A great service has been rendered to the church by the Rev. Steven Dilday, pastor of Presbyterian Reformed Church of North Virginia, located in Warrenton.
Dilday has translated the massive Bible commentary of 17th-century puritan Matthew Poole into English. The first two volumes are now available. See the Matthew Poole Project site for more details (HT: R. Andrew Myers, who works on the Encyclopedia Puritannica Project – on which we hope to post more in the near future).
We're told the following about Poole's mammoth work in Beeke and Pederson's Meet the Puritans: With A Guide to Modern Reprints (pp. 485-86):
His first major work was Synopsis Criticorum aliorumque Sacrae Scripturae Interpretum (1669–1676), a five-volume work that compiled and abridged the work of biblical commentators from all ages and nations. The first four thousand sets sold quickly, and by 1712 it had gone through five printings.The merit of this work is partly its wide range of contributors, including rabbinical sources and even some Roman Catholic commentators. The other strength is Poole's skill in condensing lengthy comments into crisp, helpful notes. This work, though famous in its day, was never translated from Latin into English.
An interesting note on Poole's diligence (and eccentricity):
(What? No raw bacon to boot? If I had taken this approach to doctoral work, I might have finished my thesis by now, but I would also be divorced and perhaps bed-ridden from salmonella poisoning.)
Poole began compiling Synopsis Criticorum in 1666 and worked on it every day for ten years. His plan was to study from 4 a.m. until supper, stopping only to eat a raw egg at 8:30 a.m. and another egg at noon. In the evening he visited friends.
Our pal Allen Mickle, who is an assistant to historian Michael Haykin, also recently informed us about what looks to be another worthy read: Great Themes in Puritan Preaching, edited by Mariano di Gangi. (Is it just me, or is everyone using Owen's image on their covers nowadays?)
From the Sola Scriptura site:
The Puritans, though often caricatured in modern days as narrow, gloomy and austere, were those with a deep and vibrant faith whose high view of the Word of God distinguished them as serious students of the Scriptures.
Their preaching was marked by careful exegesis of the great themes of the Bible and the practical application of these doctrines to the life of their hearers. Puritan divines such as John Owen, William Gough, Thomas Watson, John Flavel, Richard Sibbes, and many others, were used of God to powerfully preach the riches of the Messianic work of Christ, the new birth, repentance, justification, sanctification, assurance, and many other foundational biblical themes.
In this volume, Dr. Di Gangi brings together the words and writings of some of these Puritan preachers and presents a summary of Puritan preaching on the great themes of the Word of God. May this book be used to revive in our hearts a love for biblical truth and a desire to see the Scriptures faithfully preached and applied in our day.