Sunday, January 25, 2009

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

I have had a copy of Mathew Henry's Concise Commentary on my PDA for many years. It is a free resource from Olive Tree.

Last week I got a copy of the complete version. What a difference. I went from one volume to six. Instead of abbreviated or non-existent comments on verses, the complete commentary goes into great detail.

I have several other commentaries on my PDA that I use regularly. I would think of them as more technical. They explain the language, point out nuances and comment on what the passage means. With Matthew Henry, I feel like I am listening to a sermon. It's almost like reading a devotional but with much more detail.

Since the first of this year, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. I have read it in different versions, looked at in different commentaries and have started taking it apart word by word.

This morning I was reading Matthew Henry's comments on it. I felt like I was sitting in church listening to a great sermon. The preacher exhorted me to follow God, put Him first and receive the blessing of redemption.

Here are some of the words that stood out to me: "Seek these things first; first in thy days: let the morning of thy youth be dedicated to God. Wisdom must be sought early; it is good beginning betimes (early) to be religious. Seek the first every day; let waking thoughts be of God. Let this be our principle, to do that first which is most needful, and let him that is the First, have the first." As I read this, it made a strong argument for starting the day with something that helps us focus on God that day. It may be "devotions" or it may be something else. If we are going to seek God's kingdom and his righteousness first, then we need a plan on how to do that. Otherwise, our kingdom and plans will be the focus of our day.

I heard it said that you should start your day the night before. Get to bed so you can get up when you need to. Maybe you need to lay out clothes, pack a lunch or make other preparations so there is time in the morning to focus your day on God.

This good commentary doesn't just give me information but it exhorts me to live a Godly life and points out the tools for that journey.

This commentary was originally published in 1706. There are places where you have to think about the language and as in the above quote, you might need to use a dictionary on occasion. Aside from that, it is such a great work that I would recommend it to anyone who wants to shine some light on their Bible reading and life.

I am thankful to Olive Tree for making the Bible and other great resources so portable and usable. It's great to get good books off the shelf and to have them with me whenever I want to look something up.


For better and easier Bible study check out the links below.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

Olive Tree has products for Palm, Pocket PC, Smartphone, Blackberry and iPhone. Over 150 of the resources are free.

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