Thursday, June 04, 2009

Commentaries on Galatians

What have you found useful?

Obviously, if you have preached through the book, I would be very interested to know what you have found helpful.

11 comments:

dave bish said...

Machen was good - even though he went home having only got half way through.

Stott, Honeysett (not really a commentary), I'm sure I've dipped into Luther.

eardstapa said...

Free in Christ by Edgar Andrews (Welwyn Commentary, EP) has an unhealthy tincture of antinomianism about it.

John Brown on Galatians (Geneva Series, Banner of Truth) is one of those dense, solid, profitable writers, concerned both to enlighten and to enliven his readers: so we are both taught and exhorted as we read. Excellent for finding well-grounded applications, but heavier going that some of the others on this list (not a warning, merely a recognition).

John Calvin is one of those to whom you simply must turn. He obviously has his polemic emphases, born very much of the battles he had to fight, but you will always get your good, careful exposition, grounded in a solid Biblical system, with regular flashes of profound insight. Don’t forget Calvin’s Sermons on Galatians either – the same exegetical foundation, but with all the richness and application of the sermon into the bargain.

John Eadie’s A Commentary on the Greek Text of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (Solid Ground, distributed by EP in the UK) is part of one of my favourite series of commentaries. Painstaking exegesis, critical interaction and careful conclusion are interspersed with glorious flights of praise and penetrating paragraphs of spiritual insight. Personally, I believe an investment in the whole set exceedingly worthwhile.

Hendriksen (Banner of Truth) one of those foundation commentaries, with a character loved or loathed depending on, I suspect, your own constitution and mood at the time of reading. Will always give you something to chew on, even if he does not always raise your soul very high.

Matthew Henry I am sure I do not need to recommend. His exegesis will often raise a smile, but his applications will drop you to your knees. I always turn to him to find out what it means to me, as much as for what it means in itself.

Luther’s Commentary on Galatians was John Bunyan’s favourite book after the Bible. Notable for pounding hard and well along the typically Lutheran dichotomy between law and grace. Simple and earthy.

Machen’s Notes on Galatians (Solid Ground) is very useful – I agree with Dave. The fact that he only got halfway through means that those relying on Machen are likely to find the second half of their expository series a little lighter than the first! Typical of Machen’s insight and care.

Let’s Study Galatians by Derek Thomas (Banner of Truth) is similar in its aim and level to the Welwyn Commentaries, but safer. I find these very useful for giving a good overall sense of the structure of the whole book and its various internal patterns.

Curtis Vaughn on Galatians (Founders Press) is a very brief, pithy commentary, with lots of interaction with others. Vaughn never gets too bogged down, and keeps his reader moving along briskly. Suggestive rather than exhaustive.

Jonathan Hunt said...

Hm. This is what I used:

I don't think that Free in Christ is unhealthy, but it does have a slight tinge of antinomianism. Still, you can see it a mile off and it is a helpful work for application. Paul's language in the letter to the Galatians is very strong and should not be readily shrugged off to meet our presuppositions.

I agree that Lets study galatians by Derek Thomas is basic, but very good for structure and direction.

I also used and appreciated John Stott's volume in the Bible Speaks Today series.

I got quite a lot from Hendriksen's work (Banner) and a few bits from John Brown (Banner).

Also Poole and Henry, and other sets like JFB and the Preacher's Homiletic.

But if I was stuck with having to choose three, it would have been Andrews, Stott, Hendriksen

Carlos said...

Phil Ryken on Reformed Expository Commentary Series.

Richard Longnecker on WBC Series.

Walter B. Russell III, The Flesh/Spirit Conflict in Galatians.

Moises Silva, Interpreting Galatians.

Stephen Westerholm's Perspectives Old and New on Paul.

G.K. Beale's articles "Peace and Mercy Upon the Israel of God: The Old Testament Background of Galatians 6:16b" and "The Old Testament Background of Paul's Reference to 'the Fruit of the Spirit' in Galatians 5:22".

Carlos said...

Ahhh...I had forgotten...Listen to Eric Alexander series of sermons on Galatians! Outstanding exposition!

Exiled Preacher said...

One that hasn't been mentioned as I skimmed the other comments is Ronald Fung in the NICNT series. Reformed perspective. Insightful exegesis. Up-to-date, given 1988 publication date. Interacts with E.P. Saunders etc.

Martin Downes said...

Thank you all

Eric Alexander's sermons are already on my ipod.

Any thoughts on commentaries by Louis Martyn and Timothy George?

Todd Pruitt said...

"Amen" to:
Thomas
Stott
Machen
Silva

I would also add Leon Morris' commentary on Galatians.

Gary Brady said...

Stott's your msn here as others have pointed out.

Edgar Andrews said...

I was troubled that some comments on my Welwyn Commentary on Galatians ("Free in Christ")describe it as "tinged with antinomianism" ... without making any distinction between "practical antinomianism" and "doctrinal antinomianism" which are two completely different things. My "antinomianism" (if such it is) is doctrinal and means only one thing: that the Christian's rule of life is the whole moral teaching of Scripture in OT and NT including the Ten Commandments but not limited to them. This appears to be John Owen's position in his commentary on Hebrews 8:10 where he says that 'the laws' written on believers' hearts are the whole counsel of God. For further dicussion please see my reply to Richard Brooks on the Banner of Truth website (search "articles" and "antinomianism")
Edgar Andrews

Moe Bergeron said...

Edgar Andrews, Sir,

How may one be a doctrinal antinomian when they rightly understand the "Letter/Spirit" contrast as revealed in 2 Corinthinans 3? Those who live under the Spirit as covenant are the only people who are not without law. Those who subscribe to "Letter" covenant and serve as its ministers pursue death. To their downfall it is they who are without law in the New Covenant era.