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Romans by Charles Hodge (Geneva Series Commentaries) (Geneva Series Commentary) Hardcover – February 1, 1972
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About the Author
Scholar, educator, churchman, and distinguished American Presbyterian systematic theologian of the nineteenth century, Charles Hodge was born in Philadelphia in 1797. Following his father's untimely death a few years after he was born, Charles and his brother were raised by their godly widowed mother. In 1812 Hodge's mother moved the family to Princeton in hope of matriculating her sons at Princeton College.
Charles Hodge graduated from Princeton College in 1815. During the 1814-15 school year a revival broke out on the college campus: Charles was one of a number of students converted during this time of spiritual refreshing. At the encouragement of Archibald Alexander, he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating with the class of 1819.
Ordained in 1821, his scholarly gifts led to an appointment by his denomination in 1822 to serve as the seminary's third faculty member. As Professor of Oriental and Biblical Literature, Hodge's primary responsibility was instruction in biblical languages, hermeneutics, biblical criticism, and study of Old Testament texts. During 1826-28, he travelled to Europe to study with the leading European biblical and theological scholars. Hodge focused his studies on theology and biblical interpretation, with additional concentration in Semitic and cognate languages. His studies in Europe made him one of the leading Hebraists teaching in an American theological institution in the early nineteenth century. In the coming decade, Hodge would be assisted by the linguistic talent and philological expertise of Joseph Addison Alexander.
With Addison's arrival, Hodge concentrated his labours on New Testament texts and studies, serving as Professor of Exegetical and Didactic Theology from 1840 to 1854. From 1854 until his death in 1878, he served as Professor of Exegetical, Didactic, and Polemic Theology.
During his half-century tenure at Princeton, Charles Hodge held several chairs, but is probably best remembered for the reputation he established as Professor of Systematic Theology. A stout Calvinist with a deep love for the Reformed confessions, his literary labours often involved a polemical thrust, as he sought to defend and expound the Reformed theology of the Protestant Reformation, and the teachings of the Westminster Confession and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, as received and adopted by the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
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So far as is possible, everything is tailored to the needs and enrichment of thoughtful readers - lay Christians, students, and those in the ministry. The originals, some of which were written at a high technical level, have been abridged as needed, simplified stylistically, and unburdened of foreign words. However the intention of this series is never to change any thoughts of the original authors, but to faithfully convey them in an understandable fashion.
Let your faith in regards to McGrath and Packer be your guide for that.
Also, they replaced all references of scripture to the NIV. Let your opinion of the NIV be your guide for that.
Hodge's commentary provides an in-depth analysis of the book of Romans. Written from a Reformed perspective, it carefully dissects every verse and in some cases, every phrase, of this great Pauline letter. At the end of the commentary on each chapter one will find a series of points on "Doctrine" as well as a section on "Remarks." Both these sections are designed to help the reader get an overview of the main points of the chapter.
This is not a commentary for the novice or the fainthearted. It presupposes some knowledge of Greek (although someone who is ignorant of Greek can still benefit from it), as well as a basic understanding of apologetics and Reformed theology (particularly soteriology). For the person who wants a commentary that is somewhat less formidable while still reasonably scholarly I would recommend John Murray's twentieth-century classic on Romans. However, for the serious student there is none better than Hodge's.
I particularly liked this commentary because it is complete (offering multiple views on the more difficult passages) without being exhaustive (endless discussions). Also, it is very well written - the precision of the language was much appreciated. Although, I must admit that I had to use my dictionary multiple times to reference some words that are not common in America today.
Despite the fact that this commentary was written years ago, it is still very useful to anyone interested in learning more about the Book of Romans. I feel like it truly gave me a step forward in the right direction towards a better understanding of God and His Kingdom.
The commentary will be more useful to the advanced student in that it presumes thorough knowledge of Greek, New Testament history and reformed apologetics. Those interested in a less tedious work should consider John Murray's "The Epistle to the Romans" (ISBN: 0802843417).