Historical Commentary on the Galatians by William M. Ramsay

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay’s Historical Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians was based on his own travels in Turkey in the late 19th Century. This research made him the foremost authority on the subject of his day and convinced the initially sceptical Ramsay that the New Testament was historically accurate. My thanks to Book Aid for making this public domain title available for digitisation.

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], A Historical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1899. Hbk. pp.478. [Click to visit the Galatians page for the download link for this title and other resources on this letter]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. Preliminary
  2. North Galatia: Land and Peoples
  3. Pre-Galatic History of North Galatia
  4. The Pre-Gaulish Inhabitants of Galatia
  5. The Religion of Asia Minor
  6. Settlement of the Gauls in Galatia
  7. The History of Galatia B.C. 232-64
  8. The North Galatian State
  9. The Religion of North Galatia
  10. Galatia as a Roman Client State
  11. Origin of the Province Galatia
  12. History of the Province Galatia, B.C. 25-A.D. 50
  13. Civilisation of North Galatia under the Roman Empire
  14. Language and Letters in North Galatia
  15. The Influence of Christianity in North Galatia
  16. Later History of the Province Galatia
  17. The Cities and the Peoples of South Galatia
  18. The Jews in South Galatia
  19. Pisidian Antioch
  20. Iconium
  21. Lystra
  22. Derbe
  23. Summary
  • Historical Commentary


The attempt is made in this book to show how much light the Epistle to the Galatians throws on contemporary history in the widest sense-the history of religion, society, thought, manners, education- in the Eastern Provinces of the Empire. The introductory study of society and religion in Central Asia Minor may seem perhaps too elaborate; but it could not be put more briefly if any adequate conception were to be given of the forces acting on the minds of Paul’s Galatian hearers.

The Commentary is intended to be complete in itself, able to be read and folly understood without continually looking back to the Introduction. The Commentary was written first, and published in the Expositor, June,1898-September, 1899. Many passages have now been completely rewritten (after the Introduction had been composed), three chapters have been suppressed and eleven added.

My first intention was tacitly to carry out the South Galatian Theory, leaving the reader to contrast the flood of light thrown on South Galatia by the Epistle with its barrenness as regards North Galatia…

Page vii

Perhaps less well known is William M. Ramsay’s Historical Commentary on the Epistles to the Corinthians. This was originally Published in The Expositor, sixth series, 1900-1901 in 10 articles, but is available here as one file.

Commentary on Colossians by S.R. Macphail

Simon Ross Macphail [d.1912], The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians.

A brief commentary on Paul’s letter to the Colossians by Simon Ross Macphail [died 1912] in the Handbooks for Bible Classes and Private Students series. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Simon Ross Macphail [d.1912], The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians. Handbooks for Bible Classes and Bible Students. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1911. pbk. pp.130. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Commentary
  • Appendix A. Outline of the Letter
  • Appendix B. Mithraism and Christianity
  • Appendix C. Manumission
  • Appendix D. Colossians and Ephesians
  • Appendix E. Words, etc., Specially Examined


When any one proposes to enter on the study of a portion of the New Testament, the first question which arises is, To which division of the New Testament does my present study belong? For there are two leading divisions. The one contains the narrative of our Lord’s earthly ministry (the four Gospels), and the other belongs to a subsequent time of special Revelation, when the Holy Spirit interpreted to the Apostles the full meaning of the Lord’s earthly mission, and also led them, as He had Himself promised, into much new truth. These two portions combined form the New Testament Revelation, and contain all through which the knowledge of grace and glory by Jesus Christ comes to men in every age. The New Testament is final Revelation, but New Testament theology, i.e. man’s grasp of the New Testament, is ever purifying, enlarging, and enriching…

Page 11.

Commentary on James and Jude by Alfred Plummer

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], The General Epistles of St. James and St. Jude

This is the third edition of Alfred Plummer’s commentary on the letters of James and Jude. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], The General Epistles of St. James and St. Jude. The Expositor’s Bible. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1899. Hbk. pp.476. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  1. The Catholic Epistles
  2. The Authenticity of the Epistle of St. James
  3. The Author of the Epistle: James the Brother of the Lord
  4. The Persons Addressed in the Epistle: The Jews of the Diaspora
  5. The Relation of the Epistle to the Writings of St. Paul amd of St. Peter.—The Date of the Epistle—The Doctrine of Joy in Temptation
  6. The Relation of this Epistle to the Books of Ecclesiastes and of the Wisdom of Solomon.—The Value of the Apocrypha, and the Mischief of Neglecting it
  7. The exaltation of the Lowly, and the fading away of the rich.—The metaphors of Str. James and the parables of Christ
  8. The source of temptations, and the reality of sin.—The difficulties of the determinist
  9. The delusion of hearing without doing.—The mirror of God’s word
  10. The Christology of St. James.—The practical unbelief involvged in showing a wordly respect of persons in public worship
  11. The iniquity of respecting the rich and despising the poor.—The solidarity of the divine law
  12. Faith and works: Three views of the relation of the teaching of St. James to the teaching of St. Paul.—The relation of Luther to both
  13. The faith of demons; the faith of Abraham; and the faith of Rehab the Harlot
  14. The heavy responsibilities of teachers.—The powers and propensities of the tongue.—The self-defilement of the reckless talker
  15. The moral contradictions in the reckless talker
  16. The wisdom that is from below
  17. The wisdom that is from above
  18. St. James and Plato on lusts as the cause of strife; Their effect on prayer
  19. The seductions of the world, and the jealousy of the divine love
  20. The power of Satan and its limits.—Humility the foundation of penitence and of holiness
  21. Self-assurance and invasion of divine prerogatives involved in hte love of censuring others
  22. Self-assurance and invasion of divine prerogatives involved in presuming upon our future.—The doctrine of prababilism
  23. The follies and inequalities of the rich; Their miserable end
  24. Patience in waiting.—The Endurance of Job.—The significance of the mention of Job by James
  25. The prohibition of swearing.—The relation of the language of St. James to recorded sayings of Christ
  26. Worship the best outlet and remedy for excitement.—The connexion between worship and conduct
  27. The elders of the church.—The anointing of the sick and extreme unction
  28. The public and private confesson of sins.—The lawfulness of prayers for rain
  29. The work of converting sinners; its conditions and rewards

    The General Epistle of Jude
  30. The authenticity of the epistle of St. Jude
  31. The purpose of the epistle.—The faith once for all delivered and the development of Christian doctrine
  32. The persons denounced in the epistle.—Its relation to 2 Peter
  33. Doubtful readings and the theory of verbal inspiration.—Three palmary instances of divine vengeance upon grevious sin
  34. Railing at dignities.—”The Assumption of Moses.”—St. Jude’s use of apocryphal literature
  35. The description corresponding to Cain. The libertines at the Love-feasts.—The Book of Enoch
  36. The description to Balaam: the impious discontent and greed of the libertines.—The Apostolic warning respecting them
  37. The description corresponding to Korah; Making separations.—Exhortations to the faithful to build up themselves, and then rescue others
  38. The final doxology: praise to God, the protection of his servants
  • Index