Cambridge Greek Testament Commentary on John by Alfred Plummer

lfred Plummer [1841-1926], The Gospel According to John with Maps, Notes and Introduction

The Cambridge Greek Testament Commentary series was written for students learning Greek in Schools and Colleges in the United Kingdom. I plan to make the rest of the series available as I get access to hard copies. The notes on the Greek text in this volume are by Alfred Plummer. Plummer wrote commentaries on most of the books of the New Testament, including the International Critical Commentaries on Luke and 2 Corinthians. A list of other books by this author hosted on this site can be found here.

My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation. The maps at the end of the commentary are particularly nice.

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], The Gospel According to John with Maps, Notes and Introduction. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913. Hbk. pp.382. [Click to visit the download page for this book]

Table of Contents

  • Preface by the General Editor
  • On the Greek Text
  • Introduction
    1. The Life of S. John
    2. The Authenticity of the Gospel
    3. The Place and Date
    4. The Object and Plan
    5. The Characteristics of the Gospel
    6. Its Relation to the Synoptic Gospels
    7. Its Relation to the First Epistle
    8. The Text of the Gospel
    9. The Literature of the Gospel – Analysis of the Gospel in Detail
  • Text and Notes
  • Appendices
  • Maps

The Life of St John

The life of S. John falls naturally into two divisions, the limits of which correspond to the two main sources of information respecting him. (1) From his birth to the departure from Jerusalem after tho Ascension; the sources for which are contained in N.T. (2) From the departure from Jerusalem to his death; the sources for which are the traditions of the primitive Church. In both cases the notices of S. John are fragmentary, and cannot be woven together into anything like a complete whole without a good deal of conjecture. But the fragments are in the main very harmonious, and contain definite traits and characteristics, enabling us to form a portrait, which though imperfect is unique.

(i) Before the Departure from Jerusalem.

The date of S. John’s birth cannot be determined. He was probably younger than his Master and than the other Apostles. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, who was probably the older of the two. Zebedee was a fisherman of the lake of Galilee, who seems to have lived in or near Bethsaida (i. 44), and was well enough off to have hired servants (Mark i. 20). He appears only once in the Gospel-narrative (Matt. iv. 21, 22; Mark i. 19, 20), but is mentioned frequently as the father of S. James and S. John. Salome (see on xix. 25) was probably the sister of the Virgin, and in that case S. John was our Lord’s first cousin. This relationship harmonizes well with the special intimacy granted to the beloved disciple by his Lord, with the fact of S. James also being among the chosen three, and with the final committal of the Virgin to S. John’s care. Salome was one of those women who followed Christ and ‘ministered to Him of their substance’ (Mark xv. 40; comp. Matt. xxvii. 55 ; Luke viii. 3). This was probably after Zebedee’s death. S. John’s parents, therefore, would seem to have been people of means; and it is likely from xix. 27 that the Apostle himself was fairly well off, a conclusion to which his acquaintance with the high-priest (xviii. 15) also points.


F.F. Bruce on the Scriptures and the Christian Faith

The Scriptures

In this little-known article within a Symposium presenting key elements of the Christian Faith, F.F. Bruce writes on the importance of the Scriptures for the Christian. I came across this at Book Aid and noted that it was not included in many of the standard bibliographies of Bruce’s works. My thanks to F.F. Bruce Copyright International for this kind permission to digitise and host it.

F.F. Bruce, “The Scriptures,” Frederick A. Tatford, ed., The Faith. A Symposium. London: Pickering & Inglis Ltd., 1952. Hbk. pp.13-27. [Click to download this article as a PDF]

Three hundred years ago the Assembly of Divines at Westminster introduced their best-known summary of Christian doctrine, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, with the following three propositions: (1) ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever’; (2) ‘The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him’; (3) ‘The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.’

If it be true, as these three propositions declare, that the Bible is the only means by which we can know and achieve the true purpose of our being, then no special argument is needed to justify giving a statement of the Bible’s authority a prominent place in a symposium on the Christian faith. For the Holy Spirit speaking through the Bible is acknowledged by us, in common with all heirs of the Protestant Reformation, as the supreme judge by whom all questions of doctrine are to be adjudicated, and as the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

It might have been expected a priori that if God wished to communicate a knowledge of His will and character to men He might have done so in a series of propositions. But in fact He has not done so. We may draw up statements of doctrine and confessions of faith, article by article in logical sequence, and base them firmly on the Bible; but the Bible itself does not take this form. At first glance, the Bible is seen to fall into two parts of unequal length, known respectively by the not very illuminating names of the Old Testament and the New Testament. But if for the misleading word Testament we substitute the word Covenant, and then think of the Bible as divided into the Books of the Old Covenant and the Books of the New Covenant, we shall come to a much closer realization of what the Bible is. It is, in fact, a record of God’s revelation of Himself among men, culminating in the incarnation, death and exaltation of Jesus Christ His Son, and intimately bound up with the relations established by God with His covenant-people-the nation of Israel in earlier times, and the Christian community in the new age which was inaugurated by Christ. There is an organic unity between these two groups of people, in that Jesus (who i-s the very embodiment of God’s revelation) is both Israel’s Messiah and Head of the Christian Church, while His first followers represent both the last faithful remnant of the old covenant-people and the nucleus of the new covenant people….

Pages 13-14.

Commentary on St Matthew by M.F. Sadler

Michael Ferrebee Sadler [1819-1895], The Gospel to St Matthew with Notes Critical and Practical, 2nd edn.

Rev Michael Ferrebee Sadler [1819-1895] provides a fairly detailed commentary on the English text of Matthew’s Gospel.

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

Michael Ferrebee Sadler [1819-1895], The Gospel to St Matthew with Notes Critical and Practical, 2nd edn. London: George Bell & Sons, 1901. Hbk. pp.494. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  1. Preface to Second Edition
  2. Introduction
  3. Commentary
  4. Excursus I. The Genealogies
  5. Excursus II. The Star of the Magi
  6. Excursus III. The Primacy of St. Peter

Introduction. 1. The Origin and Sources of the Four Gospels

The account of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which has come down to us in the Four Gospels, was not at the first given to the Church in a. written form, but was taught orally by the preaching of the Apostles. Thus in the notice of the first Church-that which was founded in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost-it is said of those who belonged to it, that they “continued stedfastly in the Apostles’ teaching,” or “doctrine,” though no Gospel was written till many years afterwards.

Throughout the history of the planting of the Christian Church in various cities and countries, which we have in the Acts of the Holy Apostles-an account covering at least thirty years-we have no mention of any book from which the first Christians were taught respecting the Son of God.

That book of the New Testament which almost all agree in considering the first put into writing is the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, and throughout that Epistle it is taken for granted that the members of the local Church, for whose sake it was written, had been instructed in all needful truth, and only required to be reminded of what they had learnt.

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