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Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence (Biography) Paperback – March 20, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Biography
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845507835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845507831
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,334,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Allan Harman's biography puts in our hands a wealth of information about Matthew Henry. Here we discover his godly father, Philip Henry, his upbringing during times of persecution, and his faithful pastoral ministry in Chester, England. This book will be of great interest to historians, students of the Puritans, pastors, and thousands of others who continue to benefit from Henry's Commentary." ~ Joel R. Beeke (President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan)


“Matthew Henry’s Commentary abides today as a classic exposition of the Scriptures. Many people from George Whitefield to Charles Spurgeon to the modern reader have found doctrinal wisdom and experiential refreshment in its pages. But few know the author and his Puritan roots. Allan Harman’s biography puts in our hands a wealth of information about Matthew Henry."
Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“Henry’s life spent in service for God and communion with Him is an example needed in the 21st century church, and gratitude is owed to Allan Harman for introducing this godly man to us.”
Diana Lynn Severance. Author of Feminine Threads and Historian, Spring, Texas.
“To anyone who can read this brilliant biography without being humbled, challenged, inspired and motivated to ‘press on toward the goal’, I have only one thing to say — read it again. I am struggling to think of any biography that has spoken so clearly to me and it would be impossible for me to commend it too highly.”
John Blanchard, Internationally known Christian preacher, teacher, apologist and author.
“a fascinating and well researched biography of one of the great fathers of expository preaching.”
John Benton, Managing Editor, Evangelicals Now.
“I found the story enthralling and deeply encouraging, and I earnestly hope that the book will have the widest readership."
Eric J Alexander, Conference speaker and formerly minister St George's Tron, Glasgow for 20 years.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
I really enjoyed the second half of the book with one exception.
Coralie Cowan
And it will also lead to a greater appreciation of the lasting impact of a simple ministry in a country church-and of a life well lived.
R. Hayton
Matthew Henry was an interesting man and the life he lived was a full one.
A. Wencl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James R. V. Matichuk on July 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
You likely have come across the works of Matthew Henry, especially his commentary on the Bible (in either its full or abridged form) which is often bundled with Bible software or found relatively cheaply on Amazon. But why would a Bible commentator and author from the late seventeenth, early eighteenth century have such enduring popularity? Why does his commentary have such enduring popularity?

Allan Harman is the research professor of Old Testament at Presbyterian Theological College in Melbourne, Australia and has written a book exploring the life and influence of Matthew Henry which is aptly titled Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence. Beyond stating the subject and scope of the book, the title also provides Harman's basic outline. The first ten chapters of this book provide a biographical sketch of Matthew Henry. The final four chapters talk about his influence as a preacher, commentator, author and his influence on subsequent generations.

The biographical portion of this book give the basic details of Matthew Henry's life including the the influence of his father, Patrick Henry, who had studied under the Puritans (like John Owen). Harman provides details about Henry's education and youthful illness, his ordination and more than twenty-five years of ministry in Chester, his final parish in Hackney, his death and various family details along the way(like the death of his first wife, his second marriage and the birth of his children). In the portion of the book which assesses Henry's influence, Harman examines Henry's homiletic style and strengths as an expositor.

This book is well researched and provides a sympathetic picture of who Matthew Henry was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
The first commentary I ever purchased was Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. I had no idea who Matthew Henry was (in all honesty, I wasn't sure if it was a good commentary or not--all I knew was it was cheap), but after I brought it home, I was so thankful I did. It was one of the most helpful commentaries I've used and continues to be a go-to resource to this day.

But one thing that using Henry's commentary has made me realize is that I want to know more about him. So when I learned of Allan Harman's new book, Matthew Henry - His Life and Influence, I was really excited to read it. When I was finished, though, I was left somewhat wanting. Let me explain.

Harman sets himself up with a tremendous task in this book--to not only offer insights into Henry's life, but to explain some of the reasons for his enduring influence. And by and large he succeeds in his task, as he provides readers a helpful sketch of Henry's early years through his death in 1714 (actually going beyond them into an overview of the Puritan period in which he was born).

I was surprised to learn, for example, that he really ought to have died well before he actually did. Henry was sickly from his youth and that continued through his adulthood when he developed diabetes and finally died of a stroke. Although this may be a tad morbid, seeing this side of his life served as a reminder of God's sovereignty over our days and that until the task to which He has set us is complete, we will remain on this earth.

But most insightful and encouraging is the picture displayed of Henry's deep love for the people of Chester, where he ministered until 1712. Henry clearly had a shepherd's heart and wanted to see them grow in Christ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Botkin on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Matthew Henry is a household name in some circles and near legend in others. His multi-volume commentary on the whole Bible is still printed today and his book on prayer has taught generations of ministers how to intercede for their flock. In recent years, his sermons on family worship have been reprinted and widely read as many seek to recover this biblical discipline of grace. Yet, for all the quoting by him and reading of him, there isn't much that is said about the man himself.

For that reason, I was excited to see Allan Harman's Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence. The author begins by setting the historical scene of Henry's life, opening with a chapter on the Puritan environment. He then narrows his focus by zeroing on the Henry family itself. Here we read about Matthew's father, who suffered for his faith, even enduring prison. From there, Harman shows Matthew Henry's education and ministerial life. From these things, we can see the sovereign hand of God at work, preparing the man whose ministry would endure. All of this information on Henry's life serves as a "part 1" which prepares us for the "part 2" which shows his enduring influence.

This "influence" section begins with Henry as a preacher. Here we return to something mentioned in the preface--an amazing providence regarding some of Henry's sermon notes. This gem of a story helps bring us into the reality of Henry as a preacher of the Word. Henry preached an amazing amount of sermons, serving his congregation to multiple talks on Sundays and serving some of the neighboring villages as well. His delivery style was far from stodgy.
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