Compare/Contrast Whole Bible Commentaries by Matthew Henry & John Gill

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by Rutherglen1794, May 7, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Has anyone used both Henry's and Gill's commentaries enough to compare and assess them for me?

    I own Henry's, but I have not read Gill's before.

  2. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    To put it briefly, Gill is more technical, while Henry is more devotional. Gill will dig deeper on the harder questions of interpretation; Henry will help you apply the text.
  3. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    That makes sense. I have found that Henry often leaves me with questions about the interpretation of a particular biblical statement, yet goes to great lengths to draw out some kind of practical application.

    I'm not sure what is better for myself.
  4. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Gill was very well versed in the writers of the early church.
  5. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    Henry's commentary on the windows of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 6), sums up his style for me:
    "They were broad within, and narrow without, Such should the eyes of our mind be, reflecting nearer on ourselves than on other people, looking much within, to judge ourselves, but little without, to censure our brethren. The narrowness of the lights intimated the darkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the gospel day".
    He draws devotion from the driest passage. But sometimes this can become too much and he can stretch it a bit... - so in general I prefer Gill.
  6. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I prefer Henry because when he hits it right with a devotional application, he so often says something my heart needs to hear, and it seldom takes much reading to get to one of those spots in his writing. I simply read past the places where he stretches his interpretations or starts moralizing on things incidental to the passage, and I focus instead on the good stuff, which is usually only a few lines further down. For technical help, I turn to a more modern commentary.
  7. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Gil is for the theologian in you, while Henry is for the Christian looking to apply practical theology.
    Gil is looked upon as being their version of Calvin among many reformed baptists.
  8. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    I always read them both. They are both excellent. While Gill is a more straight-forward, verse by verse commentator, his comments are so full of content as to often provide many suggestive hints for preaching.
  9. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    I have a problem with both men!!

    I can't find a good edition of either man's commentary that isn't in tiny, tiny font size. And I have to have an actual book, not a download.

    Have you seen the size of Gill's? I'm tempted to look for a microscope..
  10. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I guess everything is bigger in Texas, except the font size?
  11. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

  12. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I have both along with a few other whole Bible commentaries. As far as whole Bible commentaries, I tend to start with Gill, followed By Poole, and Henry. To those who struggle with tiny text, I bought this as a solution. It has been great for the insanely tiny font of Gill, Edwards, and Polhill.

    Brightech – LightView Flex 2 in 1 Version – SuperBright LED Magnifier Lamp with Clamp – Daylight Bright LED's - Energy-Saver with 1.75X Magnification (White)
  13. Apologist4Him

    Apologist4Him Puritan Board Freshman

    I read both and many more using TheWord Bible Software, with nice crisp text and enlarged font of choice. I bought two of the three Poole volumes recently from, but unfortunately the volumes are too difficult to read because the font is waaaaay too small, the printing is also uneven with light to nearly invisible letters, to letters that appear bold which are not meant to be. May have smeared or smudges, honestly did not inspect thoroughly, not much need with the print being so tiny. Saddens me when so little care is taken with timeless gems. At least they look nice on the outside on a shelf. :/
  14. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page