A Critical and Expository Commentary on the Book of Judges, by Andrew R. Fausset. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999. Pp. viii-340. $19.99 (cloth). [Reviewed by Prof. Robert Decker.]
Here is a fine commentary of the book and era of the Judges. The work is detailed and complete. The exposition is correct for the most part. Ministers and lay persons alike who are looking for good, solid exposition of this book of the Bible will find it in this commentary.
The Rev. A. R. Fausset correctly views this period as one during which the Lord chastised His people for their repeated apostasy and raised up Judges to deliver them from their enemies. In this way, the author maintains, and rightly so, the Lord prepared Israel for the “king after His own heart,” the typical, Davidic theocracy.
Fausset (1821-1910) was curate of Bishop Middleham, County Durham from 1848 till 1859. He was rector of St. Cuthbert’s York, from 1859 until his death.
Those interested in other works on the Judges would benefit from the syllabus written by the late Prof. H.C. Hoeksema, Era of the Judges, available from the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary bookstore.
Let’s Study Mark, by Sinclair B. Ferguson. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1999. Pp. xix—304. $14.99 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. Robert D. Decker.]
This attractive book was written not for the scholar, but for ordinary Christians. Ferguson’s purpose is twofold, viz., to lead the reader into an understanding of theGospel according to Mark and to lead the reader into an understanding of how this Gospel account applies to his life and situation.
While we are certain, and that too beyond any doubt whatsoever, that Dr. Ferguson is committed to the truth of the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures by the Holy Spirit, he misses a nice opportunity to state that truth in the introductory section in which he discusses the “author of the Gospel.” The discussion is limited to the identity of John Mark, but nothing is said about the inspiration of this account of the Gospel by the Holy Spirit.
What we have in this volume is a very nice, brief, devotional commentary in paragraph form on the Gospel according to Mark. The book is well written and easy to read. Ferguson offers pithy summaries of the various sections of which this Gospel account consists.
The book is enhanced by a useful “Group Study Guide” which not only guides the reader into a study of the various passages, but which also includes instructive comments on how one ought to go about leading a group Bible study. Ministers and others called upon to lead group studies of the Scriptures will benefit from these comments.
Some of the expositions are too brief, thus leaving the reader with unanswered questions. Dr. Ferguson is committed to the error of a well-meant gospel offer. His exposition of Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-31, pp. 164-170) is incorrect. The fact is, Jesus loved the young man. This means He saved him. The young man came to faith and repentance in the way of a tremendous struggle. All things are possible with God! Even the salvation of a rich young ruler.
Under the title, “For Further Reading” (p. 304), this reviewer was disappointed to find only two commentaries listed, viz., Mark by L. A. Cole and The Gospel According to Mark by W. L. Lane. There are many more commentaries on Mark, some of which are arguably much better than the two listed, e.g., Wm. Hendricksen, R. C. H. Lenski, and John Calvin’s Harmony of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
In spite of the negative comments above, we recommend this study of the Gospel according to Mark. It should prove useful for private or family devotions and for Bible Study groups.