Bible Student’s Commentary: MATTHEW, H.N. Ridderbos; Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing Co. (Regency Reference Library); 556 pp. (hard cover). [Reviewed by Prof. H.C. Hoeksema]

Whoever makes it a point to purchase the volumes of the Bible Student’s Commentary as they come from the press will gradually gather for himself a very useful set of commentaries. This series is an English translation of the Dutch Korte Verklaring series. It is published in attractive format (more attractive than the Dutch series with its multiple small volumes), written in popular style, and written by conservative Reformed scholars. As might be expected in light of the fact that the Zondervan Company publishes it, the NIV Bible is the text which is followed in these commentaries. While I frown on the NIV, its use here is no great hindrance, since at various points differences between versions are noted.

The commentary by Dr. Goslinga on Joshua, Judges, and Ruth is excellent and will be helpful to anyone studying these books. Dr. Goslinga in these commentaries strongly opposes the higher-critical approach and makes no secret of it. I found the introductory material preceding the commentary on Judges very interesting, especially because the author discusses the subject of the chronology of this period (a very difficult and involved subject) rather thoroughly. He rather cogently argues against some of the conclusions of another Dutch scholar, Van Gelderen.

In the jacket blurb of the commentary on Matthew, you will find the statement, “Professor Ridderbos’s commentary on Matthew is considered one of the finest in this series.” Perhaps comparisons are odious. Nevertheless, since the publishers suggest a comparison, I feel free to express my disagreement. In casually checking Dr. Ridderbos’s comments on some key passages of Matthew, I found myself either disagreeing sharply or not satisfied that the passage was adequately explained. Thus, for example, I was not at all satisfied with the author’s explanation of Matthew 11:28-30. Nevertheless, in many respects this commentary is helpful.

Both volumes are recommended.