Matthew Henry in print

Many online Bible sites provide Matthew Henry’s commentary, unabridged and condensed versions, keyed to each verse. This is useful. However, sometimes one likes to move away from the computer.

There are a number of print versions of the commentary available. Hendrickson offers a one volume unabridged tome. It saves a lot of shelf space compared to the six volume set, but the font is so tiny that it is painful to read. The six-volume set has more legible type, but it takes up a lot of shelf space. The layout is poor, too; there’s little use of bold fonts or spacing, and it uses Roman numerals for chapters. This set is also more than triple the cost of the single volume.

The one-volume condensed versions are more manageable. The Nelson version is so rewritten that it seems unrelated to the original. The beauty, wit, and power of the original prose is lost. The abridged version I like best is Zondervan’s Classic 1961 version (I bought it used to avoid giving money to the company that gave us the TNIV). It retains the original language, although it is heavily condensed. Good stuff is lost. Note that Zondervan also has a newer NIV version. It looked similar to the classic version but the font wasn’t as readable. There were also some wording “updates.” A brief glance revealed nothing offensive, but I thought it best to stick with the 1961 version since I don’t trust the TNIV company.

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