Charles Buck Theological Dictionary 
An exposition, book of annotations or remarks.
There are some people so wise in their own conceit, and think human helps of so little worth, that they despise commentaries on the Scriptures altogether: but every student or preacher whose business is to explain the sacred oracles, to make known the mind of God to others, to settle cases of conscience, to oppose the sophistry of sceptics, and to confound the arguments of infidels, would do well to avail himself of the most judicious, clear, copious, critical, and sound commentaries on the Bible. Nor can I suppose that commentaries can be useless to the common people, for though a spirit of serious enquiry, with a little good sense, will go a great way in understanding the Bible, yet as the language is often figurative, as allusions are made to ancient customs, and some parts require more investigation than many common Christians have time for, a plain exposition certainly must be useful. Expositions of the Bible, however, may be made a bad use of. He who takes the word of a commentator, without ever examining whether the meaning given comport with the text? he who gives himself no trouble to investigate the Scripture for himself, but takes occasion to be indolent, because others have laboured for him, surely does wrong.
Nor can it be said that those preachers use them properly, who, in making their sermons, form their plans from the commentator before they have thought upon the text. Perhaps the best way is to follow our own talents; first, by prayer, study, and attention to form our scheme, and then to examine the opinions of others concerning it. We will here present the reader with a view of some of those commentaries which are the most generally approved. And, 1st in my opinion, Henry takes the lead for common utility. The sprightly notes, the just inferences, the original thoughts, and the warm applications to the conscience, makes this work justly admired. It is true that there are some expressions which do not agree with the evangelic system; but, as the late Mr. Rylan observes, "'Tis impossible for a person of piety and taste to read him without wishing to be shut out from all the world to read him through without one moment's interruption.
1. Mr. Henry did not live to complete this work. He went as far as the end of Acts. Romans was done by Dr. Evans; the 1st Corinthians, Sam. Brown; 2d Corinthians, Dr. Mayo; Galatians, Mr. Bayes; Ephesians, Mr. Boswell; Philippians, Mr. Harris; Colossians, Mr. Harris; 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Mr. Mayo; 1 and 2 Timothy, Mr. Atkinson; Titus, Jer. Smith; Philemon, Mr. Mottershead; Hebrews, Mr. Tong; James, Mr. Wright; 1 Peter, Mr. Hill; 2 Peter, Mr. Morril; 1, 2, and 3 John, Mr. Reynolds; Jude, Mr. Billingsley; and Revelations by Mr. Tong.
2. Pooli Synopsis Criticorum, 5 folio volumes. This is a valuable work, and ought to be in the possession of every student: it is much esteemed abroad, three editions of it having been published on the continent.
3. Poole's Annotations, a rich and useful work. These were printed at London in 1685, in two volumes, folio. Poole did not complete this work himself. Mr. Jackson, of Moulsey, it the author of the annotations of the 59th and 60th chap. of Isaiah. Dr. Collings drew up the notes on the rest of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations, as also those on the four Evangelists, the two epistles to the Corinthians, and that to the Galatians.
Those to Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and the Revelation, Ezekiel, and the minor Prophets, were done by Mr. Hurst, Daniel by Mr. Cooper; the Acts by Mr. Vinke; the Epistle to the Romans by Mr. Mayo; the Ephesians, Mr. Veale; the Philippians and Colossians, Mr. Adams; the Hebrews, Mr. Obadiah Hughes; the epistle of St. James, the two of St. Peter, and that of Jude, by Mr. Veale; the three epistles of St. John by Mr. Howe.
4. Dr. Gill's, in 9 vol. quarto, is an immense work; and though it contain a good deal of repetition and extraneous matter, there is certainly a vast fund of information together with evangelical sentiment.
5. Brown's Self-interpreting Bible, in 2 vol. quarto. Its chief excellencies are the marginal references, which are exceedingly useful to preachers; and the close, plain, and practical improvement to each chapter.
6. Scott's Exposition is truly excellent. It abounds with practical remarks, and the last edition contains the marginal references. The improvements are also very useful for families.
7. Dr. Adam Clarke's commentary, with critical notes, and marginal references, possess considerable merit, and will be found a valuable treasure for the Biblical student.
On the New Testament
1. Burkitt contains many ingenious observations, fine turns, natural plans, and pungent addresses to the conscience. There are some expressions, however, that grate upon the ear of the evangelical Christian.
2. Guyse's Paraphrase is deservedly held in high estimation for sound doctrine, fair explication, and just sentiment.
3. Doddridge's Family Expositor. the criticisms in this work render it valuable. It must be owned that the doctor laboured to come as near as possible to the true sense of the text.
4. Bezae Annotationes, in quibus ratio interpretationis redditur; accessit etiam J. Camerarii in novem foedus commentarius, fol. Cantab. 1642, contains, besides the old Latin version, Beza's own version; and in the side margin is given a summary of the passage, and in the argumentative parts the connection.
5. Wolfii Curae Philologicae, & Criticae, in Omnes Libros, Nov. Test. 5 vols. 4to. 1739, Hamb. Basil, 1741. This is in a great measure a compilation after the manner of Poole's Synopsis, but interspersed with his own critical animadversions.
6. Bengelii Gnomon Nov. Test. 4to. Tubingae, 1759, and Ulmae, 1763, contains an instructive preface, a perspicuous analysis of each book, with short notes. It is a perfect contrast to that of Wolfius.
7. Raphelii annotationes in S. Scripturam, &c. is an attempt to illustrate the Holy Scriptures from the classical Greek historians, Xenophon, Polybius, Arrian, and Herodotus.
8. Hammond's Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the books of the New Testament, folio.
9. Whitby's Paraphrase and commentary on New Test. 2. vol. fol.
10. Wesley's Explanatory Notes, 4to or 3 vol. 12mo. Of different translations, see article Bible
Commentators on Select Parts.
1. Ainsworth on the Pentateuch, Psalms, and Song of Solomon.
2. Patrick's Commentaries on the Historical Parts of the Holy Scriptures, 3 vol.
3. Lightfoot's Works, 2 vol. fol. contain a chronicle of the times, and the order of the text of the Old Testament. The harmony, chronicled, and order of the New Testament; the harmony of the four Evangelists; a commentary on the Acts; Horae Hebraicae, &c. on the four Evangelists, Acts 1:1-26 Corinthians.
4. Chrysostomi Opera, 8 vol. fol. contain expositions of various parts.
5. Calvini Opera Omnia, 9 vol. contain commentaries on the Pentateuch, Joshua, homilies on Samuel, sermons on Job, commentaries on Psalms, Isaiah, Evangelists, Acts, Paul's epistles, and the other Catholic epistles; an praelectiones on Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets.
6. Lowth on the Prophets.
7. Pocock on some of the Minor Prophets.
8. Locke on Paul's epistles.
9. Hutcheson on the Smaller Prophets.
10. Newcome on Ezekiel and Minor Prophets.
11. Macknight's Harmony of the Gospel, and Literal Translation of all the Apostolical Epistles, with Commentary and Notes.
12. Campbell's Translation of the Gospels, with Notes and Dissertations.
On Select Books.
1. Caryll, 2 vol. fol.
2. Hutchinson, 1669, fol.
3. Peters's Critical Dissertation on Book of Job.
On the Psalms:
1. Molleri Enarr. Psalm. fol. 1619.
2. Hammond's Paraphrase.
3. Amesii Lectiones in Omnes Psalmos, Oct. 1636.
5. Horne's Commentary.
On Select Psalms:
1. Hildersham's 152 Lectures on Psalms 51:1-19 :
2. Decoetlogon's Serm. on Psalms 51:1-19 :
3. Greenham on Psalms 119:1-176 :
4. Manton on Psalms 119:1-176 :
5. Owen on Psalms 130:1-8 :
6. Luther on the 15 Psalms of Degrees.
7. Horton on Psalms 4:1-8; 42: 51, 62:
Dr. Mayer, Taylor, io. Trapp.
Broughton, Wardlaw, Jermyn.
Bp. Foliot, Mercier, Sanchez, Bossnet, Cocceius, Dr. James, Ainsworth, Durham, Bishop Hall, Bishop Patrick, Dove, Trapp, Jackson, Dr. Collings, Dr. Gill, Dr. Percy, Harmer, Dr. Durell; but the most recent, and perhaps the best, is Wiliam's new translation with commentary, &c. where the reader will find a list of other names who have translated and written on parts of this book.
Vitringa, Lowth, M'Culloch.
Willet's Hexapla, fol. Sir Isaac Newton on Prophecies of Daniel.
Burroughs, Bishop Horsley's translation, with explanatory notes.
Of the other Minor Prophets, see Commentaries on Select Parts.
See above, and article HARMONY. Also Hildersham on John 4:1-54 : fol.
Burgess on John 17:1-26 : Manton on John 17:1-26 :
Luther, Ferguson, Perkins.
Byfield, Davenant, Elton.
Dr. Thomas Taylor.
Leighton, and N. Byfield on the first three chapters.
Hardy on 1 Epistle, and Hawkins on the three Epistles of John.
Jenkins, Manton, Otes.
Mede, Daubuz, Brightman, Peganius, Waple, Robertson, Vitringa, Pyle, Goodwin, Lowman, Sir Isaac Newton, Durham, Cradock, Dr. H. Moore, Bishop Newton, Dr. Bryce Johnston.
As this article may be consulted for the purpose of obtaining information as to the best helps for understanding the Scriptures, we may add to the above:
Jacobi Elsner, Observat, Sacrae; Alberti Observ. Philolog.; Lamberti Bos, Exercitat. Philolog.; Lamberti Bos, Observat. Miscell. fortuita Sacra. These, together with Wolfius and Raphelius, before mentioned, says Dr. Doddridge, are books which I cannot but recommend to my young friends, as proper not only to ascertain the sense of a variety of words and phrases which occur in the apostolic writings, but also to form them to the most useful method of studying the Greek classics; those great masters of solid sense, elegant expression, just and lively painting, and masculine eloquence, to the neglect of which I cannot but ascribe that enervate, dissolute, and puerile manner of writing, which is growing so much on the present age, and will probably consign so many of its productions to speedy oblivion.
See also books recommended under articles Bible, Scriptures
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
COMMENTARY ( 2 Chronicles 13:22; 2 Chronicles 24:27 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ). The Heb. ( midrash ) has been adopted into English. But the Midrash is not exactly what we understand by a commentary; it is ‘an imaginative development of a thought or theme suggested by Scripture, especially a didactic or homiletic exposition, or an edifying religious story’ (Driver).
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): (v. i.) A brief account of transactions or events written hastily, as if for a memorandum; - usually in the plural; as, Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War.
(2): (v. i.) A series of comments or annotations; esp., a book of explanations or expositions on the whole or a part of the Scriptures or of some other work.
King James Dictionary 
1. A comment exposition explanation illustration of difficult and obscure passages in an author. 2. A book of comments or annotations. 3. A historical narrative a memoir or particular transactions, as the commentaries of Cesar.
COMMENTARY, To write notes upon.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( Ὑπομνηματισμός , Lat. Commentarii . 2 Maccabees 2:13), BIBLICAL (see Carpenter's Guide To The Study Of The Bible pt. 1, ch. 3. sec. 1-4; Davidson, in Horne's Introd . new ed. 2:377-385; M. Stuart in the Am. Bib. Repos . 3. 130 sq.). (See Interpretation).
I. Definition . — By Commentary , in its theological application, is usually meant an exhibition of the meaning which the sacred writers intended to convey; or a development of the truths which the Holy Spirit willed to communicate to men for their saving enlightenment. This is usually effected by notes more or less extended — by a series of remarks, critical, philological, grammatical, or popular, whose purport is to bring out into view the exact sentiments which the inspired authors meant to express. It is true that this can only be imperfectly done, owing to the various causes by which every language is affected; but the substance of revelation may be adequately embodied in a great variety of garb.
(1.) The Characteristics of commentary are:
(a.) An elucidation of the meaning belonging to the words, phrases, and idioms of the original. The signification of a term is generic or specific. A variety of significations also belongs to the same term, according to the position it occupies. Now a commentary points out the particular meaning belonging to a term in a particular place, together with the reason of its bearing such a sense. So with phraseso It should likewise explain the construction of sentences, the peculiarities of the diction employed, the difficulties belonging to certain combinations of words, and the mode in which they affect the general meaning.
(b.) Another characteristic of commentary is an exhibition of the writer's scope, or the end he has in view in a particular place. Every particle and word, every phrase and sentence, forms a link in the chain of reasoning drawn out by an inspired author — a step in the progress of his holy revelations. A commentary should thus exhibit the design of a writer in a certain connection-the arguments he employs to establish his positions, their coherence with one another, their general harmony, and the degree of importance assigned to them.
(c.) In addition to this, the train of thought or reasoning pursued throughout an entire book or epistle, the various topics discussed, the great end of the whole, with the subordinate particulars it embraces, the digressions made by the writer — these, and other particulars of a like nature, should be pointed out by the true commentator. The connection of one argument with another, the consistency and ultimate bearing of all the statements advanced — in short, their various relations, as far as these are developed or intimated by the author, should be clearly apprehended and intelligently stated.
(d.) Another characteristic of commentary is, that it presents a comparison of the sentiments contained in one book, or one entire connected portion of Scripture, with those of another, and with the general tenor of revelation. A beautiful harmony pervades the Bible. Diversities, indeed, it exhibits, just as we should expect it a priori to do; it presents difficulties and mysteries which we cannot fathom, but with this variety there is a uniformity worthy of the wisdom of God. A commentator should therefore be able to account for diversities of sentiment, in reference to the same topic, that appear in the pages of books written at different periods, and addressed to individuals or communities whose circumstances, intellectual and physical, were dissimilar. Without it religious truth will be seen in disjointed fragments; no connected system, compact and harmonious in its parts, will meet the eye.
(2.) From what has been stated in regard to the constituents of commentary, it will also be seen that it differs from Translation . The latter endeavors to find in another language equivalent terms expressive of the ideas which the words of the Hebrew and Greek languages were framed to convey. It is easy to see, however, that in many cases this cannot be done, and that in others it can be effected very imperfectly. There are and must be a thousand varieties of conception expressed in the original languages of Scripture, of which no other can afford an adequate representation. The inhabitants of the countries where the sacred books were written lived amid circumstances in many respects diverse from those of other people. These circumstances naturally gave a coloring to their language. They affected it in such a way as to create terms for which there are no equivalents in the languages of tribes who are conversant with different objects, and live amid different relations. In such a case no expedient is left but circumlocution. By the help of several phrases we must try to approximate at least the sentiment or shade of thought which the inspired writers designed to express. Commentary is thus more diffuse than translation. Its object is not to find words in one language corresponding to those of the original languages of the Scriptures, or nearly resembling them in significance, but to set forth the meaning of the writers in notes and remarks of considerable length. Paraphrase occupies a middle place between translation and commentary, partaking of greater diffuseness than the former, but of less extent than the latter. It aims at finding equivalent terms to those which the sacred writers employ, accompanied with others that appear necessary to fill up the sense, or to spread it out before the mind of the reader in such a form as the authors themselves might be supposed to have employed in reference to the people to whom the paraphrast belongs. Scholia differ from commentary only in brevity. They are short notes on passages of Scripture. Sometimes difficult places alone are selected as their object; at other times they embrace continuously an entire book.
II. There are two kinds of commentary which we shall notice, viz. the critical and the popular.
1. The former contains grammatical and philological remarks, unfolds the general and special significations of words, points out idioms and peculiarities of the original languages, and always brings into view the Hebrew or Greek phraseology employed by the sacred writers. It dilates on the peculiarities and difficulties of construction which may present themselves, referring to various readings, and occasionally bringing into comparison the sentiments and diction of profane writers, where they resemble those of the Bible. In a word, it takes a wide range, while it states the processes which lead to results, and shrinks not from employing the technical language common to scholars. Extended dissertations are sometimes given, in which the language is made the direct subject of examination, and the aid of lexicons and grammars called in to support or confirm a certain interpretation.
2. Popular commentary states in perspicuous and untechnical phraseology the sentiments of the holy writers, usually without detailing the steps by which that meaning has been discovered. It leaves philological observations to those whose taste leads them to such studies. All scientific investigations are avoided. Its great object is to present, in an attractive form, the thoughts of the sacred authors, so that they may vividly impress the mind and interest the heart. It avoids every thing that a reader unacquainted with Hebrew and Greek would not understand, and occupies itself solely with the theology of the inspired authors — that holy sense which enlightens and saves mankind. This, however, is rather what popular commentary should do, than what it has hitherto done.
The limits of critical and popular commentary are not so wide as to prevent a partial union of both. Their ultimate object is the same, viz. to present the exact meaning which the Holy Spirit intended to express. Both may state the import of words and phrases; both may investigate the course of thought pursued by prophets and apostles. They may develop processes of argumentation, the scope of the writers' remarks, the bearing of each particular on a certain purpose, and the connection between different portions of Scripture. Yet there is much difficulty in combining their respective qualities. In popularizing the critical, and in elevating the popular to the standard of intelligent interpretation, there is room for the exercise of great talent. The former is apt to degenerate into philological sterility, the latter into trite reflection. But by vivifying the one, and solidifying the other, a good degree of affinity would be effected. Critical and antiquarian knowledge should only be regarded as a means of arriving at the truth taught. Geographical, chronological, and historical remarks should solely subserve the educement or confirmation of Jehovah's will.
III. The prominent Defects of existing commentaries. —
1. Prolixity . This defect chiefly applies to the older works; hence their great size. It is not uncommon to meet with a large folio volume of commentary on a book of Scripture of moderate extent. Thus Byfield, on the Epistle To The Colossians , fills a folio volume; and Venema, on Jeremiah , two quartos. Peter Martyr's " Most Learned And Fruitful Commentaries Upon The Epistle To The Romans " occupy a folio, and his " Commentaries Upon The Book Of Judges " another tome of the same extent. But Venema on the Psalms, and Caryl on Job, are still more extravagant, the former extending to no less than six volumes quarto, the latter to two goodly folios. It is almost superfluous to remark that such writers wander away, without confining themselves to exposition. We do not deny that even their extraneous matter may be good and edifying to those who have the patience to wade through its labyrinths, but still it is not commentary. It is very easy to write, currente calamo, any thing however remotely connected with a passage, or to note down the thoughts as they rise; but to think out the meaning of a place, to exercise independent mental effort upon it, to apply severe and rigid examination to each sentence and paragraph of the original, is quite a different process. To exhibit in a lucid and self-satisfying manner the results of deep thought and indomitable industry, is far from the intention of those prolix interpreters who, in their apparent anxiety to compose a full commentary, present the reader with a chaos of annotations, and bury the holy sense of the inspired writers beneath the rubbish of their prosaic musings.
2. Some commentators are fond of detailing various opinions without sifting them. They procure a number of former expositions, and write down out of each what is said upon a text. They tell what one and another learned annotator affirms, but do not search or scrutinize his affirmations. No doubt an array of names looks imposing; and the reader may stare with surprise at the extent of research displayed; but nothing is easier than to fill up pages with such patchwork, and to be as entirely ignorant of the nature of commentary as before. The intelligent reader will be inclined to say, What matters it to me what this rabbi has said, or that doctor has stated? I am anxious to know the true sense of the Scriptures, and not the varying opinions of men concerning them. It is a work of supererogation to collect a multitude of Annotations from various sources, most of which the industrious collector knows to be improbable or erroneous. It is folly to adduce and combat interpretations from which the common sense and simple piety of the unsophisticated reader turn away with instinctive aversion. If plausible views be stated, they should be thoroughly analyzed. But in all cases the right meaning ought to be a prominent thing with the commentator, and prominently should it be manifested, surrounded, if possible, with those hues which Heaven itself has given it, and qualified by such circumstances as the Bible may furnish.
3. Another defect consists in dwelling on The Easy and evading The Dfficult passages. This feature belongs especially to those English commentaries which are most current among us. By a series of appended remarks, plain statements are expanded; but wherever there is a real perplexity, it is glozed over with marvellous superficiality. It may be that much is said about it, but yet there is no penetration beneath the surface; and when the reader asks himself what is the true import, he finds himself in the same state of ignorance as when he first took up the Commentary in question. Pious reflections and multitudinous inferences enter largely into our popular books of exposition. They spiritualize, but they do not expound. They sermonize upon a book, but they do not catch its spirit or comprehend its meaning. When a writer undertakes to educe and exhibit the true sense of the Bible, he should not give forth his own meditations, however just and proper in themselves. Put in the room of exposition, they are wholly out of place. The simple portions of the Bible are precisely those which require little to be said on them, while to the more difficult superlative attention should be paid. But the reverse order of procedure is followed by our popular commentators. They piously descant on what is well known, leaving the reader in darkness where he most needs assistance.
4. A very common fault with modern commentators is the attempt to go over too much ground of text, and thus do the whole work superficially. Many are ambitious of writing a commentary on the whole Bible, often with very inadequate preparations, or leisure, or research, and thus do but little else than rehearse the conclusions of others, with scarcely any original investigation themselves. The commentator should ‘ come to his work only after a long and matured study' of the Scriptures as a whole, and then, with great deliberation, and patient study and balancing of various views and conflicting opinions, proceed step by step with one book at a time; not hastily run over the entire volume, and produce the crude and first-caught materials that he has gathered suddenly and by onesided investigations. Hence those Annotations are almost always the best where a writer has confined himself to a single book or epistle, and has perhaps made it his life-long study, looking at it from every possible point of view, and verifying his conclusions by repeated comparisons and researches. Commentaries "written to order" have almost invariably been worthless. See American Biblical Repository, January, 1833, art. 4.
IV. We shall briefly Review the principal works of this class on the Bible at large, with criticisms especially on the older commentaries and those best known in modern times.
1. Such as are most accessible by having been written in English or Latin, or translated into one of those languages. (See a select list of this kind, with criticisms, in the Supplem. to Jenks's Comprehensive Commentary .)
(1.) J. Calvin (" Commentarii ," etc. in his Opp. , translated, Edinb. 1845- 56, 52 vols. 8vo). — In all the higher qualifications of a commentator Calvin is preeminent. His knowledge of the original languages was not so great as that of many later expositors, but in developing the meaning of the sacred writers he has few equals. It has been well remarked that he chiefly attended to the logic of commentary. He possessed singular acuteness, united to a deep acquaintance with the human heart, a comprehension of mind by which he was able to survey revelation in all its features, and an enlightened understanding competent to perceive sound exegetical principles, and resolute in adhering to them. He can never be consulted without advantage, although all his opinions should not be followed, especially those that result from his doctrinal prepossessions.
(2.) T. Beza ( "Test. Vet. C. Schol. Tremellii et Junii , Apocr. c. Notis Junii, et N.T. c. Notis Bezae ," fol. Genev. 1575-79, Lond. 1593, and often; " Bible With Annotations ," fol. Genesis 1561-2, and often). — Beza's talents are seen to great advantage in expounding the argumentative parts of the Bible. He possessed many of the best exegetical qualities which characterized his great master. In tracing the connection of one part with another, and the successive steps of an argument, he displays much ability. His acuteness and learning were considerable. He was better acquainted with the theology than the criticism of the New Testament.
(3.) H. Hammond (" Paraphrase And Annotations " on the N.T., Lond. 1653, best ed. 1702; on the Psalms, in his Works, 4 vols. fol. 1674-84). — This learned annotator was well qualified for interpretation, and many good specimens of criticism are found in his notes. Yet he has not entered deeply into the spirit of the original, or developed with uniform success the meaning of the inspired writers. Many of the most difficult portions he has superficially examined or wholly mistaken.
(4.) M. Poole (" Annotations " on the whole Bible, Lond. 2 vols. fol. 1700 and before, best ed. Lond. 1840, 3 vols. 8vo). — Poole's Annotations on the Holy Bible contain several valuable, judicious remarks. But their defects are numerous. The pious author had only a partial acquaintance with the original. He was remarkable neither for profundity nor acuteness. Yet he had piety and good sense, amazing industry, and an extensive knowledge of the older commentators.
Poli "Synopsis Criticorum" (fol. 4 vols. in 5, Lond. 1669-76, and several eds. since; best ed. by Leusden, Ultr. 1684). — In this large work, the Annotations of a great number of the older commentators are collected and condensed, many of them from the still more extensive collection known as the Critici Sacri (q.v.), edited by Bp. Pearson and others (2d edit. with two supplemental vols. Frcft. a. M. 1696-1701, 9 vols. fol.). But they are seldom sifted and criticized, so that the reader is left to choose among them for himself.
(5.) H. Grotius (" Annotationes " on all the Bible and Apocr. in his Opp. also ed. Moody, Lond. 1727, 2 vols. 4to). — This very learned writer investigates the literal sense of the Scriptures with great diligence and success. He had considerable exegetical tact, and a large acquaintance with the heathen classics, from which he was accustomed to adduce parallels. His taste was good, and his mode of unfolding the meaning of a passage simple, direct, and brief. His judgment was sound, free from prejudice, and liberal beyond the age in which he lived. As a commentator he was distinguished for his uniformly good sense. It has been said without reason that he found Christ nowhere in the Old Testament. It is true that he opposed the Cocceian method, but in this he was often correct. His chief defect is in spiritual discernment. Hence he rests in the literal meaning in many cases, where there is a higher or ulterior reference.
(6.) J. Le Clerc ("V. T c. Paraphrasi, Commentario ," etc. 4 vols. fol. Amst. 1710 sq.). — Excellent notes are interspersed throughout the commentaries of this author (his work by a similar title on the N.T. was based upon that of Hammond, 2 vols. in 1, fol. Amst. 1699). His judgment was good, and his mode of interpretation perspicuous. From his richly- stored mind he could easily draw Illustration s of the Bible both pertinent and just. Yet he was very defective in theological discrimination. Hence, in the prophetic and doctrinal books he is unsatisfactory. It has been thought, not without truth, that he had a rationalistic tendency. It is certain that he exalted his own judgment too highly, and pronounced dogmatically where he ought to have manifested a modest diffidence.
(7.) A. Calmet (" Commentaire Litteral " on the entire Bible and Apocr. Par. 1724, 8 vols. in 9, fol.; transl. into Latin, with the dissertations by J. D. Manse, 19 vols. 4to, Wirceb. 1789). — Calmet is perhaps the most distinguished commentator on the Bible belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. In the higher qualities of commentary his voluminous work is very deficient. It contains a good collection of historical materials, and presents the meaning of the original where it is already plain; but his historical apparatus needs to be purified of its irrelevant, erroneous statements, while on the difficult portions no new light is thrown.
(8.) Patrick, Lowth, Arnald, and Whitby ( "Critical Commentary ," etc. on the O. and N.T. and Apocr. 6 vols. 4to, Lond. 1822; 4 vols. 8vo, Phila. and N. Y. 1845). — Bishop Patrick had many of the elements belonging to a good commentator. His learning was great when we consider the time at which he lived, his method brief and perspicuous. Lowth is inferior to Patrick. Whitby presents a remarkable compound of excellences and imperfections. In philosophy he was a master. In critical elucidations of the text he was at home. Nor was he wanting in acuteness or philosophical ability. His judgment was singularly clear, and his manner of annotating straightforward. Yet he had not much comprehensiveness of intellect, nor a deep insight into the spiritual nature of revelation.
(9.) M. Henry (" Exposition Of The O. And N. Test ." Lond. 1704 sq., 5 vols. fol., and various eds. since, latest Lond. 1849, 6 vols. 4to, condensed with Scott's Notes and Doddridge's Practical Observations , besides additions from other sources, in Jenks's Comprehensive Commentary , Brattleboro, Vt. 1836 sq., 5 vols. 8vo).The name of this good man is venerable, and will be held in everlasting remembrance. His commentary does not contain much exposition. It is full of sermonizing. It is surprising, however, to see how far his good sense and simple piety led him into the doctrine of the Bible, apart from many of the higher qualities belonging to a successful commentator. His prolixity is great. Practical preaching is the burden of his voluminous notes.
(10.) J. Gill (" Exposition Of The O. And N. Test ." Lond. 1763, 9 vols. fol., and several times since). — The prominent characteristic of Gill's commentary is heaviness. It lacks condensation and brevity. The meaning of the inspired authors is often undeveloped, and more frequently distorted. Gill's chief merit was his Rabbinical learning.
(11.) P. Doddridge (" Family Expositor Of The N.T. ," Lond. 1739, 6 vols. 4to, and often since; Amherst, Mass. 1837, 1 vol. 8vo). — The taste of this pious commentator was good, and his style remarkably pure. He had not much acumen or comprehension of mind; but he had an excellent judgment, and a calm candor of inquiry. His paraphrase leaves much unexplained, while it dilutes the strength of the original. The practical observations are excellent. The notes are few, and ordinarily correct.
(12.) T. Scott (" Holy Bible With Notes ," etc. Lond. 1796, and often since; Lond. 1841, 6 vols. 4to; Bost. 1827, 6 vols. 8vo). — The prevailing characteristic of Scott's commentary is judiciousness in the opinions advanced. The greater portion of it, however, is not proper exposition. The pious author preaches about and paraphrases the original. His simplicity of purpose generally preserved him from mistakes; but as a commentator he was neither acute nor learned. He wanted a competent acquaintance with the original, power of analysis, a mind unprepossessed by a doctrinal system, and penetration of spirit.
(13.) A. Clarke (" Holy Bible, With Commentary ," etc. 8 vols. 4to, Lond. 1810-23, and often since; best ed. Lond. 1844, 6 vols. 8vo, N. Y. 1843). — In many of the higher qualities by which an interpreter should be distinguished, this man of much reading was wanting. His commentary, however, which was the chief literary labor of his life, is replete with profound and varied, though not always accurate, and often inapposite, learning. He is always thoroughly earnest and practically spiritual. Some of his notions are indeed extravagant, but they are never the errors of the heart. Many of the dissertations scattered through the work possess a permanent value for their diligent research. Its historical notes are the best. Its quotations from ancient and Oriental authors are abundant and usually apt. Its remarks in vindication of the truth and consistency of Scripture are also often worthy of consultation.
(14.) E. F. C. Rosenm Ü ller. — The "Scholia " of this laborious writer extend over the greater part of the Old Testament (11 pts. in 23 vols. 8vo, Lpz. 1795 sq.; "in Compendium redacta," by Lechner, 5 vols. 8vo). — The last editions especially are unquestionably of high value. They bring together a mass of annotation such as is sufficient to satisfy the desires of most Biblical students. Yet the learned author undertook too much to perform it in a masterly style. Hence his materials are not properly sifted, the chaff from the wheat. He has not drunk deeply into the spirit of the inspired authors. He seems, indeed, not to have had a soul attuned to the spirituality of their utterances, or impregnated with the celestial fire that touched their hallowed lips,. His father, J. G. Rosenm Ü ller, the author of the "Scholia" on the New Testament (5 vols 8vo, Nurnbg. 1785, and since), is a good word-explainer for students beginning to read the original. He has not produced a masterly specimen of commentary on any one book or epistle.
(15.) H. Olshausen (" Biblisches Commentar " on the N.T. continued by Ebrard and others, 7 vols. 8vo. Konigsb. 1837-56; tr. in Clarke's Library , Edinb. 1847 sq.; ed. by Kendrick, N. Y. 1856 sq., 6 vols. 8vo. have hitherto appeared). — One of the best examples of commentary on the New Testament with which we are acquainted has been given by this; writer. The arrangement, however, being semi-historical, has some inconveniences, especially as the text is not given. The exposition is almost wholly free from the influence of German neology. Verbal criticism is but sparingly introduced, although even here the hand of a master is apparent. He is intent, however, on higher things. He investigates the thought, traces the connection, puts himself in the same position as the writers, and views with philosophic ability the holy revelations of Christ in their comprehensive tendencies. The critical and the popular are admirably mingled. The continuation of the work by other hands is scarcely equal in value.
(16.) A. Tholuck. — The commentaries of this eminent writer on various books of the New Testament, especially those on the Epistles to the Romans and Hebrews, exhibit the highest exegetical excellences. While he critically investigates phrases and idioms, he ascends into the pure region of the ideas, unfolding the sense with much skill and discernment. His commentary on John is of a more popular cast. His interpretation of the Bergpredigt , or Sermon on the Mount, is very valuable. That on the Psalms is less thorough. (For the editions, see each of these books in their place.)
(17.) E. W. Hengstenberg. — This writer is too fanciful in his exegesis, too arbitrary in his philology, and too extreme in his theology to be fully trustworthy as a commentator; yet his expositions of the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Revelation, etc., may be consulted with advantage, if used with comparison of other authors.
(18.) E. Henderson. — This commentator's translation and notes on the Minor Prophets, as well as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, are admirable specimens of sound learning, good judgment, and evangelical piety. Their only fault in the exposition is an excessive leaning to literalism.
(19.) A. Barnes. — This series of Notes on the New Test. (N. Y. 12 vols. 12mo; Lond. 1850-52), and portions of the Old (Job, Isaiah, Daniel), have had a popularity which shows their adaptation to an extensive want. They are simple, lucid, and practical, and written with the author's happy flow of style, and are marked by genuine spirituality; but they are not characterized by critical or extensive learning.
(20.) J. A. Alexander. — The notes of this eminent scholar on Isaiah are a thorough and well-digested production. His commentaries on the Psalms and historical books of the N.T., however, are too popular to add anything to his reputation.
(21.) C. T. Kuinol. — The commentaries of this writer, especially on the Gospels and Acts (in Latin, best ed. London, 1835, 3 vols. 8vo), although strongly tinctured with rationalism, are among the best, critically and philologically considered, extant. Learning, acuteness, and candor are everywhere apparent.
(22.) G. Bush. — This author's Annotations on several of the first books of the O.T., although intended for popular use, are generally characterized by good sense, genuine learning, and pious sentiment; and are the more valuable as being nearly the only good commentary on these portions of Scripture available to the common reader.
(23.) M. Stuart. — His commentaries on Romans, Hebrews, Daniel, Revelation, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, albeit rather diffuse and grammatical, are yet of great value for their eminent candor, careful investigation, and general apprehension of the genius and scope of the writers. To the young student especially they are indispensable.
(24.) S. T. Bloomfield. — This author's critical Digest (8 vols. 8vo, Lond. 1826-8), as well as his Commentary (Lond. 1830 sq. 2 vols. 8vo; Phila. 1836) and its Supplement (London, 1840, 1 vol. 8vo), all on the N.T., give very much sound and judicious exposition, and have the advantage of placing before the reader the views of earlier interpreters. Without any great attempt at originality, there is generally a careful sifting of opinions and balancing of arguments that make his comments, on the whole, the best synopsis of simple exegesis yet produced.
(25.) H. Alford (" Gr. Test ." with critical apparatus and notes, Lond. 1853- 61, 5 vols. 8vo; vol. 1, N. Y. 1859). — This scholarly edition of the Greek Test. contains a critically-revised text, a copious exhibit of various readings, valuable prolegomena, and a series of analytical, philological, and expository notes. There is not much strictly new in any of these departments, but a convenient assemblage of materials not usually accessible. The whole is wrought out with great care and learning, and presented in the most condensed form. A very serious drawback upon its value, however, is the latitudinarianism evident in the author's theological, or, perhaps, rather hermeneutical principles, which leads him in very many difficult passages rather to array the sacred authors against one another than to reconcile their apparent discrepancies. Under arrogance of superior "honesty," he too often declines the prime task of an expositor by pronouncing difficulties insoluble. The critical apparatus is pervaded by the same subjective proclivity, insomuch that the writer has himself once or twice completely remodeled it.
(26.) F. J. V. D. Maurer (" Commentarius In V. T ." Lps. 1835-47, 4 vols. 8vo). — This is a series of brief Annotations on the Old Test., considerably full on the poetic portions, and characterized by great acumen, with much accuracy of scholarship, but little or no combination of the spiritual insight into Holy Writ. It is chiefly valuable to students for expounding the literal meaning.
(27.) J. C. Wolf (" Curoe In N.T. " 5 vols. 4to, Basil. 1741). — This author, although somewhat old, deserves especial notice for his valuable mass of sound annotations.
Besides the above, the following English commentaries on portions of Scripture are entitled to particular mention, including several German works presented in an English dress by the publishers Clark, of Edinburgh (valuable additions to our literature these last, but sadly in need, as a general thing, of judicious editing), and some reprinted in this country: Trench on the Miracles and Parables; Stier on the words of Christ; Kitto's Pictorial Bible and Daily Bible Illustrations; Conybeare and Howson's Life and Epistles of St. Paul; Watson on Matthew and some other parts of the N.T.; Bengel on the N.T.; Baumgarten on the Acts; Eadie on several of the Pauline epistles; Horsley on Hosea; Elliott on Revelation; Lowth on Isaiah; Wemyss and Fry on Job; Ellicott on the pastoral epistles; Good on the Psalms and Canticles; Steiger on 1st Peter; Umbreit on Job; Billroth on Corinthians; Tittmann on John; Lightfoot's Horoe Hebraicoe; Keil on Joshua and Kings; Auberlein on Daniel; Kalisch on Genesis and Exodus; Stanley on Corinthians; Jowett on several of Paul's epistles; Ginsburg on Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes; Phillips and De Burgh on the Psalms; Maclean on Hebrews; Preston on Ecclesiastes, and many others which space does not permit us here to enumerate. There are commentaries on the entire Bible by Girdlestone, Wellbeloved, Wesley, Coke, Benson, Cobbin, Sutcliffe, and others; on the New Test. by Baxter, Burkitt, Gillies, Trollope, and others; on the Gospels by Quesnel, Campbell, Norton, Ryle, and others; on the Epistles by Macknight, Pyle, and others. There are also serviceable Annotations on various parts of Scripture by several of the early Church fathers, especially Origen, Jerome, and Chrysostom, (See Catena), by the mediaeval theologians and reformers, especially Luther, and an almost innumerable series of later commentators more or less extensive, sufficiently complete lists of which are given under the appropriate heads in this Cyclopaedia. There also exist an immense number of academical dissertations of an exegetical character, chiefly by Germans, for certain collections of a few of which, well known on the Continent, see Walch, Bibl. Theolog. 4:920 sq. See also the several books and divisions of Scripture in their proper place in this work. For Hebrew commentaries on the whole Jewish Scriptures, (See Rabbinic Bibles).
2. The modern Germans , prolific as they are in theological works, have seldom ventured to undertake an exposition of the whole Bible. Each writer usually confines himself to the task of commenting on a few books. In this their wisdom is manifested. Yet they do not usually excel in good specimens of commentary, at least in the more sacred elements. They are Word-Explainers . In pointing out various readings, in grammatical, historical, and geographical annotations, as also in subtle speculations respecting the genius of the times in which the writers of the Bible lived, they are at home. In the lower criticism we willingly sit at their feet and learn. But with regard to the higher, in all that pertains to the logic of commentary, in development of the sense in its holy relations, the great majority of them are lamentably wanting. Refined notions usurp the place of practical piety in their minds; and the minutiae of verbal criticism furnish them nutriment apart from the rich repast of theological sentiment and sanctifying truth. But there are some noble exceptions, several of which are designated above.
One of the most complete and recent series of German commentaries (although somewhat meager in detail) is that published by Hirzel (Leipzig, 1841-57), consisting of a Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch, on the Old Test., by Hitzig, Hirzel, Thenius, Knobel, Bertheau, and J. Olshausen (in 16 vols. 8vo); on the New Test. by De Wette, with additions by Bruckner, Messner, and Licke (in 11 vols. 8vo); on the Apocrypha by Fritzsche and Grimm (in 5 vols. 8vo). A most copious and (in the German sense) valuable series is also the Kritisch exegetischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, by Dr. H. A. W. Meyer and others (Gott. in 16 pts. lately completed, with new eds. of the earlier portions). Another is the Exeg. Handb. Zu Den Briefen Des Apostels Paulus , by A. Bisping (Miinster, 1858); and still more deserving of notice, Die Heilige Schrift, m. Einleit. u. erkl. Anmerkungen, by Otto von Gerlach (2d ed. Berl. 1858); to which may be added Die potischen Bucher des alten Bundes erklart, by H. Ewald (Gott. 1836-54, 4 vols. 8vo), together with his Drei Erste Evangelien (ibid. 1851, 8vo), Sendschreiben des Paulus (ib. 1857, 8vo), Das B. Ijob (ib. 1854, 8vo); Die Propheten des alten Bundes erklart (Stuttg. 1842, 2 vols. 8vo), and Coinment. in Apocalypsin (Lips. 1828, 8vo); likewise F. W. C. Umbreit's Commentar ub. d. Propheten (Hamb. 1842-6, 4 vols. 8vo), Romer (Gotha, 1856, 8vo), Psalter (ib. 1848, 8vo), Sprsiche Salomos (ib. 1826, 8vo), Kohelet (ib. 1820, 8vo), and Hiob. (ib. 1832, 8vo); also the Handb. d. Einleit. d. Apocryphen, by G. Volkmar (Tib. 1860 sq.). A new series of critical and exegetical commentaries of great value, in German, on the books of the O.T., is also in progress by Delitzsch and Keil (Lpz. 1861 sq.), which will doubtless include the substance of those already published by these writers on several of the books (Genesis, Psalms, Canticles, Habakipuk, Joshua, Kings, Chronicles separately); it is in course of publication, in an English dress, by the Messrs. Clark of Edinburgh.
J. P. Lange, assisted by several evangelical scholars, is also issuing aseries of admirable homiletical commentaries on. the books of the O. and N.T., of which improved translations are in course of publication in this country, edited by Dr. Schaff (N. Y. 1864 sq.). Wetstein's Novum Testamentum Graecum (Amst. 1751, 2 vols. fol.), and Grinfield's Hellenistic Editio and Scholia on the New Test. (Lond. 1843, 1848, 4 vols. 8vo) afford much valuable philological elucidation of the text. Bunsen's Bibelwerk, now in progress of publication (Lpz. 1858 sq. 8vo), although eccentric in many respects, has also its valuable exegetical features, especially the new translation of the text.
In addition to these, Germany has produced many other specimens of commentary that occupy a high place in the estimation of competent judges, but still remain untranslated. Among these are Licke on John's writings, especially in the third edition; Gesenius on Isaiah; De Wette on the Psalms; Fritzsche on Matt., Mark, and Rom.; Bihr on Colossians; Philippi on Romans; Bleek on Hebrews; Hupfeld on the Psalms; Gramberg on Chronicles; Ruckert on Romans and Corinthians; Flatt on the Epistles; Lengerke on Daniel; Stier on Acts, Hebrews, James, and Jude; Havernick on Ezekiel and Daniel; Harless on Ephesians; Winer (in Latin) on Galatians; Schultens (Lat.) on Job and Proverbs; and Tuch on Genesis; with numerous others, which possess much merit, accompanied, it is true, with some serious faults. Dr. Nast, of Cincinnati, is publishing in this country a commentary on the New Test. in German on an excellent plan, of which an edition in English is also issued.
3. To these may be added the American commentaries of Turner on Genesis, Romans, John, Ephesians, Galatians, and Hebrews; Hackett on Acts; Moore on Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi; the notes of Owen, Whedon, Ripley, Jacobus, Hodge, and others, on the Gospels, Epistles, etc.; and numerous other less important works that might be specified, but which are given more fully under the respective books of Scripture. We may also refer to the notes accompanying the revision of the Engl. Bible now in progress by the Am. Bible Union, as furnishing much exegetical elucidation. (See a convenient list of works most accessible and useful to American students, with prices attached, and judicious practical hints on the general subject of aids to Biblical knowledge, in the Methodist Quar. Rev. April, 1856, p. 288-297.) Notwithstanding the above somewhat copious statement, it must, however, be admitted that a convenient and satisfactory manual of exposition on the entire Bible, adapted to the wants of the public in this country, is still a de sideratum.
4. The following is a chronological conspectus of professed Commentaries on the whole canonical Scriptures (exclusive of merely improved versions or editions), as complete as we have been able to make it. For those covering the Old or the New Testament alone, see under those titles. The most important of those here enumerated are designated by an asterisk (*) prefixed: Origen, Commentaria (ed. Huetius, Rothmagi. 1668, 2 vols. fol.); Augustine, Exegetica (in Opp. 3-6), also his Sermones (ib. vii), and his Quaestiones (Lugd. 1561, 8vo); Paterius, Expositio (from Gregory, in the latter's Opp. IV, ii); Hugo de S. Caro, Postilloe (6 vols. fol.,Ven. et Basil. 1487, Basil. 1498, 1504, Par. 1508, Colon. 1621; 8 vols. fol., Lugd. 1645, 1669); *Walafridus Strabo, Glossa, etc. (a sort of Catena, including extracts from Rabanus Maurus, and the Postilloe of De Lyra, 6 vols. fol., Nuremb. 1494; also more complete, Duaci. 1617, and Antw. 1634); Nezen, Operationes Biblicoe [from Luther's expositions] (Jen. 1510-11, 2 vols. 4to); Dionysius Carthusianus, Commentarius (Colon. 1532 sq., 12 vols. fol.); *Pellican, Commentarii [except Jonah, Zechariah and Revelation] (Tiguri. 1532 sq., 7 vols. fol.; with Meyer's notes on the Apocalypse, Tigur. 1542, 10 vols. fol.); Bp. Clario, Annotationes [those on the O.T. are chiefly from Seb. Munster] (Venice, 1542, 1557, 1564, fol.; also in the Critici Sacri); Gastius, Commentarii [from Augustine] (Basil. 1542, 2 vols. 4to); Vatablus, Scholia [from his lectures] (in Stephens's Latin Bible, Paris, 1545, 1551; also separately, Salamanca, 1584, 2 vols. fol.; and in the Critici Sacri, and since); Bruccioli, Commento (Venice, 1546, 7 pts. fol.); Castalio, Biblia Sacra, etc. (Basil. 1551, fol.; later with various additions, especially Francfort, 1697, fol.; also in the Critici Sacri); Marloratus, Commentarii [on many portions of Scripture] (various places and forms, 1562-85, etc.); Strigelius, Scholia (on the books of the O.T. separately, Lips. etc. 1566 sq., 18 vols. 8vo) and Hiypomnemata (on the N.T., Lips. 1565, 8vo, and later); L. Osiander, Annotationes (Tub. 1573-84, 8 vols., 1587, 1 vol. 4to, 158992, 1597, Franc. 1609, 3 vols. fol.; also in German, Stuttg. 1600, and often); Tremellius and Beza, Scholia et Noteo [chiefly notes by Tremellius and Junius] (Genesis 1575-9, Lond. 1593, fol., and later); Brentz, Commentarii [sermons] (in his Opp. i-vii, Tiib. 1576-90); *Calvin, Commentarii [except Judges, Ruth, 2 Sam., Kings, Chronicles, Esther, Nehemiah, Ezra, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Revelation] (at various times in different languages; together in Latin, in his Opera, Geneva, 1578, 12 vois. 1617, 7 vols., Amst. 1671, 9 vols. fol.; in English [except 1 Samuel and Job], Edinb. 1845-56, 52 vols. 8vo); *Lucas Brugensis, Notationes (Antw. 1580, 4to; also in the Critici Sacri); also his and Molanus's and others' notes in the Biblia Lovanensis (Antw. 1580, 1582 sq.; 1590, fol.; also in the Critici Sacri); Chytraeus, Commentarii [on most of the books of Scripture] (in Opp. Exeg. Vitemb. 1590-2, Lips. 1598-9, 2 vols. fol.); *Sa, Notationes (4to, Antw. 1598, 1610, Lugd. 1609, 1647, Colon. 1610, 1620; fol. Lugd. 1641; also in Mariana's Scholia, Antw. 1624, fol., and in De la Haye's Biblia, Par. 1643, fol.); Piscator, Commentarii (Herb. 1601 sq., 24 vols. 8vo; 1643-5,4 vols. fol., N.T. also separate); Diodati, Annotationes (Genev. 1607, fol.; in English, Lond. 1608, enlarged 1651, fol.); Cramer, Auslegung (Argent. 1619, 3 vols. 4to; without the text, 1727, 4to; F. ad M. 1780, 2 vols. 4to); *Mariana, Scholia (Madrid. 1619, Paris, 1620, Antw. 1624, fol.); *Estius, Annotationes (Antw. 1621, fol.; Colon. 1622, 4to; enlarged by Nemius, Duaci. 1628, Antw. 1653, Par. 1663, 1683, Mogunt. 1668, fol., and in De la Haye; also with the author's excellent notes on the Epistles, Antw. 1699, fol.); Pareus, Commentaria [on most of the books of the Bible] (at different times, also collected Franefort, 1628, 1641, 1648, Genesis 1642, fol.; and in Opp. Exeg. Franc. 1647, 3 vols. fol.); Haraeus, Expositiones [Patristic and mystical] (Antw. 1630, fol.); *Menochius, Expositio (fol. Colon. 1630, 3 vols.; Antw. 1679, Lugd. 1683,1695, 1 vol.; with important additions by Tourremine, Par. 1719, 2 vols., Ven. 1722, 1 vol.; also in De la Haye, etc.); *Tirinus, Commentarius [chiefly compiled, especially from A Lapide] (fol. Antw. 1632, 3 vols.; 1645, 1656, 1668, 1688, 1719, Lugd. 1664, 1678, 1690, 1697, 1702, Venice, 1688, 1704, 1709, 1724, Aug. Vind. 1704, 2 vols.; also in De la Haye's Biblia and Poole's Synopsis); Strabo Fuldensis [ed. Leander], Glossa [with Lyra's Postilla] (Antw. 1634, 6 vols. fol.); Haak, Dutch Annotations of Syn. of Dort (Lond. 1637, 1657, 2 vols. fol.); Gordon, Commentaria (Par. 1636, 3 vols. fol.); Card. Cajetan, Commentarii (Lugd. 1639, 5 vols. fol.); the Nuremberg (otherwise Vinarian or Ernestian, Erklarung [by various authors, edited by Gerhard, Major, and other Jena professors] (Nurnb. 1640-2, and often afterwards, fol.); Quistorp, Annotationes (Rost. 1643, 2 vols. 4to); *De la Haye, Biblia Magna [a collection of the comments of Gagnaeus, Este, Sa, Menoch, and Tirinus] (Par. 1643, 5 vols. fol.) also his Biblia Maxima [an enlarged but less correct edition of the preceding, with some omissions, and the addition of De Lyra's and some original comments] (Par. 1660, 19 vols. fol.); Bp. Hall, Contemplations (in Works, i, ii, Lond. 1647; also often since separately); Friedlib, Observationes (Stral. 1649-50, 2 vols. fol.; enlarged, F. ad M. 1650); the Westminster Assembly's (q.v.) Annotations [by various divines] (Lond. 1650-7, 2 vols.; 3d ed. 1657, 3 vols. fol.); Escobar and Mendoza, Commentarii (Lugd. 1652-67, 9 vols. fol.); Mayer, Commentary [chiefly compiled] (Lond. 1653, 6 vols. fol., and I vol. in 4to, etc.); Trapp, Commentary [quaint] (Lond. 1654, 5 vols. fol.; 1867 sq., 8vo); *Grotius, Annotationes (O.T., Par. 1654, 3 vols. fol.; Venice, 1663, fol.; N.T., Par. 1644, 1646, 1649, fol., etc.; together, Lond. 1660, fol.; also in Opera, i, ii; and the Critici Sacri, vii, abridged by Moody, Lond. 1727, 2 vols. 4to); the Critici Sacri (q.v.), ed. by Bp. Pearson and others [an immense collection of exegetical treatises by various eminent scholars] (Lond. 1660, 9 vols. fol.; with the 2 additional vols. called Supplementum, F. ad M. 1696-1701, 9 vols. fol.; and with 4 more vols. called Thesaurus Theologico-philologicus et Thesaurus Novus, Amst. 1698-1732, 13 vols. fol.; condensed by Poole in his Synopsis); Pruckner, Commentarium (F. ad. M. 1663, 2 vols. folo); F. de Carribres, Commentaria (Lugd. 1663, folo); Brenius, Annotationes [Socinian] (ed. Cuper, Amst. 1664, fol,); A Lapide, Commentaria [except Job and the Psalms] (Antwo 1664, 1671, 1681, 1694, 1705, Venice, 1708, 1780, 10 vols fol.); Heinlin, Rebstock, Zeller, Jager, Pfaff, and Hochstetter, Summarien [by order of the duke of Wirtemberg] (Stuttgart, 1667, Lpz. 1709, Rudest. 1721, 4to, Lpz. 1721, fol. in 6 vols.); S. and H. Marestus, Bibel (Amst. 1669, fol.); *Poole, Synopsis [in large part a condensation of the Critici Sacri, De la Haye's Biblia, and similar works] (Lond. 1690-1676, 4 vols. in 5, fol.; Franc. 1679, 5 vols. fol.; Ultraj. 1685, 5 vols. fol.; Franc. 1694, 5 vols. 4to; 1712, 5 vols. fol.); a different work is his original Annotations [completed by others] (London, 1683-5, also 1700, 2 vols. fol.; Edinb. 1803, 4 vols. 4to; Lond. 1840, 3 vols. 8vo); De Sacy, Sainte Bible, etc. [chiefly Patristic] (Par. 1672, 30 vols. 8vo; Leyd. 1696, 32 vols. 12mo; Bruxelles, 1723, 3 vols. 4to; Lyons, 1702, 3 vols. fol., and other eds.); Calovius, Biblia illustrata [in opposition to Grotius] (F. ad M. 16726, Dresd. 1719, 4 vols. fol.); Cocceius, Commentarii [on many portions of Scripture] (at various times, separately; also in Opera, i-v, Amst. 1675, fol. and later); Olearius, Erklisr. (Lips. 1618-81, 5 vols. fol.); *Patrick, Lowth, Arnold, Whitby, and Lowman, Commentary [originally in separate portions by each author on the successive books, Lond. 1679 sq.] (Lond. 1738 sq., 7 vols. fol.; ed. Pitman, Lond. 1821, 6 vols. 4to; Phila. 1844, Lond. 1853, 4 vols. 8vo); *Schmid, Commentarii [on most of the books of Scripture] (at various places, separately, 1680-1704, 18 vols. 4to); Allix, Reflections (Lond. 1688, 2 vols. in 1, 8vo; 1809, 8vo; Oxf. 1822, 8vo; also in Bishop Watson's Theol. Tracts; also in French, Lond. 1687-9, 8vo; Amst. 1689, 2 ‘ vols. 8vo); S. Clarke, Annotations, etc. (Lond. 1690, 1760, Glasg. 1765, fol.); Ness, Hist. and Mystery (Lond. 1690-96, 4 vols. fol.); L. de Carrieres, Commentaire (Paris, 170116, 24 vols. 12mo); Haase, Anmerk. etc. (Lpz. 1704, 1710, 1733, 8vo; 1707, fol.; also in Dutch, Amst. 1725, 4to); Du Hamel, Annotationes, etc. (Par. 1706, 2 vols. fol.); Martin, Bible expliquee (Amst. 1707, 2 vols. fol.); *Henry, Exposition, etc. [completed from Acts by others] (London, 1707-15, 5 vols. fol.; 4th ed. complete, London, 1737, 5 vols. fol., and often since; new ed. Lond. 1849, 6 vols. 4to; condensed in Jenks's Comr prehensive Commentary) *Calmet, Commentaire (Par. 1707-16, 23 vols., 1713, 26 vols. 4to; 1724, 8 vols. in 9, fol.; the Dissertations, etc., separately, Par. 1715, 5 vols. 8vo, 1720, 3 vols. 4to; the last in Latin by Manse, Lucca, 1729, 2 vols. fol., and the whole by the same, Wirceb. 1789-93, 19 vols. 4to.; also in German by Mosheim, Brem. 1738-47, 6 vols. 8vo; abridged in French, Par. 1721, 8vo; many of its notes were inserted in the Abbe Vence's Bible, Paris, 1767-73, 17 vols. 4to, and later); Wells, Paraphrase, etc. (in parts, Oxf. 170827, 7 vols. 4to and 8vo): Raphelius, Annotationes [Illustrations from Xenophon, etc.] (first separately on the O.T. and N.T., Hamb. 1709-15, 2 vols. 8vo; together, Lunenb. 1731, 8vo; enlarged, L. Bat. 1747, 2 vols. 8vo); Horche, Erklarung [mystical — Song of Solomon and Revelation omitted] (Marb. 1712, 4to); Mdme. Guyon, Explications [mystical] (Colossians et Amst. 1713-5, 20 vols. 12mo); Osterwald, Observations, etc. [tr. from his French Bible, Amst. 1714, fol.] (by Chamberlayne, Lond. 1722, 8vo; 5th edition enlarged, Lond. 1779, 2 vols. 8vo); Anon. Bibel, etc. (Stuttg. 1716, fol.); Parker, Commentary [in large part compiled] (Oxf. 1717-25, 4to); Anon. Bibel, etc. (Lemgo, 1720, fol.); the Berleburg (q.v.) Bibel [pietistical], by various anonymous editors (Berleburg, 1726-9, 7 vols. fol.); Pitschman, Anmerk. (Zitt, 1728, 4to); *Gill, Exposition [largely from Rabbinical sources] (originally in separate works, Lond. 1728-67, 9 vols. fol.; together, Lond. 1810, 9 vols. 4to; 1854, 6 vols. 8vo); Pfaffand Klemm, Anmerk. (Tub. 1729, fol.); *Lang, Erklar. [in part by Adler] (in separate works, Hal. 1729-37, 7 vols. fol.); also substantially condensed in his Biblia parenthetica [in German — an elliptical or paraphrastic elucidation] (Lpz. 1743, 2 vols. fol.); Zeltner, Erkldrung (Alt. 1730, 8vo; 1740, 4to); Wall, Notes (London, 1730-39, 3 vols. 8vo); Willisch, Selbst-Erklar. [completed by Haymann] (Freib. 173q fol.); Schmidt, Erklar. (Erf. 1740, 4to); Starck, Auslegungen (0. Test., Lpz. and Hal. 1741-7, 4 vols., N.T., Lpz. 1733-7, 3 vols. [and at other times in parts], 4to); *Chais [completed by Maclaine], Commentaire, etc.[from the best English interpreters] (Hague, 1743-90, 7 vols. 4to; the former part also in German, Lips. 174962, 4 vols. 4to); Luca ed. [by order of the pope], Commentarii, etc. [from various authors] (Ven. 1745, 4to); also [by the same authority] ed. Cartier, Commentarii [a more extensive work, with a Germ. version, for the use of the monastery of Ettenheim] (Constantine, 1751, fol.); Edwards, Notes (in Works, 2:676); Koke, Anmerk. (Hild. 1750, 4to); Slezina, Commentarius (Prague, 1757-60, 1770, 4 vols. 4to); Goadby, Illustration [Arian] (London, 1759-70, 3 vols. fol., and later); Rider, Family Bible (Lond. 1763, 3 vols. fol.); Wesley, Notes [those on the N.T. are short, but valuable] (London, 1764, 4 vols. 4to; also in Works); — Allen, Exposition [Antinomian] (London, 1765, 2 vols. fol., and later); Liebich ed., Anmerk. (Hirschberg, 1765, 3 vols. 8vo); *Dodd, Commentary, etc. [in part extracts from MSS.] (in numbers, Lond. 1765; complete, 1770, 3 vols. fol.); Hawies, Expositor (London, 1765-66 [also published in America], 2 vols. fol.); J. S. Braun, Erklarung (Erf. 1768, 3 vols. fol.); Michaelis, Anmerk. (Gott. and Gotha, 1769-83, and 1790-2, 17 vols. 4to; also in Dutch, Utrecht, 1780-86, 8vo; and Erinnerungen on the same by Schulz, Halle, 1790-4, 6 vols. 4to); Korner, Anmerk. (Lpz. 1770-3, 3 vols. 4to); Moldenhauer, Erlaut. (Quedlint. 1774- 87, 10 vols. 4to and 2 vols. fol.); Weitenauer [Romans Cath.], Anmerk. (Augsb. 1777-82, 14 vols. 8vo); Hezel, Anmerk. (Lemgo, 1780-91, 10 vols. 8vo; condensed by Schenk, Lemgo, 1787, 8vo; with the author's partial enlargement, Halle,. 1786-90, 9 vols. 8vo; and this again annotated by Roos, Tubing. 1788, fol.); Bp. Wilson, Notes, etc. (Lond. 1785, 3 vols. 4to); H. Braun, Anmerk. (Nurnb. 1786, 8vo; ed. by Feder, 1803, 3 vols.; by Allioli. 1830-2, 6 vols.); also his [patristic] Bemerk. (Augsb. 1788-1805, 13 vols. 8vo; with a Lexikon, 1806, 2 vols. fol.); Yonge, Commentary (Lond. 1787, 4to); *Scott, Notes, etc. (in parts, Lond. 1788 sq., 4 vols. 4to; 5th ed. Lond. 1822, 6 vols. 4to; new ed. Lond. 1841, 6 vols. 4to; often reprinted in England and America; also condensed in Jenks's Comprehensive Commentary);, *Rosenm Ü ller and Son, Scholia [on all the books except Samuel — Ezra] (O.T. by the son, Lips. 1788-1817, etc., 22 vols. 8vo; also abridged, by Lechler, Lips. 1828-36, 6 vols. 8vo; the N.T. by the father, Norimb. 1777, 6th ed. enlarged by the son, 1815-31, 5 vols 8vo); Brentano, Erklar. (Frkft. 1797-9, 13 vols. 8vo); Horst, Rullmann, Scherer, and others, ‘ Commentar (Altenb. 1799-1809, 7 vols. 8vo); Alber, Interpretatio (Pesth, 1801-4, 16 vols. 8vo); Bulkley, Notes [chiefly Illustrations from the ancients] (ed. by Toulmin, Lond. 1802, 3 vols. 8vo); Priestley, Notes .(Northumb. 1803, 4 vols. 8vo); Coke, Commentary [mostly a reprint of Dodd] (Lond. 1806, 6 vols. 4to); Webster, [Rev. T.], Notes [chiefly from the Genevan Bible and Beza] (London, 1810, 4to); *A. Clarke, Commentary (Lond. 1810-26, 8 vols. 4to; N. Y. 1811-25, 6 vols. 4to; new ed. Lond. and N.Y. 1832, 6 vols. 8vo; Lond. 1844, 6 vols. 4to and 8vo); Hewlett, Notes (London, 1811, 3 vols. 4to); Fawcett, Devotional Bible (London, 1811, 2 vols. 4to); Benson, Commentary [largely after Poole] (Lond. 1811-18, 5 vols. 4to; 6th ed. 1848, 6 vols. 8vo; N. Y. 1839, 5 vols. 8vo); Hawker, Commentary (Lond. 1816-22, 10 vols. 12mo, and later); Mrs. Cornwallis, Observations (London, 1817, 4 vols. 8vo); D'Oyly and Miant, Notes [chiefly compiled] (Oxf. 1817, 3 vols. 4to, and often since; N. Y. 1818-20, 2 vols. 4to; London, 1856,1861, 3 vols. 8vo); Von Meyer, Anmerkungen (F. ad M. 1819, 1822, 3 vols. 8vo); Anon. Erlaut. (Quedlinb. 1819-21, 5 vols. 8vo); the Richters' Hausbibel (Barm. 1820, 8vo); Mrs. Stevens, Comments (Knaresb. 1823-31, 20 vols. 8vo); Boothroyd, Version, etc. (Huddersf. 1824, 3 vols. 4to; Lond. 1853, 8vo); Williams, Cottage Bible (Lond. 1825-27, 3 vols. 8vo); Greenfield, Comprehensive Bible (Lond. 1827, 4to) — ; Plumptre, Ser. mons (London, 1827, 2 vols. 8vo); Stokes, Commentary [chiefly from Scott] (London, 1835-36, 6 vols. 8vo and 12mo); Abbe Glaire, Notes, etc. [from various authors] (Par. 1835-38, 3 vols. 4to); Jenks, Comprehensive Commentary [chiefly an assemblage of Henry, Scott, and Doddridge] (Brattleb. 1835- 38, 5 vols. 8ro); Girdle. stone, Lectures (Lond. 1835-42, 8 vols. 8vo); Davidson, Pocket Commentary (Edinb. 1836, 3 vols. 24mo); Wellbeloved, Notes, etc. [Unitarian] (London, 1838, 2 vols. 8vo); *Kitto, Pictorial Bible, etc. [valuable for Illustrations of Oriental customs] (Lond. 1838-39, 4 vols. 4to; 1855, 4 vols. 8vo; also without the text, as Illustrated Commentary, Lond. 1840, 5 vols. 8vo); Cobbin, Condensed Commentary (2d ed. Lond. 1839, 8vo); also Portable Commentary (Lond. 1846, 12mo); Abbe MIigne, Commentarius [chiefly compiled] (Paris, 1839-43, 27 vols. 8vo); *Simeon, Discourses [mostly practical] (Lond. 1840, 21 vols. 8vo); Sutcliffe, Commentary (5th ed. Lond. 1850, 2 vols. 8vo; 1854, 1 vol. 8vo); Bunsen, Bibelwerk [intended as a popular elucidation — learned and ingenious, but extravagant] (Lpz. 1858 sq., 9 vols. [18 half vols.] 8vo [pt. i, translation; ii, exposition; iii, history, with suppl. Atlas]); Lange, Bibelwerk [mostly theological and homiletical] (Bielefeld, 1864 sq., 8vo [a large part of the N.T. has been issued, and several books of the O.T., in successive volumes, a considerable number of which have been translated in Clark's Foreign Theol. Lib., Edinb., and some of them in N.Y., greatly enlarged and improved under the editorship of Dr. Schaff]); Wordsworth, Notes (Lond. 1865 sq., 8vo); Jamieson, etc., Commentary (Lond. 1868 sq., 8vo).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
kom´en - ta - ri ( מדרשׁ , midhrāsh , "an investigation," from דּרשׁ , dārash , "to search," "inquire," "explore"; the King James Version "story "): "The commentary of the prophet Iddo" ( 2 Chronicles 13:22 ), "the commentary of the book of the kings" ( 2 Chronicles 24:27 ). In these passages the word is not used exactly in its modern sense. The Hebrew term means "an imaginative development of a thought or theme suggested by Scripture, especially a didactic or homiletic exposition, or an edifying religious story" (Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament 5, 497). In the commentaries ( Midhrāshı̄m ) mentioned by the Chronicler as among his sources, the story of Abijah's reign was presumably related and elaborated with a view to moral instruction rather than historic accuracy. See Chronicles , Books Of; Commentaries , Hebrew .
- ↑ Commentary from Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
- ↑ Commentary from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Commentary from Webster's Dictionary
- ↑ Commentary from King James Dictionary
- ↑ Commentary from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- ↑ Commentary from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia