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Albert Barnes (1798-1870) pastored the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia for a period of over thirty-five years during the middle of the nineteenth century. He was deeply involved in the social and moral issues of his day — slavery, drinking, dancing, and so on. It was during these years that there flowed from the mind and pen of Albert Barnes a veritable stream of volumes of essays, sermons, and Notes for Bible Study. The latter were prepared for the specific use of Sunday School Workers. When Barnes reached the close of his long and busy career he had provided notes on the entire New Testament as well as on several books of the Old Testament.
It is almost unbelievable that so busy a pastor could make such a large contribution to the field of religious literature. Albert Barnes himself tells us how this was made possible. He did all his writing before nine o'clock in the morning. By rising regularly between four and five o'clock he could daily spend several hours in writing without neglecting his work as pastor.
Because Barnes had a high regard for the Bible as the infallible word of God, his Notes are thoroughly Scriptural. Albert Barnes was willing to let the Bible speak for itself. That no doubt accounts for the fact that this commentary bears the approval of Bible-believing Christians everywhere.
Albert Barnes' Notes on the New Testament is an all-purpose commentary. It embodies exactly those features which are valued and appreciated by ministers and laymen alike. Among these are: (1) its verse-by-verse coverage of the Scriptural text, (2) its satisfying explanation of each verse, (3) its practical application of the teachings of Scripture to everyday life, (4) the clear and understandable language of the commentary.
Barnes' Notes is a commentary of great general usefulness. Bible students appreciate this commentary as a trustworthy guide in their study of the Bible. Ministers utilize the valuable homiletical material in each volume, in addition to the scholarly and practical commentary. Teachers use these volumes for their lesson preparation, and select them as textbooks for their students. Sunday school workers find this to be a commentary especially written for their use and therefore eminently suited to their needs. Laymen love the lucid, non-technical, practical interpretation of God's Word.
Albert Barnes' Notes on the New Testament should be on every preacher's library shelf, or in every preacher's Nook! This is a treasure trove of good Biblical scholarship and sermon material on the New Testament. While not as stimulating or controversial as many of the modern critical commentaries, Barnes' Notes on the New Testament gives us that refreshingly reverent and Biblical presentation of truths so lacking in today's books and pulpits. His writing is mellow, easy to read, not prone to unsubstantiated conjecture, reasonably thorough, and was obviously written by a person more interested in what the Bible said, not in pushing some belief. If you are growing a little tired of all those modern critical 'scholars' who attempt to deconstruct everything you thought you once believed in, then you'll find this volume a breath of fresh air - and a good reminder of how our grandfathers used to handle the Word of God in such a reverent, humble and believing manner.
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About the Author
It was during his 37 years pastorate in Philadelphia that he found time to prepare his series of commentaries of which over two million copies have been sold in various editions.