STUDIES IN EXODUS, F.B. Meyer; Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich.; 476 pages, $9.95 (cloth). (Reviewed by Prof. H.C. Hoeksema)
Since the author of this commentary is probably unknown to most of our readers, we will quote the following biographical note from the dust jacket:
“Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-l 929), the English Baptist pastor was born in London to a wealthy family of German ancestry. He was educated at London University, graduating in 1868 and completed his theological training at Regents Park Baptist College between 1870 and 1895. He held seven successful pastorates throughout England. Meyer was President of the National Federation of Free Churches (1904-05). He was a very popular and beloved Conference speaker and Bible teacher. While at York, between 1872 and 1874, Meyer met D.L. Moody and these two godly men formed a life-long friendship.” From this biographical note it is evident that F.B. Meyer does not stand in the Reformed tradition. It may be expected, therefore, that this will also be reflected in his commentaries.
If you are looking for solid exposition and help in understanding the book of Exodus, this is not the commentary to purchase. It does not furnish a careful explanation of the Scriptures, and it does not trace the line of Old Testament history as set forth in the book of Exodus.
I am not certain what a “devotional commentary” is supposed to be. I am certain, however, that any commentary, devotional or otherwise, should be a faithful exposition of Scripture. I am certain, too, that it cannot be properly devotional if it is not thoroughly exegetical. In these respects this commentary falls short. For example, the entire significant passage ofExodus 4:18-26 receives a treatment of five and one-half pages length; and in that treatment no attention is paid to the very significant fact that before Moses ever went to Pharaoh, the Lord told him, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart. . . .”
This is not to say that this commentary is not evangelical in the broad sense of the word. Nor does it imply that there are no nice thoughts presented in the book, although even the devotional material is sometimes marred by improper spiritualizations.
BIBLICAL AND NEAR EASTERN STUDIES, Essays in honor of William Sanford LaSor, edited by Gary A. Tuttle; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978; 300 p.p. (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.)
This Festschrift was dedicated to William LaSor, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, on his 65th birthday. It is divided into three parts: the first dealing with New Testament Studies, the second with Old Testament Studies, and the third with Near Eastern Studies. A partial sampling of the authors and articles will give the reader some idea of what this book contains. Its authors include among others: F. F. Bruce, Eldon J. Epp, Ralph P. Martin, Cyrus H. Gordon, Meredith G. Kline, and D. J. Wiseman. A few of the titles are: Jews and Judaism in The Living Bible New Testament; The Canonical Shape of the Book of Jonah; Oracular Origin of the State; The Tower of Babel Revisted; The Date of Nehemiah Reconsidered; They Lived in Tents; A New Look at Three Old Testament Roots for “Sin”; Case Vowels on Masculine Singular Nouns in Construct in Ugaritic.”
Most of the articles are written for scholars who are acquainted with the ancient languages of Scripture; and many of them are written from the viewpoint of form-literary criticism.
JESUS OF NAZARETH IN WORD AND DEED, By Charles C. Cochrane; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979; 133 pp., $4.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.)
This very brief book discusses a few of the events in the life of Christ. It is difficult to determine its underlying theme, but the Introduction states: “The purpose of this modest volume is to set forth an orderly statement of who Jesus of Nazareth was and is which will prove intelligible to the learner and the learned alike. To do this, I have chosen the Gospels of Mark and Luke as primary sources, with such confirmation from other biblical sources as may be required for clear understanding. The selection of circumstances and incidents recorded in these Gospels has been made with a view to our main theme: to enunciate in a manner faithful to the New Testament the identity of Jesus ‘who is called Christ.’ ” The book, while written generally from a conservative viewpoint, is rather shallow in its discussions of the significance of the events in Christ’s ministry.