The Spurgeon Study Bible is a very neat idea. As most people somewhat acquainted with Mr. Spurgeon know, he was not a verse-by-verse through a book of the Bible kind of preacher. He usually would choose a verse (or portion of verses) for one Sunday and would preach on that and then preach on another (non-related, often from a whole different book)verse the next week. And also, some may also notice that his preaching was not always very exegetical.
That being said, this commentary is a great compilation! It sort of gives a glimpse of how it would have been if Spurgeon went by a more verse by verse preaching style, and it focuses on snippets from his sermons that are more exegetical.
The version that I have is the brown and tan cloth over board Bible. It is very nicely bound and seems quite durable. The spine has some fancy looking ridges on it and the front has Spurgeon's signature printed on the bottom left.
There is a lot of good commentary in this work. But there are also, of course, places where the commentary is not so great. To give an example, in one place he says, "I hate that plan of reading the Scriptures in which we are told, when we lay hold of a gracious promise, 'Oh, that is for the Jews.' Then I also am a Jew, for it is given to me! Every promise of God's Word belongs to all those who have the faith to grasp it…." That is a ridiculous, irreverent and, to speak very plainly, quite a selfish statement. Why does everything have to be about us individually? And it absolutely cannot be applied in a general way. What if there was a married, childless, ninety year old woman who greatly desires to have children and so she reads Genesis and Matthew, and grasps hold of the promises given to Sarah and Elizabeth, that they would bear children in their old age, and applies them to herself in faith? Is that a reverent interpretation of God's Word?
Anyway, I still think that this is a worthwhile Bible to get. There is a lot of good commentary in here, and of course, it is filled with pithy statements like, "Let us never think that we have learned a doctrine until we have seen its fruit in our lives." and "Anything is a blessing that makes us pray"
And I was particularly pleased at Spurgeon's conclusions in some places that are more or less controversial today. For instance, in speaking of the flood's being a universal flood some of the commentary says, "If Moses had meant to describe a partial deluge on only a small part of the earth, he used misleading language. But if he meant to teach that the deluge was universal, he used the words we might have expected that he would use. I should think that no person, merely by reading this chapter, would arrive at the conclusion that has been reached by some of our learned men - too learned to hold the simple truth of God. " Wow! That's really stating it plainly.
And then, speaking of 1 Corinthians 9-10 ("What no eye has seen, no ear has heard….") he expresses incredulity at "How frequently verses of Scripture are misquoted! How frequently do we hear believers describing heaven as a place of which we cannot conceive. They quote verse 9, and there they stop, not seeing that the marrow of the whole passage lies in verse 10. The apostle was not talking about heaven at all. He was only saying that the wisdom of this world is not able to discover the things of God, that the merely carnal mind is not able to know the deep spiritual things of our most holy faith…" Rather, these things "must be revealed by the Spirit of God, as they are to all believers." I was delighted that he had come to that conclusion as I know that my dad (a pastor) has been frustrated by the same thing.
As one would expect with just about anything written by Spurgeon, there is a lot of quotable stuff in the commentary. Overall, it's exactly what one would expect in a Spurgeon study Bible.
Many thanks to the folks at B&H Publishers for the free review copy of this book (My review did not have to be favorable)!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars