From the earliest days of Christianity, the gospel has spread throughout the world. The Bible, as a result, was translated into the languages of the people who received it. Along with translations, teachers included explanations, too. It seems that at the beginning, these comments came in the form of marginal notes explaining certain words. Over time, the explanatory notes were mingled with the text or placed at the bottom of the page. Wherever the Bible has gone, there have been commentaries. Valuable works, some enormous volumes, by both Catholic and Protestant alike, have rolled off the press.
I am adding to the long list of commentators with my work. I love the Bible, and I want to share its story with the world. In the following studies, I will give my opinions of the texts, as an honest person should, with perfect deference to others’ judgment. I will not condemn anyone for disagreeing with my interpretations.
I have spent years reading the Bible, studying its original languages, and reading what others have said about its contents. I have done this for my personal edification and growth. I didn’t study the Bible with the goal of teaching it, but I teach it because I have studied it. I put forth my efforts solely to help edify others. As the commentator, Adam Clarke said regarding his commentary, “I am simply adding my mite to God’s treasury. I am contributing my quota to help people better understand the records of God’s revelation.”
“I wish to assist my fellow laborers in the vineyard to lead men to HIM who is the fountain of all excellence, goodness, truth, and happiness; to magnify his law and make it honorable; to show the wonderful provision made in His gospel for the recovery and salvation of a sinful world; to prove that God’s great design is to make his creatures happy; and that such a salvation as it becomes God to give, and such as man needs to receive, is within the grasp of every human soul.”
The person who carefully and conscientiously receives the truths of Scripture, not merely as a creed, but in reference to his practice, will be an ornament to his Christian profession, family life, work-life, and civil society.
Finally, to those who will find themselves disagreeing with me, I say this: God is patient with us and does us good, so we should be patient with each other. Feel free to send me notes where you disagree with me, but hostile critics I will ignore. The angry and malevolent are their own worst tormentors. The saying goes, “Let envy alone, and it will punish itself.”
For my part, I will lay before you my opinions and give you the reasons on which they are founded. I present my thoughts to everyone, and everyone can judge them. To the best of my ability, I will offer my opinions in a spirit that will not disgrace the cause of truth.
I look forward to taking this journey with you.