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.

New Testament for Schools – St Luke – A.R. Witham

Arthur Richard Witham [1863-1930], The Gospel According to Luke. The New Testament For Schools

The New Testament for Schools, St Luke, provides a very basic introduction and commentary on the text of the Revised Version.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation. I hope make more of this series available in due course.

Arthur Richard Witham [1863-1930], The Gospel According to Luke. The New Testament For Schools. London: Rivingtons, 1922. Hbk. pp.248. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Prefatory note
  • St Luke and His Gospel
  • Palestine and its People
  • Messianic Prophecies
  • Synopsis of St Luke’s Gospel
  • Text of St. Luke in the Revised Version, With Notes
  • Index

St Luke and His Gospel

The Third of the Synoptic Gospels is universally ascribed to St. Luke, the auto.or also of the Acts of the Apostles, and possibly (according to one early conjecture) of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Greek form of his name, Lucas, is perhaps a diminutive of the Roman name Lucanus. Our knowledge of him is derived almost entirely from a few allusions in the N.T. and from deductions drawn from these.

St. Paul in Colossians iv. 14 (written at Rome during his first imprisonment about A.D. 59 or 60) speaks of Luke as one of those with him who send greetings. His name comes after those who are described as being “of the circumcision,” i.e. Jews by birth, from which we gather that Luke was a Gentile. St. Paul calls him “the beloved physician,” and there are frequent traces in the Gospel and the Acts of Luke’s medical interest and knowledge, and his use of correct medical terminology. In the companion epistle, to Philemon, Luke is again mentioned as “a fellow-worker.” And in St. Paul’s last Epistle, 2 Timothy (iv. 11), Luke appears as the only one of his friends who had remained faithful during the great apostle’s second imprisonment: “only Luke is with me.” From St. Luke’s introduction to the Gospel (see notes, i. 1-4) it is gathered that he had not personally been a follower of Jesus Christ, but had received the faith from others, who had been eyewitnesses. Possibly St. Paul him- self had been the instrument of St. Luke’s conversion, but this is not very probable. But both Scriptures and tradition shew him as the close friend and fellow-worker of St. Paul for many years.

In the record of St. Paul’s travels in the Acts, it is gathered from certain passages where “we” is used instead of “they “; that he joined the apostle at Troas in the course of the second missionary journey (Acts xvi. 10); and again accompanied him to Jerusalem (Acts xx. 6-xxi. 18) and also to Rome, in his voyage and shipwreck and his final arrival (Acts xxvii.xxviii. 16). The use of “we” on the second journey stops at Philippi, and is resumed from that place, on the journey to Jerusalem, from which it seems probable that St. Luke had been left in charge of the newly-founded Church of the Philippians, where he remained for some six years. He has been by many identified with the unnamed “brother whose praise in the Gospel is spread through all the churches” (2 Cor. viii. 18). Possibly also it is he whom St. Paul addresses as “true yokefellow” in writing to the Philippian Church (Phil. iv. 3)…

Pages ix-x

Practical Commentary on Mark by James Morison

Westminster Commentaries: Job by Edgar Gibson 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