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Writing the Bible

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Commentaries are also very useful helps, some of them very much so. Among commentaries on the whole Bible, you will find none better than those of Scott and Henry. Though the latter did not live to complete his work, yet he left some notes on the last part of Scripture, which several friends filled up. Henry is remarkable for sprightliness, ingenuity, and the practical application of divine truth. His commentary contains by far the best collection of striking sayings in our language. On the historical parts of the Scripture, and on the parables, he is admirable. His early acquaintance with law enabled him to draw many useful illustrations from that noble science. Dr. Scott is remarkable for gravity, clearness and judiciousness. Like Henry, he is thoroughly evangelical. Into the hands of one asking what commentary I would recommend, I have often put a volume of each of these authors, and told him to judge for himself. The result has been that about as many have chosen one as the other. The commentary of Dr. Gill, though voluminous, and to some extent a translation of Poole, is not esteemed as much as it deserves to be. The commentary of Dr. Clarke is learned, but is often fanciful, and sometimes very unsound in doctrine. On the New Testament it is pleasing to see that the public still highly values Doddridge’s Exposition. The expositions of particular books of Scripture are too numerous to mention. Many of them are worthless, and some of them are of the highest value. Of all these, my favorite is Leighton’s Practical Commentary on the first Epistle of Peter. It is sufficiently learned, and has the sweetest savor of piety throughout. No good man can read it without finding his resolutions to lead a holy life greatly strengthened; and no bad man will be apt to read it through, for its appeals to the conscience are so pungent, that any one not utterly stupid will either cease to read it attentively, or fall under deep conviction of sin.  –William Plumer

Bible Dictionary
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