The Matthew Henry Study Bible – Review

The Matthew Henry Study Bible 001

The Matthew Henry commentary is one of the most widely used commentaries available. Written with the layman in mind, it has been in use for 300 years. The Matthew Henry Study Bible from Hendrickson Publishers provides a good portion of this commentary in an easy to use single volume. This is the revised edition of this Study Bible, which contains updated references, concordance, and maps.

Pros

  • Matthew Henry commentary

Cons

  • Red letter is light
  • No room for writing

Features

  • KJV
  • Red-letter
  • Matthew Henry’s commentary
  • Book introductions
  • References
  • Translation notes
  • Concordance
  • Maps
  • 2322 pages
  • ISBN: 9781598563405

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry was a Presbyterian pastor who lived from 1662 to 1714. He is best known for two works: Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, a popular devotional, and Complete Commentary, a 6 volume exhaustive verse-by-verse study of every book of the Bible.

Cover and Binding

The Bible I’m reviewing is hard-cover. The pages are glued in sections. There does seem to be a line of stitching in the front and back, so it could be sewn. It looks average in its construction quality.

Paper and Print

The paper is the standard paper I’ve seen in most study Bibles nowadays. It’s thin and fairly opaque. Readability is not bad. It could be improved with line-matching (but I’m sure that would increase the cost).

The font looks like an 8-point font with a 9.5-point leading. There is more space between the lines than normal, giving plenty of room for underlining. The print quality seems to be consistent throughout. This is a red-letter edition. The red goes all the way through Revelation. The red is a little lighter than I like, but it doesn’t fade. It doesn’t have pronunciation marks but it does have italics for supplied words.

Layout

The text is presented in two-column, paragraph format. The references and translation notes appear in the inner column, and Matthew Henry’s commentary is located on the bottom half of the page. The primary difference in the layout between this one and any other study Bible is the references in the inner column. It does have section headings within the text, which are printed much larger and bolder than the text.

Translation Notes and References

Notes and references are keyed to the text with the standard numbers for notes and letters for references. Chapter and verse numbers are printed in the inner margin in bold. This makes it easy to locate what you’re looking for. There are 7 verses for Genesis 1:1.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

The primary focus of this Bible of course is Matthew Henry’s commentary. Of course this cannot include the complete Matthew Henry Commentary. That would take volumes (6 volumes to be exact). There is more commentary than I expected. Almost every page contains a half a page of commentary.

Henry’s commentary comes from his work as a Pastor, meant to be read and studied by the common person. The commentary has been revised and updated (mostly punctuation) including updates to the style, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word choices. The updates remain true to Henry’s meanings. Any insertions for clarity are labeled with brackets.

Some of Henry’s comments are placed in separate boxes to highlight a specific topic.

As with all commentary and study Bibles, I recommend that you do your own study and only use the commentary as reference. Remember – man is fallible.

Book Introductions

The book introductions are short and to the point. The take about a half a page and include information on the author, date, purpose, and major theme. Some of the introductions contain information from Henry’s commentary.

Concordance

The concordance is 113 pages. It has two columns of text. It has about an average number of references. It has enough to be useful for study. There are 18 verses for God.

Maps

There are 8 pages of maps. They are full color and are printed on thick paper. They look great. One of the maps is topographical. They contain the expected journeys of Paul, and the also contain Christian and Jewish communities. Biblical maps would be more useful if there was an index to maps.

Conclusion

There is a lot of information in this study Bible. The notes are great resources for personal or group study as well as sermon and class prep. This Bible provides a great way to obtain the more important portions of Matthew Henry’s commentary without having to have all 6 complete volumes.

 

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This Bible was provided for free for review by Hendrickson Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review.

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.

5 Comments

  1. Don Denison

    Dear Randy:

    It is nice to see Matthew Henry’s commentary included in a study bible. I have separate commentaries that I use for study when I think I need more than my usual reading using the cross references and other study aids. I try to let the bible itself function as a commentary whenever possible. I have found over time that the commentary I most often reach for is Matthew Henry’s, it is thorough and very scholarly, and has proved to be dependable even though the print size could be larger.

    Unfortunately Mr. Henry didn’t live long enough to finish the New Testament, friends and fellow ministers used his notes to finish, I believe, Romans through Revelation, his notes must have been thorough and complete as I haven’t been able to detect any difference in language or scholarship from Romans on. I must add that I love his vocabulary and style of writing, there is no need to “Modernize” it. I was able to read some of the commentary from your photos, and it seems that any editing has been done with a light hand, it is unfortunate though that there is even a need for that, perhaps the need for even light handed editing is more in the minds of the publishers than in reality.

    I believe that there is no better commentary for bible study than Matthew Henry’s, one should though have a copy of the unabridged commentary for reference if needed even with this bible. The complete commentary as you mentioned is in 6 large volumes, and is I believe in 6 point type. Given the size and small type it is though, still worthwhile.

    I may purchase this bible for a friend who doesn’t have the original and indeed doesn’t have enough space for the complete commentary.

    Thanks for another great review.

    Yours in Christ

    Don Denison

    Reply
  2. Rob Pettifer

    Hi from Scotland!

    Firstly, thanks for the website and the wonderful reviews.

    I hope you don’t mind but I thought I would add a few thoughts that may be helpful to others as I have been using the Matthew Henry study bible for around three years now, although my copy is in what is termed ‘Deluxe Flexisoft’ and it looks and feels great. This is a really nice binding and is so soft that it drapes itself on your lap rather than sits. The cover is a two-tone tan and burgundy and looks like a antique book. It really is nice. After three years of use it is really holding up well with only a slight wear around the spine and I can thoroughly recommend it. The Matthew Henry notes which are taken from his commentary are great and I don’t really need to say a lot about them, but one thing that I really like is that the King James Text is in paragraph form rather than each verse being separate (which seems to be the norm with the King James). Because of this I find that it reads really well and you don’t lose the thought of the books especially with Pauls Letters.
    Overall I really like this Bible, and can certainly recommend it especially with one of the Flexisoft covers.

    Thanks again

    Rob Pettifer

    Reply
    • Randy Brown

      Hi Rob. Thanks for the response. I like the sound of your cover. Feel free to send along some photos if you would like me to post them.

    • Don Denison

      Dear Rob:

      Your bible appears to be bound in a somewhat more attractive binding than the hard cover, I think I would like to actually handle one before I decide which version I will buy for my friend.

      I have never had a serious look at a paragraph format of the Authorised version. I believe that the numbered verse system was devised as a means to enhance memorization although I don’t know this for a fact. I am so accustomed to the chapter and verse lay out, that I would probably feel uncomfortable with the paragraph version. It is true that it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I can see how the paragraph lay out would make the flow of reading easier, particularly for those of us who have learned to read in chunks of words/sentences, and paragraphs, I think I will spend some time with one of these and see if I can adapt, it is possible that I may even like the paragraph lay out better.

      Yours in Christ

      Don Denison

  3. Jose

    Thanks a lot for this review, honest is what I like best. The images you provided for this helped me out a lot with finding out what the bible looks like before I get it. Awesome review!

    Reply

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