Introduction to Bible Commentary

The Bible is the Word of God!

How many times have we heard this proclaimed from Bible-preaching pulpits, and mocked from Bible-doubting pulpits? Yet here it is – it’s in our homes, it’s in hotel rooms; it’s the most quoted book in the western world, even by those that are its critics. It’s the “elephant in the room”. And it’s not going away any time soon. In fact, as long as there is time, the Bible will be here.

For those of us that claim to believe the Bible, it is of utmost importance that we get some measure of understanding of it.

It’s very important for Christians, no matter where they are in their development, to have some understanding of theology as a SYSTEM. I believe that the key to understanding individual bible verses is understanding how they fit into the larger picture – the “system”, as it were. One can only grow so far on word definitions and grammar.

There are many systematic theology books available on line. One of my favorites is John Gill’s “A COMPLETE BODY OF DOCTRINAL AND PRACTICAL DIVINITY”. I also like “Manual of Theology” by J.L. Dagg. Other systematic theology books, which I have not used myself, but have been highly recommended, are (authors listed only): Grudem, Bancroft, Burkhoff, Cheung, Boice, and a host of other excellent works that can be found at http://www.monergismbooks.com/.

Much of what I do herr will be owing to the work of John Gill, mentioned above, his commentary on the whole bible being my favorite commentary. It is also available free on line at www.monergism.com. I encourage anyone to use his commentary as an addition to mine to get more detailed knowledge of the Bible.  Mr. Gill relates many scriptures to the writings of the Jewish Rabinical traditions to shed historical light on passages.  I will not always agree with Mr. Gill, especially in the area of the millinial kingdom and the final judgement, yet there will be times that my own comments will be a mere mimicry of his, roughly re-arranged into modern English.

I will begin with the book of John. Where else would I start!

So many times Christians have determined to read there Bibles, and having opened to Genesis 1:1, began reading, and after having read maybe a few pages, closed the book and gave up. Now don’t take me wrong – I could very well begin my commentary in Genesis and be completely satisfied that not one second of my time would be wasted. In fact, as you will see, I will immediately, upon opening John 1:1, refer back to Genesis 1:1 for our understanding. But I begin with John because it is the first book that should be understood by Christians. I say this adamantly, without reservation. The next to John is Romans. This order is important because John give us a more basic understanding of who God is, who the Son is, who the Holy Spirit is, and how God saves people from their sins. Romans does this same thing in greater detail, and is written at a higher level of understanding. If one understands John, then we can’t go astray in Romans.

Well, next time, it’s on to the Gospel of John and the actual commentary.

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