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Matthew Black (1) (1908–1994)

Author of Peake's Commentary on the Bible

For other authors named Matthew Black, see the disambiguation page.

22+ Works 754 Members 4 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Matthew Black by Walter Bird bromide print, 8 April 1965 NPG x165287 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Works by Matthew Black

Peake's Commentary on the Bible (1920) — Editor — 396 copies, 3 reviews

Associated Works

The Greek New Testament (1898) 6,385 copies, 21 reviews
On Paul and John, some selected theological themes (1963) — Editor — 27 copies, 1 review
Creation, Christ and Culture: Studies in Honour of T. F. Torrance (1976) — Contributor, some editions — 23 copies


Common Knowledge



This is a 1962 revision of the original Peake's commentary published in 1921. I have copied below a review of the original edition published in The Union Seminary Review, Vol. 33, July, 1922. I appreciate the deserved sarcastic remarks about the book which is filled with liberal theology that emerged from unbelieving theologians who denied Biblical authority and orthodox Christian doctrine.

"Peake's Commentary on the Bible is a marvel of condensation. It is amazing how much Biblical information, critical theory, and doctrinal error can be packed into such a compact volume. Dr. Peake, the Editor, is one of the foremost Bible scholars of our day from a liberal standpoint. In producing this commentary, he has gathered about him a corps of sixty-one able assistants, many of whom are well known in the world of Bible scholarship. The list of contributors is impressive. This book contains a number of special articles on various subjects relating to the Bible and its contents. There is a brief introduction to each book of the Bible and a commentary on each chapter. There are also several maps and one of the best and most complete indexes to be found anywhere. The bibliography is valuable to the student. In each introduction a list of the best commentaries on the book under consideration is given and a general bibliography is to be found at the end of the volume. I wish all the one volume commentaries were as excellent in their arrangement of material as this one, but I am glad all are not like this one in their teaching. The position of this commentary is intensely liberal. It is the one volume commentary of Liberalism. One needs to read a book like this with thoughtful care and discrimination. This is not the commentary for our homes, for our Sunday-school workers, or for our Sunday-school libraries. The tendency of this book would be to shake the faith of many of our Christian workers in the Bible as the word of God. The book is barren of spiritual values. If a minister desires to have at hand a brief summary of the views of modern liberal Bible scholarship, this is a good book for the purpose; but he will find little to edify him in the perusal of its pages."… (more)
jnote797 | 2 other reviews | Sep 15, 2023 |
historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, historical-setting, history, history-and-culture, WW2, OSS, ONI espionage, mafia, nonfiction*****

The book and its ramifications all began with the sinking of the Normandie in the harbor of New York.
Anything with research this extensive cannot be read in a day or two despite the fact that some records could not be verified because they were BURNED by government authorities!
There have been a number of fiction (Andrea Camilleri and Clive Cussler are the first to come to mind) and nonfiction books ((OSS by R. Harris Smith, for instance) with a few pages or even a chapter or two on this aspect of WW2 espionage in the past few years. But this is the first meticulously researched and documented book on the subject that I am aware of. Excellent!
I requested and received an EARC from Kensington Books/Citadel via NetGalley. Thank you!
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jetangen4571 | Dec 8, 2022 |
I thought it might be a good idea to read the Bible, but with some idea of what it was I was reading. And so it was. Knowing nothing about biblical commentaries it was a case of trial and error and I just happened to be lucky first time.

First up, there are a whole load of essays on a whole range of subjects. Some of them, like those on archaeology or money are now hopelessly outdated, but the vast majority and still useful and/or interesting. They really are an education in themselves.

As for the commentaries, cast your eye down the list of contributors and you’ll see certain biases. They are all of them male. All white. All Protestant; mostly Anglian. Mostly British; some American. You’re never going to find an unbiased book on such a controversial subject, so my advice is to find one whose biases you understand. Well, I’m white, male, and from a Protestant country so I’m laughing. I think the most important bias in this context is the religious one. There’s something about the way they see the world that I understand.

Taking the Old Testament first, what they are attempting to do is to discover who wrote these books, when, and why. What did the words mean to those who wrote them, and what did they mean to the first people to read them? I think it would be fair to say that for these men the attempt to gain that knowledge is in itself an act of worship. There’s quite a range in the quality, from the masterpiece that is S. H. Hooke’s go at Genesis, to the one on Jeremiah that had me wondering if the author could even read Hebrew. Most are very good.

Moving to the New Testament, it’s the same sort of approach, but you do need to turn your Bullshit Detector up to 11 because now they’re writing directly about their own religion. My detector did beep a few times, but on the whole they acquit themselves admirably. I did sometimes find that they didn’t answer the questions that I as a non-Christian was asking. But you could do a lot worse. One thing that I think the commentaries on both testaments are very good at is explaining contexts. It’s very easy when you’re dealing with such alien cultures to read something in to an innocuous word or to miss something fundamental because our concepts have changed.
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Lukerik | 2 other reviews | Jul 29, 2022 |

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