Galatians & Ephesians L. Strauss
Bryan Charles, Appledore, Devon, England
Paperback, 250 pp.
Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON, L3K 6A6, Canada.
This is a helpful commentary which provides the reader with a good grasp of two of Paul’s Epistles. The author is concerned primarily to give the meaning of the text, but he writes warmly; he is clearly engaged with his material. He goes through the Epistles systematically. There are: succinct introductions to each Epistle; headings used as the author works through each section; the text of almost all the verses with a commentary. There are particularly useful discussions of: the incident recorded in Acts chapter 19 concerning the disciples whom Paul found at Ephesus; the responsibilities of parents and children, based on Ephesians chapter 6 verses 1-4; the contrast between the Mosaic law and the promises to Abraham, and the purpose of the law, based on Galatians chapter 3.
Other good features include: an occasional, but judicious, use of Greek, examples of which are found in the discussion of the term ‘sent forth’, Gal. 4. 4, and the word ‘another’, 1. 6-7. Comments from respected commentators, such as Ironside, Hogg and Vine, Murray, Wuest, and Moule, are helpfully incorporated into the text, again occasionally. The commentary is based on the KJV, but other versions are quoted, especially the American Standard Version.
This is a modest-sized book so not every aspect can be addressed; nevertheless, there are occasions when readers may feel more is needed. Some interpretations are presented without support, or with little or no explanation. For example, we are told not to ‘judge’ in the comments on Galatians chapter 6 verse 1; the term ‘Israel of God’ in Galatians chapter 6 is not dealt with; the ‘flesh’ is defined as the old nature; the verbs ‘put off’ and ‘put on’, Eph. 4. 22-24, are expounded as present obligations with no mention being made of their being interpreted as transactions in the past (as JND translates them, for example); Romans chapter 7 verses 7-25 is referred to as a ‘struggle between the flesh and the Spirit’, but the Holy Spirit is totally and significantly omitted in that section.
Like many writers, the author writes of the position of a pastor or minister of a church, but such intrudes but slightly into the commentary.
The author writes fluently, and the layout of the book is good; all verses quoted are helpfully italicized and there is effective use of occasional bold type.
[Our thanks to Bryan Charles, Appledore, Devon, England, for this review]