Practical Commentary on Mark by James Morison

Practical Commentary on Mark by James Morison 1

James Morison offers a detailed commentary on the Gospel of Mark which does not require knowledge of Greek.

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

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

James Morison [1816-1893], A Practical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Mark, 7th edn. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1892. Hbk. pp.481. [Click to visit the download page for this book]

Table of Contents

  • Prefatory note
  • Introduction
    1. Gospel and Gospels
    2. Title of St, Mark’s Gospel
    3. The Name ‘Mark’
    4. St Mark the Evangelist the ‘John Mark’ of the Acts of the Apostles
    5. Covert Reference to the Evangelist in the Body of the Gospel
    6. The Relation of the Apostle Peter to the Gospels: Patristic Evidence
    7. Relation of the Gospel to the Apostle Peter: Internal Evidence
    8. The Inner Relation of the Gospel to the Synoptic Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke
    9. Date of the Gospel
    10. The Place of the Gospel’s Publication and the Language in Which it was Originally Given Written
    11. The Plan, Aim, and Style of the Gospel
    12. Integrity of the Gospel
    13. The Topical Position of St. Mark’s Gospel in the Group of Gospels
    14. The Contents of the Gospel
  • Exposition of the Gospel
  • Index to the Exposition

Prefatory Note

The following Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Mark, though latently complementive of the author’s Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, is yet entirely ‘self contained.’ There are, indeed, occasional references to some fuller discussions or expositions in the Commentary on St. Matthew; but the thread of continuous exposition in St. Mark is never suspended or broken off. The author conceives that he was not entitled to postulate the reader’s possession of the earlier volume; and be imagines that it would have been a blunder in the structure of his present work, had it imposed, even on those readers who possess the companion volume, the irksome task of turning to it, and turning it up, ere they could ascertain his opinion on any particular passage in St. Mark.

In thus endeavouring to avoid a ‘rock ‘ on which many had struck, the author was not unmindful that there was a little malstrom-like ‘Charybdis’ on the other side of ‘Scylla,’ no less dangerous to navigators. Hence he has been on his guard not to allow any of the materials which have done duty in the Commentary on St. Matthew to float silently away into the whirlpool of circulatory repetition, in order to do double service in expounding the coincident representations in St. Mark. He hopes that whatever else his readers may miss in the present volume, they will find throughout fresh veins of representation and illustration, the result of fresh labour and research.

In St. Mark’s Gospel, moreover, there 1s a pervading peculiarity of phraseology, (inartificial indeed, yet idiosyncratic,) which to the lover of delicate tints and flickers of presentation affords a continual incentive to fresh investigation. Hence, in truth, much of the charm, as also much of the difficulty, in expounding St. Mark. The charm is intensified if the conviction can be substantiated, (as it undoubtedly can, provided the sum of the existing evidence be impartially weighed,) that St. Peter’s teaching within the circle of the early catechumens was the chief fountainhead from which St. Mark drew the substance and even the minutiae of his Gospel. The flicker of St. Peter’s subjective conceptions is thus passing before us as we read. It is a fact fitted to stimulate. We feel as if we should not like to let slip any of that subtle essence, or quintessence, of mind which made the primary observations of the chief of the Lord’s personal attendants distinctive as well as distinct, and his subsequent reminiscences and representations invariably vivid and frequently picturesque.

Whether attributable to St. Peter’s tenacity of memory, or to that unique element in his dialect which made his manner of speech, like that of every other original mind, peculiarly his own, or whether merely attributable to the reproductive idiosyncrasy of the writer, ‘vexed expressions’ abound in St. Mark, and give ample scope for patient, yet exciting, research.

Pages ix-x

Cambridge Greek Testament: Hebrews by Alexander Nairne

Alexander Nairne [1863-1936], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

A commentary on the Greek text of Hebrews in the Cambridge New Testament for Schools and Colleges series by Alexander Nairne. It is worth oting that the author devotes a considerable space in the introduction to the theology of Hebrews.

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

Alexander Nairne [1863-1936], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922. Hbk. pp.141. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. Plan and analysis of the epistle
    2. History of the reception, criticism and interpretation of the epistle
    3. The theology of the epistle
    4. The text of the epistle
    5. The style of the epistle
  • The Greek Text
  • Notes
  • Index of Contents

Disussion of authorship

That no doubt had already struck Luther when he conjectured Apollos as the author. Possibly Luther, and the modems who have accepted his conjecture, read more into the few lines in which .Apollos is described (Acts xviii. 24 f.) than is really to be found there. The conjecture is not supported by tradition. Harnack’s idea that Priscilla was the authoress is a development from Luther’s inference. Blass in the short preface to his rythmical text pays no attention to the philosophical colouring, and accepts the Barnabas tradition, because Barnabas as a Levite would have been familiar with the cadences of the Greek Psalter. Barnabas is the only name which can be connected with anything like a. real tradition. Scholarship is more respectful to tradition of late. It is felt that there are few fresh starts in thought; tradition generally lies behind, and what seems to be tradition is at least to be respectfully examined. That is the spirit of a book which has not yet been so carefully criticised as it deserves. Mr Edmundson thinks Hebrews was written to Judaeo-Christians in Rome by Barnabas in 66 A.D. S. Paul was still living; had been released from his captivity; and at the close of the same year was himself in Rome, again in prison and soon to die. I Peter had been already written and is quoted in Hebrews. The Apocalypse was written three years later, at the beginning of A.D. 70. Early in the same year, A.D. 70, Clement, a younger brother of M. Arrecinus Clemens and the same Clement as is named in Phil. iv., gave literary expression to the message from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth ; he was not yet the official head of the Roman Church. That is a consistent view of our epistle and the other epistles that are related to it. Without necessarily adopting the whole of it, we may at least welcome the support Mr Edmundson gives to the early date of Hebrews. That judgement is hardly fashionable at present, but, as will presently be shown, it does fit many important characteristics of the epistle.

As for the author’s name, that search may as well be given up. The Barnabas tradition only emerges for a moment or two and is lost in darkness on either side. The other names proposed, Luke, Clement, Apollos, Silas, Philip the deacon, Aristion – one writer has even suggested S. Peter – are mere conjectures; some of which are surely impossible. That there should be one letter in the New Testament which was not written by any person who happens to be mentioned in the other books, is quite in accordance with the analogies of literary history. It may be added, though not as an argument, that our interest in the apostolic Church and our reverence for its rich inspiration would be increased hereby. The character, education and to a large extent the circumstances of the author may be gathered from the letter itself. The mere precision of a name would not illuminate the background very much….

Pages iv-lvii

Cambridge Greek Testament: Galatians by A. Lukyn Williams

Arthur Lukyn Williams [1853-1943], The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians with Introduction and Notes

This is a basic commentary on the Greek text of Galatians, written for Schools and Colleges and should be of great assistance to those learning Greek. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain work for digitisation.

Arthur Lukyn Williams [1853-1943], The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. Hbk. pp.160. [Click here to visit the download page for this book]

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. The History of the Galatians and of the Province of Galatia
    2. The Galatians of the Epistle: Who were they?
    3. The Galatians of the Epistle: Who were they? (continued)
    4. The Time of Writing
    5. The danger to which the Galatians were exposed, and the manner in which St Paul met it
    6. The permanent value of the Epistle
    7. The Canonicity of the Epistle
    8. The Text
    9. A Plan of the Epistle
    10. Commentaries, etc.
    11. Chronology of part of St Paul’s life
  • Text
  • Notes
  • Appendix
    • Note A: The term “Arabia” in the Epistle
    • Note B: ii. 1–10 in relation to Ac. xv. 4–29
    • Note C: Legal customs mentioned in the Epistle
    • Note D: Archbishop Temple on iii. 20
    • νόμος and ὁ νόμος
    • πνεῡμα and τό πνεῡμα
  • Indices
    • General
    • Greek
    • Scriptural
  • Map

Preface

The same methods have been adopted in the preparation of the following Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians as in that of the volume on the Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, viz. first, the independent use of concordance and grammar, and only afterwards the examination of commentaries and other aids.

The difficulties of the Epistle are not of the same kind as those of Colossians and Philemon. There (especially in Colossians) many strange words which in after years acquired highly technical meanings had to be considered; here rather historical circumstances and Jewish modes of thought.

The former of these unfortunately are still far from certain. Even the district intended by Galatia is doubtful, and the discussion of it is often conducted with more warmth than its importance warrants. Personally I greatly regret that I am unable to accept the very attractive theory presented with so much brilliancy of expression and originality of thought by Sir William Ramsay, viz. that the Churches of Galatia to w horn St Paul here writes are those whose origin is described at length in Acts xiii. and xiv. Its fundamental presupposition is that, as St Paul’s plan of campaign was to win the Roman Empire for Christ by seizing strategic points, he would not have visited so outlying a part as Northern Galatia. Hence if the Acts and our Epistle, backed up though they are by the consensus of Patristic evidence, appear to say that he did do so, this can be only in appearance not in fact. But I confess that the more I study the arguments adduced against the prima facie meaning of the passages in question the less they impress me, and, in particular, all attempts to date the Epistle on what may be called the Southern theory appear to me to fail. I therefore find myself reluctantly compelled to adhere to the older opinion that the Epistle was written to the Churches of North Galatia, at a date between the writing of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians and the Epistle to the Romans.

Of more permanent interest is the revelation in this Epistle of St Paul’s training in Jewish modes of thought and exegesis. These indeed may be traced in every book of the N.T. (though the words and phrases due to them are often grossly misunderstood by friend and foe), but here they obtrude themselves on the most careless of readers. No one but a Jew accustomed to Rabbinic subtlety would have thought of the argument of the curse (iii. 13, 14), or of the seed (iii. 16), or even of Sarah and Hagar (iv. 21- 27). These and other examples in our Epistle of the working of Paul’s mind ought perhaps to have given more stimulus to the study of his mental equipment than has been the case.

Far more important however in our Epistle than either of these two rather academic subjects is its insistence upon the true character of the Gospel. St Paul opposed, with all the warmth of knowledge bought by experience, the supposition that Christ came only to reform Judaism, to open its door more widely to the Gentiles, or to attract them by the substitution of another Law of commands and ordinances for that to which they had been accustomed as heathen. It is the verdict of history that his efforts, though successful for the moment, have to a great extent been a failure….

Pages iv-v