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Galatians (Reformed Expository Commentary) Hardcover – June 3, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"Those of us who regularly preach need commentaries that provide the best biblical scholarship and understand the challenges of today's pastorate. The Reformed Expository Commentary series speaks to both needs. This volume in particular is a sermon preparation tool of exceptional value." --Bryan Chapell

"In an age when scholars write commentaries the size of encyclopedias so that exposition is often drowned in an ocean of background technical details, Dr. Ryken's Galatians—the first volume in this series—appears as a welcome sign of springtime and the first fruits of the harvest to come." --Sinclair B. Ferguson

"Phil Ryken is a living refutation of the argument that great expository preaching just can't be found today. He brings to his pulpit a rare combination of biblical insight, theological substance, and pastoral application. In Galatians, Ryken takes us right into the mind of the apostle Paul and into the heart of this great letter. A richly rewarding and faithful commentary." --R. Albert Mohler Jr.

About the Author

Philip Graham Ryken (D.Phil., Oxford University) is senior minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. He is also the editor of more than fifteen books and the coeditor of the Reformed Expository Commentary series. He contributed Jeremiah and Lamentations to the Preaching the Word series.

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Product Details

  • Series: Reformed Expository Commentary
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing; 1St Edition edition (June 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875527825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875527826
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Graham Ryken (PhD, University of Oxford) is the 8th president of Wheaton College and, prior to that, served as senior minister at Philadelphia's historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written several books for Crossway, and has lectured and taught at universities and seminaries worldwide. Dr. Ryken and his wife, Lisa, live in Wheaton and have five children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bielby VINE VOICE on November 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First let me say that I am a pastor working through Galatians. I have looked at about at least 30 or 35 commentaries either a little or quite a bit. This one has ended up on my short list of favorites. Although I don't use it every time I work on a passage, it is one that gets used a lot.

Here's what I love about it:

This commentary lays out a review of the passage he deals with in a logical and clear fashion that is easy to follow. He gives good bullet points that are easy to follow reviewing even some theological ramifications of the passage at hand. It's practical and deals with issues most readers will want to understand. He does not spend a lot of time on difficult to follow minutia. Yet at the same time he does give a lot of good perspective. For preachers, some of his phrases will preach well.

Some of his illustrations are fresh and innovative. For example, he illustrates the addition of the law/legalism over Christ's work on the cross (Galatians 5) by talking about a baseball that is autographed by Babe Ruth. The owner of the baseball, seeing Babe's signature is faded, decides to take out a marker and write B-A-B-E R-U-T-H on it...right over the original signature. The effect is to make the ball worthless. In the same way, trying to add our works via the law or on our own has that effect to Christ's work on the cross. It obliterates it. So we should trust in Christ's work on the cross, not our own or our efforts through the law of Moses.

Now there is one weakness in this book. I would expect a commentary that says 'Reformed' on the cover to present the reformed view. He does, however, what he fails to do is present CONVINCING arguments for rejecting Arminianism.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bryan James Miller on July 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a very beneficial, clear, and positive presentation of the Gospel. It was also a most helpful critique of the New Perspective, Federal Vision, and Auburn Avenue-like theologies (mostly found in the footnotes). He presents the Protestant Gospel found in Luther and the Reformation (and the Bible!) as clearly as I've seen anywhere.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jacques Schoeman on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A cursory glance at church history will convincingly show that there have been frequent attempts to veil again what God in His mercy chose to unveil. Philip Ryken, however, accepts the facts as biblical history chose to place it before us. Unquestiongly. The Bible tells of many attempts that were made on the apostle's life, and here we see why as Paul displayed in this letter an unyielding commitment to the cause of the one true gospel, which was to set him in the midst of corrupted religion. Yet this is where the sovereign Spirit had knowingly led him before (Acts 13 and 14), and still in full control of the fearless apostle, as one who no longer lived but had Christ living inside of him, made Paul to rise and meet the denials from the opponents of grace.

'The gospel was not an invention, or a tradition, but a revelation. That is to say, it was something previously unknown that was unveiled by God.' p 30

Ryken only senses a greater threat. 'We worship in a church of many gospels.' The preached Word gets around, there's no denying. Yet what exactly was the problem at Galatia? We are led to discover along with the apostle Paul the distressing situation in the Galatian churches and his emphatic reaction "I am astonished" (1:6) registering his fear of their impending defection. Those who wanted "to pervert the gospel" (1:7) Paul preached belonged to the party of the Judaisers; those who wanted "to pervert the gospel" Luther preached during the Reformation were Roman Catholics. In both, works-righteousness is placed alongside salvation by grace so that it does not stand 'alone'. Ryken explains "to pervert" means to turn something around or up-side-down (p 19), as Paul's opponents were attempting to do by trying to "change/turn" the gospel into its opposite.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While not a technical work, this commentary (and the series) offers thorough interpretation and analysis of Paul's thought, with homiletics in mind. So the teacher or preacher preparing lessons or sermons will find this invaluable. The chapter divisions would easily mark a sermon series (which I'm preparing for; the reason I read it), to include helpful illustrations and quotes. This is "expository" but not academic; laity without any knowledge of Greek will find no problem here. My only disagreement is in Ryken's assessment of Catholic thought; when Protestants speak of salvation, we tend to talk of justification (without necessarily using the term); when Catholics talk of salvation, they tend to talk of sanctification. Both are Spirit-led, not by human effort. But this IS a Reformed commentary, so one must expect some anti-RC content. That aside, anyone hoping to grasp the message of Galatians and relate the early controversy of the church with regard to circumcision to today will find this commentary valuable. This isn't a matter of a historical/theological debate, but a truth regarding how God brings us to saving faith and sets us free to live for Christ.
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