James Denney’s Commentary on the Letters to the Thessalonians

James Denney [1856-1917], The Epistle to the Thessalonians, W. Robertson Nicoll, ed., The Expositor's Bible, New Edition

James Denney’s commentary, part of Expositor’s Bible series, has long been valued by preachers. One commentary survey I looked at cautioned that it should be read in conjunction with more exegetical works.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

James Denney [1856-1917], The Epistle to the Thessalonians, W. Robertson Nicoll, ed., The Expositor’s Bible, New Edition. London: Hodder & Stoughton, n.d. Hbk. pp.404. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

The First Epistle to the Thessalonians

  1. The Church of the Thessalonians
  2. The Thanksgiving
  3. The Signs of Election
  4. Conversion
  5. Apologia Pro Vita Sua
  6. Impeachment of the Jews
  7. Absense and Longing
  8. Love and Prayers
  9. Personal Purity
  10. Charity and Independence
  11. The Dead in Christ
  12. The Day of the Lord
  13. Rulers and Ruled
  14. The Standing Order of the Gospel
  15. The Spirit
  16. Conclusion

The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians

  1. Salutation and Thanksgiving
  2. Suffering and Glory
  3. The Man of Sin
  4. The Restraint and its Removal
  5. The Theology of Paul
  6. Mutual Intercession
  7. The Christian Worth of Labor
  8. Farewell

Chapter 1

Thessalonica, now called Saloniki, was in the first century of our era a large and flourishing city. It was situated at the north-eastern corner of the Thermaic gulf, on the line of the great Egnatian road, which formed the main connection by land between Italy and the East. It was an important commercial centre, with a mixed population of Greeks, Romans, and Jews. The Jews, who at the present day amount to some twenty thousand, were numerous enough to have a synagogue of their own; and we can infer from the Book of Acts (xvii. 4) that it was frequented by many of the better spirits among the Gentiles also. Unconsciously, and as the event too often proved, unwillingly, the Dispersion was preparing the way of the Lord.

To this city the Apostle Paul came, attended by Silas and Timothy, in the course of his second missionary journey. He had just left Philippi, dearest to his heart of all his churches; for there, more than anywhere else, the sufferings of Christ had abounded in him, and his consolations also had been abundant in Christ. He came to Thessalonica with the marks of the lictors’ rods upon his body; but to him they were the marks of Jesus; not warnings to change his path, but tokens that the Lord was taking him into fellowship with Himself, and binding him more strictly to His service. He came with the memory of his converts’ kindness warm upon his heart; conscious that, amid whatever disappointments, a welcome awaited the gospel, which admitted its messenger into the joy of his Lord. We need not wonder, then, that the Apostle kept to his custom, and in spite of the malignity of the Jews, made his way, when Sabbath came, to the synagogue of Thessalonica.

Pages 3-4

Cambridge Greek Testament – 1 Corinthians by J.J. Lias

John James Lias [1834-1923], The First Epistle to the Corinthians. The Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

The positive response I received to my recent uploading of the volume on John in the Cambridge Greek Testament series has encouraged me to press ahead with the digitisation of this series. I get the impression that the series is little known outside of the United Kingdom as they are not widely available online yet, though most are out of copyright.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

John James Lias [1834-1923], The First Epistle to the Corinthians. The Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1881 Hbk. pp.172. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Those without New Testament Greek might be interested in the Cambridge Bible for Schools volume by the same author:

John James Lias [1834-1923], The First Epistle to the Corinthians. The Cambridge Bible for Schools. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1881 Hbk. pp.172. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Corinth. Its Situation in History
    2. The Corinthian Church
    3. Date, Place of Writing. Character and Genuineness of the Epistle
    4. Doctrine of the Resurrection
    5. Analysis of the Epistle
  2. Text
  3. Notes & Appendices
  4. Indices

Introduction. Chapter 1. Corinth. Its Situation and History

At the time of the Apostle’s visit, Corinth was the most considerable city in Greece. Its commercial importance had always been great. Situated on a narrow neck of land between two seas – the far-famed Isthmus – the temptations to prefer commerce to war, even in times when war was almost the business of mankind, proved irresistible to its inhabitants. The command of the Isthmus was no doubt important in a military point of view; but at a time when navigation was difficult and dangerous, the commercial advantages of the position were enormous. Merchants arriving either from the East or from the West, from Italy or Asia Minor, could save themselves the risk of a hazardous voyage round the Peloponnesus, and found at Corinth both a ready market for their wares, and a convenient means of transport. Corinth, therefore, had always held a hjgh position among the cities of Greece, though the military genius of Sparta and the intellectual and political eminence of Athens secured to those two states the pre-eminence in the best periods of Greek history. But in the decline of Greece, when she had laid her independence at the feet of Alexander the Great, the facilities for trade enjoyed by Corinth gave it the first place. Always devoted to the arts of peace, in such a degree as to incur the contempt of the. Lacedaemonians, it was free, in the later times of the Greek republics, to devote itself undisturbed to those arts, under the protection, for the most part, of the Macedonian monarchs. During that period its rise in prosperity was remarkable. It had always been famous for luxury, but now it possessed the most sumptuous theatres, palaces, temples, in all Greece. The most ornate of the styles of Greek architecture is known as the Corinthian. The city excelled in the manufacture of a peculiarly fine kind of bronze known as aes Corinthiacum. Destitute of the higher intellectual graces (it seems never, since the mythic ages, to have produced a single man of genius) it possessed in a high degree the refinements of civilization and the elegancies of life. It was regarded as the “eye,” the “capital and grace” of Greece. And when (B.C. 146) it was sacked by Mummius during the last expiring struggle of Greece for independence, though it was devoted to the gods, and not allowed to be rebuilt for a century, its ruins became the “quarry from which the proud patricians who dwelt on the Esquiline or at Baiae, adorned their villas with marbles, paintings and statues.” …

Pages xiii-xiv.

1 Peter 1 – 2:17: Greek Text Commentary by Fenton Hort

Fenton John Anthony Hort [1828–1892], The First Epistle of St Peter I.I-II.17. The Greek Text with Introductory Lecture, Commentary, and Additional Notes

Fenton J.A. Hort died before completing this commentary on 1 Peter, which was intended to be published as part of the old MacMillan series. Nevertheless, as John F. Evan’s notes in his commentary survey, it is still worth consulting for its detailed exegesis.

My thanks to Book Aid for making this public domain title available for digitisation.

Fenton John Anthony Hort [1828–1892], The First Epistle of St Peter I.I-II.17. The Greek Text with Introductory Lecture, Commentary, and Additional Notes. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1898. Hbk. pp.188. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introductory Lecture
  • Analysis of the Epistle
  • Text and Notes
  • Additional Notes
    1. The Names of St. Peter
    2. The Biblical Terms for Sojourning
    3. The Provinces of Asia Minor Included in St. Peter’s Address
  • Index

Additional Note 3: The Provinces of Asia Minor Included in St. Peter’s Address

The dispersed Christians to whom St Peter wrote his Epistle were sojourners in certain specified regions of the land now called Asia Minor. These regions are designated as ”Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” The list of names deserves careful study, both as to its contents and as to its order.

Each of the names in the list admits of different interpretations, according to variations of political or other usage and to successive changes of geographical limits. But the five names coincide precisely with the five names that make up the titles of the four provinces of the Roman empire into which Asia Minor, the southern littoral eventually excepted, was divided in and after the reign of Tiberius; and it would need strong positive evidence to refute the consequent presumption that the territory denoted by the list in the Epistle was the territory of these four Roman provinces. This presumption is strengthened by the change from compactness to inexplicable dispersion which takes place when the names in the list are interpreted by their national or popular instead of their Roman sense. No stress indeed can be laid on the absence of the names Mysia, Garia, and Lydia, the three regions which made up the Roman province of Asia according to its original constitution of B.C. 129: the. Acts of the Apostles, which habitually uses the national names in Asia Minor, twelve times designates this long established province by its Roman name Asia, though it also speaks of Mysia in a single passage where it was necessary to distinguish the northern part of Asia. But this explanation will not account for the absence of Paphlagonia between Bithynia and Pontus, the very district which was more likely to contain Christian converts than any other on the northern coast, or of Phrygia between Galatia and Asia, or of Lycaonia and Pisidia between Cappadocia and partly Phrygia, partly Asia, these three regions being known scenes of St Paul’s missionary activity.

The three southern regions of Asia Minor, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Lycia, require separate consideration. The true or eastern Cilicia, Cilicia Campestris, St Paul’s native land, has a somewhat obscure history after the close of the civil war in B.C. 29. In the distribution of provinces made B.C. 27 Cilicia fell to the emperor. Cyprus is supposed to have been then, as formerly, combined with it, and to have so remained for five years, after which the island is known to have been transferred to the Senate: but the other regions formerly combined with Cilicia Campestris were at this time otherwise assigned. How the little district thus left was administered between B.C. 22 and some time in Hadrian’s reign (A.D. 117-138), is as yet but imperfectly known. For at least a considerable part of this period it was governed by the imperial legate of Syria, as was undoubtedly the case in B.C. 3-2, A.D. 17-21, 36, 52, and 72. In A.D. 74 Cilicia Campestris was reunited by Vespasian to the various mountainous districts of Cilicia (see below, p. 160), which had been detached from it in Augustus’s reign or yet earlier and Cilicia as a whole was apparently formed into a separate province: under Hadrian and his successors this was certainly its condition….

Pages 157-159.