« PrécédentContinuer »
THE HOLY BIBLE
BY VARIOUS WRITERS
THE REV. J. R. DUMMELOW M.A.
QUEENS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME
WITH GENERAL ARTICLES AND MAPS
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
Ew words will suffice to explain the purpose and plan of the present volume, ch has been specially written to meet the wants of the ordinary Bible reader. The Bible is the inspired record of God's gradual revelation of Himself, His ure, Character, and Will, a revelation made in the first instance to a people were chosen to be the guardians of this treasure and to communicate it in time to the rest of mankind,-a revelation consummated in the Person, Life, Work of Jesus Christ. In this light it is regarded by at least a third of the an race, who have accepted it as a sure guide through time to eternity. It efore demands and deserves constant and reverent study, which will be richly id by an ever-growing appreciation of its beauties, and a clearer perception s spiritual power and truth.
Yet it is often forgotten that 1800 years have elapsed since the last pages of Bible were written, that it deals with events of the remote past, with races ed by ideas and influenced by a civilisation very unlike our own, and that the uage of its larger half has ceased to be a living speech for more than two sand years. Even the translation which is in common use the Authorised on was made 300 years ago, at a time when Christian scholars had only become conversant with Hebrew, and when no one thought of employing for al purposes those ancient Versions, such as the Septuagint, which throw so much on both text and interpretation. It is also only within recent years that llers have familiarised themselves and others with Eastern scenes and customs, have become acquainted with the literature, history, religion and archæology e nations connected with Israel.
t is therefore evident that the reader who possesses only the text of the is greatly hampered by ignorance of the circumstances under which the various books were originally composed, the mental habits of the people to whom they were addressed, and the actual needs which they were designed to meet. Oftentimes he fails to realise that the prophecy, psalm, or epistle was sent forth in response to contemporary circumstances, as urgent and vital as any we experience. Hence arises an inadequate apprehension of the intense reality of the message delivered. Spiritual help may, no doubt, be derived from its perusal that being the main purpose for which God's providence has preserved it, -but even this will be less efficacious than if there had been caught a more distinct echo of the original bearing and significance of the record.
The One Volume Commentary is an attempt to meet such needs as have been indicated, and to provide, in convenient form, a brief explanation of the meaning of the Scriptures. Introductions have been supplied to the various books, and Notes which will help to explain the principal difficulties, textual, moral or doctrinal, which may arise in connexion with them. A series of Articles has, also, been prefixed, dealing with the larger questions suggested by the Bible as a whole. It is hoped that the Commentary may lead to a perusal of many of the books of Holy Scripture which are too often left unread, in spite of their rare literary charm and abundant usefulness for the furtherance of the spiritual life.
The Authorised Version has been commented on as being still in general use, but pains have been taken to indicate the innumerable passages where the Revised Version leads to a better understanding of the original.
In recent years much light has been thrown upon questions of authorship and interpretation, and the contributors to this volume have endeavoured to incorporate in it the most assured results of modern scholarship, whilst avoiding opinions of an extreme or precarious kind. Sometimes these results differ from traditional views, but in such cases it is not only hoped, but believed, that the student will find the spiritual value and authority of the Bible have been enhanced, rather than diminished, by the change.
The Editor desires to express his gratitude to the many well-known biblical scholars who have responded so readily to his appeal for help, and by their encouragement and contributions have made the production of the Commentary possible. He regrets that the problem of space, which has confronted him from beginning to end, has allowed him to assign to them only sufficient room for the briefest and simplest treatment of their several books.
For the conception and methods of the work the Editor is alone responsible. He has been induced to undertake the task from a belief that, notwithstanding the many commentaries in existence, there is still room for another more suited to the needs and means of the general public. To treat so vast a subject in so small a space must inevitably evoke criticism, but he trusts that even within the limits of a single volume, much will be found to remove difficulties, to strengthen faith, and to lead to a wider study and fuller comprehension of the Word of God.