Vol. 1 - No. 2
by Byron Gage
Kregel Publications has been kind enough to provide several volumes for review. Most of these are part of their reprint library and are by authors of the last, century. Because of the nature of most of these books, we will look at them generally and briefly, sometimes reviewing more than one volume per issue of this paper.
GOSPEL IN LEVITICUS, Joseph A. Seiss, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Reprint. Originally published in 1860, this book is written with all the style and vividness characteristic of books of that time period and is enjoyable to read. It is analysis of the typical significance of the Levitical ceremonies. The preface states, "The design of the author has been, in a connected way, to trace the grand features of the Gospel, and the method of salvation in Christ Jesus, as given in the ancient rites fifteen hundred years before the Savior came; and thus to develop not only an interesting illustration of the plan of grace from figures of God's own choosing, but also an argument for the inspiration of the Scriptures and the Divinity of the Christian system."
Obviously, when dealing with any typical, parabolic, allegorical or otherwise figurative language or writing, one must be very careful in pressing the interpretation beyond that intended by the author. In some instances in this book, I believe that this has been done, and the reader should keep Bible in hand when reading. Some doctrines are presented which are not strictly Biblical in nature. Some passages are taken out of context to illustrate or prove a point. For example, "A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit " is used to support the doctrine of original sin, "birth sin," it is called. As with any other book, written by any man, this one must be read with care, open-mindedness, and a desire to test the material by the only proper standard, the Scriptures. With this in mind, I can commend this book as interesting and valuable to the serious student. The proper interpretation and application of the typical significance of the Levitical system will enhance and intensify our understanding of the God with whom we have to do, and of His Son Who is Savior and King.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN and THE GOSPEL OF LUKE, W. H. Van Doren, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1981, (reprints). Mr. Van Doren's commentary on John contains over fourteen hundred pages of expository and homiletic material. Written with a similar format, his commentary on Luke contains over one thousand pages.
These books contain multitudes of homiletic hints, and for this reason, would be a valuable addition to one's library. The cost, $24.95 and $22.95 respectively, might be prohibitive or discouraging to the beginner's library, yet is not out of reason with volumes of this size.
Quoting profusely from scholars of past ages, Mr. Van Doren creates a panoramic view of each text and its various interpretations, most from a homiletic viewpoint. His works have been compared to those found in THE HOMILEST, which was designed to suggest and motivate individual thought and application. Stated as being somewhat more thorough, these commentaries are exhaustive in the search for meaning and application of Biblical truths.
Doctrinally, one must study the entire books in order to form a conclusion as to the soundness of them. It is not my purpose in this review to do so. As with any commentary, one must "search the Scriptures" to determine the veracity of the conclusions of the author.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, David Thomas, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1980, (reprint). Another of the commentaries of the last century, this book reminds one of the homiletic sections of the Pulpit Commentary or of the Biblical Illustrator. It is possessive of great utility in formulating applicable illustrations and in sparking further research into the motivation behind the events of Christ's life. His analysis of the Pharisees and their dealings with the Christ is most interesting. With the style and charm of scholarly men of the Middle 18th century. Mr. Thomas opens many avenues of relevant preaching from the gospel of belief. The book appeals to me personally, for it contains usable thoughts on nearly every page. If you like homiletic works, this book is worth the $22.95 price.