*This ebook includes an Introduction by E.W. Bullinger, entitled 'How to Enjoy the Bible'.
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Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible is perhaps the only true rival to Matthew Henry! A standard for more than 400 years, Poole's insightful commentary continues to be a time-tested, trusted resource for pastors and lay people alike. Offering verse-by-verse exposition, Poole also includes summaries for each chapter and book, questions and answers, information on cultural context, historical impact, and cross-references. This Bible commentary is practical, readable, and applicable! Charles Spurgeon said, "If I must have only one commentary, and had read Matthew Henry as I have, I do not know but what I should choose Poole. He is a very prudent and judicious commentator . . . not so pithy and witty by far as Matthew Henry, but he is perhaps more accurate, less a commentator, and more an expositor."
Matthew Poole has put together a marvelous work with this commentary. Published in the 1680's, this timeless work has marks of the quality of scholarship that produced the KJV. Matthew Poole uses scripture to explain scripture - (not a bunch of liberal PhDs' ideas on what the Bible "might" say) separating the verses (and the individual phrases within the verses) to make his comments easy to follow and ideal for quick reference.
This commentary also does a good job of referencing other scriptures that pertain to a passage's particular subject matter, and the language is easy to read when compared with older commentaries. In some cases, he gives various interpretations of a word's meaning or sometimes even the whole point that is intended. It's not that Poole is swaying in his understanding, it seems to be a simple acknowledgement of uncertainty-so instead of guessing, as some do, he communicates the different perspectives, often letting the reader know to which interpretation he leans.
In his comments, Poole doesn't always explain how he arrived at a particular understanding. But in researching these things independently, one will generally find Poole to be on target with their own conclusions.
Either Matthew Poole or Matthew Henry is the first commentary set a student should consider, depending on preference. Both cover the whole Bible, and most importantly both are the scholarly works of men who have a passion for God's Word. However, one might slightly favor Poole's comments simply because they're an easier read.
About the Author
He then devoted himself to Biblical studies. The first fruit of his study was produced in 1669, in the Synopsis Criticorum (5 volumes), a monument of Biblical learning which has served many generations of students.
Matthew Poole died while writing his commentary, English Annotations on the Holy Bible, and his friends completed the work, which was published in 1685 and is still published to this day.
Poole also took part in the Romish controversy, and published two very effective works: The Nullity of the Romish Faith, or, A Blow at the Root, etc. (London, 1666), and Dialogues between a Popish Priest and an English Protestant (1667). Because of this he was greatly hated by Papists, and his name was on the list of those condemned to death in the Popish Plot. He retired to Amsterdam, and died in October, 1679.
C. H. Spurgeon said of Poole's commentary: "If I must have only one commentary, and had read Matthew Henry as I have, I do not know but what I should choose Poole. He is a very prudent and judicious commentator... not so pithy and witty by far as Matthew Henry, but he is perhaps more accurate, less a commentator, and more an expositor."
Considered one of the great Puritans, few names will stand so high as Poole's in the Biblical scholarship of Great Britain.