's Synopsis Criticorum, Henry's Exposition gives the result of a critical account of the original as of his time, with practical application. It was considered sensible and stylish, a commentary for devotional purposes.
Famous evangelical Protestant preachers such as George Whitefield and Charles Spurgeon used and heartily commended the work, with Whitefield reading it through four times the last time on his knees. Spurgeon stated, "Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least." John Wesley wrote of Henry:
He is allowed by all competent judges, to have been a person of strong understanding, of various learning, of solid piety, and much experience in the ways of God. And his exposition is generally clear and intelligible, the thoughts being expressed in plain words: It is also found, agreeable to the tenor of scripture, and to the analogy of faith. It is frequently full, giving a sufficient explication of the passages which require explaining. It is in many parts deep, penetrating farther into the inspired writings than most other comments do. It does not entertain us with vain speculations, but is practical throughout: and usually spiritual too teaching us how to worship God, not in form only, but in spirit and in truth.
Several abbreviated editions of the Commentary were published in the twentieth century; more recently the Christian linguist and author of reference books, Martin H. Manser, edited a version in modern English: The New Matthew Henry Commentary: The Classic Work with Updated Language.
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1. Bible Commentaries about books and Chapters of books
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