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James (Geneva Series of Commentaries) Hardcover – April 1, 1962
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About the Author
Born in Somerset in 1620 from a long line of ministers, Thomas Manton entered the University of Oxford as early as 1635. Such was his progress that he was ordained by Bishop Hall at the age of nineteen.
His first charge was in Stoke Newington, Middlesex, where he remained for seven years. Testimony to his remarkable gifts is found in the pages of his Practical Exposition of James which is based on his weekday lectures there.
Called to succeed Obadiah Sedgwick in the better-known pulpit of Covent Garden in London, his ministry came to be widely appreciated. He served as a chaplain to the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, and also as one of the 'Triers responsible for the supervision of the Christian ministry. Yet Manton was firmly opposed to the execution of Charles I, causing considerable offence by preaching before Parliament from Deuteronomy 33:4-5.
Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together.
Later he was instrumental in the restoration of Charles II and became a Royal Chaplain. But when offered the Deanery of Rochester he chose rather to suffer with his Puritan brethren in the Great Ejection of 1662.
Preaching thereafter in his own home he was imprisoned for his ministry. Such was Manton's character, however, that when the custodian-in-charge was absent he was given the keys to the gaol.
Manton died in 1677, after a lifetime of rich and practical biblical ministry. The Trust publishes three volumes of his Works, and his expositions of James, Jude, Psalm 119, and Hebrews 11 (By Faith).
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Top Customer Reviews
Given the fact that James contains only five chapters, this commentary is actually pretty long (over 350 pages). But, it is well worth the read since Thomas Manton explains in great detail his understanding of each chapter and verse. I learned a lot from this commentary and feel that I have a much better feel for the book of James. Although this commentary was written hundreds of years ago, the content is still very relevant. Modern believers, like myself, need to know what James means when he writes about controlling our tongue (words), and putting our faith into action.
If you are a Christian who would like to gain a much deeper grasp of the book of James, and the wisdom contained within it, then I highly recommend this commentary.
1) Some questions often are leading or have the answer included in the question. e.g., p. 28, "If James is speaking to "beloved brothers" beginning in 1:19, and if doing is not what makes a person a Christian, what then is it that makes a person a Christian? (Hint: look back at 1:18).
2) and at the same time, some questions are very expansive -- too much so. e.g.,p. 31, "Find one or two OT passages that teach these same things [true & practical religion] and then look through James and find where he addresses each of these ideas again".
Questions in the #1 category make me think this book is for those who are not well versed in the Bible - but if that is the case, I don't think spoon-feeding will help them know how to read the Bible for themselves. But at the same time, there are questions that would be very involved -- like in #2 -- draw on your OT knowledge and then see how it fits into the entire book of James.
This could be a good resource for someone writing their own study and it does contain good material. But I would not use it in a group study.