Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, by John Peter Lange. Zondervan Publ. House, Grand Rapids, Mich. Ten Volumes. Price per volume $3.95.
From the Zondervan Publishing House I received for review a beautiful set, of Lange’s Commentary on the New Testament, ten volumes. The volumes of the same commentary on the Old Testament are on the press and will, the Lord willing, soon follow.
It would be worthwhile to write a detailed review on this commentary volume by volume, but this would require far too much space in our paper. I must, therefore, needs limit myself to a general description, characterization, and evaluation of this important publication by the Zondervan Publishing House.
For many years I have been acquainted with Lange’s Commentary. A complete set of his Bibelwerk in the original German I have in my library. But the English set, now published again by Zondervan, far exceeds the original, not only in size and number of pages, but especially in riches of contents because of its many additional notes by the translators.
What is known as Lange’s Bibelwerk or his commentary on the Holy Scriptures, was not written in its entirety by himself personally, but was completed with the collaboration of other biblical scholars, such as Van Oosterzee (Luke, I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon), Kling (I and II Corinthians), Schmoller (Galatians), Braune (Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians), Auberlen and Riggenbach (I and II Thessalonians), Moll (Hebrews). The commentary was translated and enriched with many notes by several translators under the chief editorship of Dr. Philipp Schaff.
The commentary proper is uniformly divided into three parts: a critical and exegetical, a doctrinal and ethical, and a homiletical and practical part. As has already been remarked, it is quite impossible to offer a detailed criticism on a work like Lange’s Bibelwerk. But in general I will say that, on the whole, I find that the exegesis in this commentary is quite thorough and scholarly, that the doctrinal and ethical notes though we cannot always agree with them, are of the conservative type, and that the homiletical and practical notes are helpful to the student. This does not imply that we always agree with the exegesis in the commentary. Dr. Lange and his co-laborers were of the evangelical rather than of the Calvinistic type of theologians. The details must be left to the discerning criticism of the individual reader and student of Holy Writ. But with this provision, I am of the opinion that the Zondervan Publishing House rendered an important service to all who are interested in the study of Holy Scripture by republishing this commentary, and we gladly recommend it to our readers.