Expository Outlines on the Whole Bible: Revelation; by Charles Simeon. Published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.95.
What I have remarked about this commentary in other numbers of our Standard Bearer I may repeat here in regard to this volume on the book of Revelation, even though I cannot agree with every detail of its exposition, which, besides, is rather fragmentary. I have a deep respect for the work of Charles Simeon and gladly recommend it to every student of the Bible. And this ought to include all our readers. This volume is concluded by notes on the composition of a sermon, by Claude, and by several indexes some of which are rather extensive.
As I remarked before, I cannot agree with every detail of this exposition of Revelation. This is not surprising, of course, in view of the many different interpretations of this book. Besides, this is not a continuous commentary. It is very fragmentary. Whole sections as, e.g., chapter 6 and several other important parts, are omitted. As to Simeon’s view on the millennium, it seems that he adopts the view that, before the coming of the Lord, there will be a period when “the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth; as the waters cover the sea.” The whole world shall then be converted to the faith in Christ. pp. 165 ff. This is also in harmony with his view of “the first resurrection” in Rev. 20:5, which, according to him, does not refer to the bodily resurrection of the saints (with which I can agree), but refers to a figurative resurrection, consisting in this that the piety of the saints shall live in successive generations during “the thousand years” (with which I do not agree).
But I recommend this entire commentary (of which I still did not receive all the volumes) to our readers, convinced that, although they do not agree with every detail, they will derive spiritual benefit from it.
H.H. Het Woord Gods Bij Agustnus (The Word of God in Augustine), by Dr. A.D.R. Polman. Published by J.H. Kok N.V. Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f. 8.90.
That Dr. Polman is interested in the study of Augustine we have learned before from his study about the doctrine Calvin. The volume about the Word of God by Augustine is presented as the first of a series under the general heading “The Theology of Augustine.” The book has seven chapters: 1. The Word of God, Christ; 2. The Word of God as Holy Writ; 3. The Word of God as the Word of Christ; 4. The Word of God as Preaching; 5. The Word of God in the Church; 6. The Word of God in the Personal Christian Life; 7. Without and by the Word of God.
In a general introduction, the author tells us that he lets Augustine speak as much as possible. This promise he, indeed, fulfils very liberally. The book is filled with many quotations from the works of Augustine. He also distinguishes, throughout the book, the period of Augustine’s life and work, in which this church father was still rather deeply influenced by Neo-Platonic philosophy and the last period when he had largely, though not entirely overcome this influence. Interesting it is to read that Augustine placed the Septuagint on a par with the Hebrew original of the Old Testament and emphasized that they were equally inspired, and that he even believed the legend about the origin of the Septuagint.
The author writes a clear style. The quotations from Augustine’s works are all translated. Anyone, therefore, that is interested in the study of Augustine and that can read Dutch, had better acquire this book of Dr. Polman.