Commentary on Revelation by Alfred Plummer

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], Revelation. The Pulpit Commentary

This is a commentary on the book of Revelation in The Pulpit Commentary series by Alfred Plummer. It presented difficulties in scanning because of the very poor quality of the paper used. My previous scanner was unequal to the challenge, but my new one has at least provided a readable result, even if it is not up the quality I would like. Plummer also wrote a commentary on the letters of John in the same series, which I will look out for.

My thank to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain work for digitisation.

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], Revelation. The Pulpit Commentary. London & New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1909. Hbk. pp.585. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Introduction
    1. The Title
    2. Author
    3. Date
    4. Place
    5. Manuscripts
    6. Versions
    7. Quotations
    8. History of the Printed Text
    9. Character of the Greek
    10. Authenticity
  • Commentary
  • Index

Introduction. 1. The Title

The Revelation. – The name given to this book in our Bibles is the English form of the Latin equivalent of the Greek title Apokaluphis. This Greek title is as old as the book itself, and forms the first word of the original text, where it constitutes an essential member of the opening sentence and paragraph. It was consistent with the Hebrew cast of the whole document that the Hebrew fashion of naming books by their initial words should be followed in this instance; but the classical and modern method of designating a. literary work by the name ‘of its principal theme happened here ‘to lead to the same resnlt: Apokaluphis is not only the initial word of the book, but also a subject-title, descriptive of the largest portion of the contents.

In the Vulgate version the Greek word is retained, both in the title and at the commencement of the text. Its proper Latin equivalent, however, is not found by merely writing it in Latin letters, apocalypsis, but by combining the Latin renderings of its two component parts, taking re to represent apo and velatio as synonymous with kaluphis. According to the etymological genius of the respective languages, just as the simple substantive velatio, or kaluphis, signified the act of covering with a veil, so the compound re-velatio, or apo-kaluphis, meant the act of removing, turning back, or taking off the veil, in such a manner as to discover what previously was hidden from view.

The Latin compound, unaltered except by the Anglicizing of its termination, has become thoroughly naturalized in our English language; and on that account it is, for biblical and ministerial use, preferable to the original title, which, even in its Anglicized form, “Apocalypse,” has never ceased to be “Greek” to ordinary English ears….

Pages i-ii

Westminster Commentaries: Pastoral Epistles by Ernest Brown

Ernest Faulkner Brown [1854-1933], The Pastoral Epistles with Introduction and Notes. Westminister Commentaries

This is an exegetical commentary on the Pastoral Epistles of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus from the Westminster Commentaries series. Ernest Faulkner Brown [1859-1933] was a leader of the Oxford Mission to Calcutta and a Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral in that city.

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

Ernest Faulkner Brown [1854-1933], The Pastoral Epistles with Introduction and Notes. Westminister Commentaries. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1917. Hbk. pp.121. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. Timothy and Lystra
    2. Timothy as companion of S. Paul
    3. Titus as companion of S. Paul
    4. Authorship of the Letters
    5. Titus and Crete
    6. The Second Epistle of Timothy
  • Text and Commentary
    • The First Epistle of Timothy
    • The Second Epistle of Timothy
    • The Epistle of Titus
  • Index

Intrroduction

I. Timothy and Lystra.

‘The very brilliant colony of Lystra’ as it delighted to call itself1 was a place of some importance in the middle of the first century. Though merely a small rustic town in the Lycaonian territory of southern Asia Minor, it had been raised some fifty years before to the dignity of a Roman ‘ colony’ by the Emperor Augustus, i.e. it had received a garrison of Roman veterans, with the view of holding in check the wild tribes of the !saurian mountains in its neighbourhood. These Romans would be few in number and would keep very much to themselves ; though they were found in several of the towns which S. Paul visited, Philippi is the only one where they have left any trace on the narrative ; and there they did so owing to peculiar circumstances. The commerce and civic life of such a town would be carried on mainly by the educated Jews and Greeks; by the latter term is meant not only Greeks by race, but also those indigenous inhabitants who had imbued themselves with Greek culture and manners~. The most numerous class of the population would be the Lycaonians, rough and uncultured, from the country round. In these conditions we have an almost exact parallel to many of the country towns in India, more especially those in the hill districts. A small body of Europeans holding themselves aloof may answer to the Roman colonists. The educated Musulmans and Hindus represent the Jews and Greeks by whom the business of the city is carried on. The crowd of aboriginal inhabitants, mostly poor and uneducated, form the main part of the population’. Between the last three classes no very sharp line of demarcation exists. The aboriginals may at any time pse to the level of the educated. The Mahomedans and Hindus mix together freely in the ordinary affairs of life. They draw the line however at intermarriage, whereas between the Jews and Greeks of such a city as Lystra marriage might occasionally take place, as in the case of Timothy’s parents, though owing to the difference of religion and the abhorrence of the stricter Jews for idolatry it could not have been common.

Sir William Ramsay has proved, to the satisfaction of nearly all critics, that Lystra in common with Derbe, Antioch and Iconium belonged to the Roman 1 province of Galatia, and ‘Galatians’ was the name by which their inhabitants would prefer to be called….

Pages xi-xii.

Westminster Commentaries: Job by Edgar Gibson

Edgar Charles Sumner Gibson [1848-1924], The Book of Job with Introduction and Notes. Westminister Commentaries, 3rd edn., 1919.

The Westminster Commentaries series was intended to be exegetical in nature: more advanced than the Cambridge Bible for Schools, but not as critical as the International Critical Commentary. This volume on Job by Edgar Gibson is still considered to be of some value, according to John F. Evan’s in his Guide to Biblical Commentaries [p.157]. I have added the series to my list to digitise and will add more volumes as I get access to them.

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

Edgar Charles Sumner Gibson [1848-1924], The Book of Job with Introduction and Notes. Westminister Commentaries, 3rd edn., 1919. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1899. Hbk. pp.236. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Prefatory Note
  • Introduction
    1. The place of the book in the Canon
    2. The contents, structure, and main divisions of the book
    3. The object and character of the book
    4. The date of the book
    5. The integrity of the book
    6. Versions
    7. Commentaries
  • Commentary
  • Index

The Object and Character of the Book

The fact that the book is written in poetry, and that its character is so beautifully symmetrical, the well-ordered arrangement of the speeches, their length and artistic character, show at once that we are not dealing with literal history. Even in the prose narrative of the prologue and epilogue there are indications that it is a work of art rather than an exact record of historical facts with which we are concerned. The symmetrical character of Job’s fourfold trial has often been noticed. The exact reward meted out to him at the close, the number of his flocks and herds being literally doubled, and the precise number of children born to him after his trial equalling those whom he had lost in it-all these features point to the same conclusion. The work as a whole is a poem, and is meant to be regarded as such. There may of course be some historical basis, but, to put it at the very lowest, the same license and freedom in dealing with his materials must be granted to the author of Job that is conceded to other poets treating of historical situations. How much literal history may lie at the basis of the narrative does not really greatly concern us. That Job was a historical character is probable from the allusion to him in Ezekiel xiv. 14, ‘Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God,’ and had the narrative been entirely created for the sake of the lessons it was intended to convey, we should have expected the names of the dramatis personae to be significant, and tell us something of their character or position; whereas it is difficult to attach importance to any of them, and even in the case of Job himself, the hero of the story, it is doubtful whether the name is intended to be especially appropriate, or descriptive of his position (see the note on i. 1). The probability, then, is that there was some ancient traditional story of which Job was the hero, which the writer the basis of his poem, and made the vehicle of conveying to the minds of his contemporaries the religious lessons which he desired to impress upon them. It was probably written (see below, § IV.) in an age when troubles and calamities were falling thick upon the people, and the old doctrine of retribution was felt to be breaking down. In early days men were content with the simple view that suffering was in all cases the punishment of sin, and that long life and happiness were invariably the reward of virtue.

Pages xii-xiii.