Commentaries on Hebrews

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Philemon  ⇐ ⇒   James

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For more great commentaries on Hebrews, be sure to check:
Commentaries on the Epistles, New Testament Commentaries
& Whole Bible Commentaries

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Order of Contents  60+

The Best Commentaries  11
Commentaries
.       1500’s  1
.       1600’s  2
.       Simple  13
.       Intermediate  19
.       Advanced  12
Early Church  2
Medieval Church  1
Chapters in Hebrews
.       Hebrews 11

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The Best Commentaries on Hebrews

Reformer

Calvin, John – Commentary on Hebrews

*** – Spurgeon

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1600’s

Dickson, David

A Short Explanation of the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews   Buy  1635  

Dickson was a prominent Scottish covenanter.  This work on Hebrews is different from the one below also by Dickson.

*** – ‘We need say no more than–get it, and you will find abundance of suggestions for profitable trains of thought.’

An Exposition of all St. Paul’s Epistles together with an explanation of those other epistles of the apostles St. James, Peter, John & Jude, wherein the sense of every chapter and verse is analytically unfolded and the text enlightened  (Romans-Jude)  Buy  1659  

Dickson was a prominent Scottish covenanter.  This is different from Dickson’s independent Short Explanation of Hebrews above.  Note that the Banner of Truth reprint contains Dickson’s commentary on less books than the original.

*** – ‘Dickson is a writer after our own heart.  For preachers he is a great ally.  There is nothing brilliant or profound; but everything is clear and well arranged, and the unction runs down like the oil from Aaron’s head.  In this volume the observations are brief.’

Gouge, William – Commentary on Hebrews, vols. 1 (1-5), 2 (6-10), 3 (11-End)  Buy  1655

***  “We greatly prize Gouge.  Many will think his system of observations cumbrous, and so, perhaps, it is; but upon any topic which he touches he gives outlines which may supply sermons for months.”

Owen, John – Exposition of Hebrews, vols. 1 (Prefatory), 2 (chs. 1-4), 3 (5-8), 4 (9-13)  The volumes average about 800 pp.

***  “Out of scores of commendations of this colossal work we select but one.  Dr. [Thomas] Chalmers pronounced it ‘a work of gigantic strength as well as gigantic size; and he who hath mastered it is very little short, both in respect to the doctrinal and practical Christianity, of being an erudite and accomplished theologian.'” – Spurgeon

“…with the excercitations, it may be reckoned one of the most valuable systems of doctrinal, practical and experimental divinity, that is to be met with in the English language.” – Edward Williams

Abridgments of Owen (shortest to longest):

Epistle to the Hebrews  Preview  Buy  abridged in one volume by M.J. Tyron, Preface by H. Lockyer, Kregel Publications, 283 pp.

This inexpensive paperback book is NECESSARY.  The abridgment covers each verse in about half a page to 2 pages, whereas the original often spends 30-60 pages on each verse.  Introductory material to the whole book is not included in this abridgment.  The abridgment is great if you simply want to quickly open the volume and find out how Owen interpreted a given verse with some relevant comments.  Doing the same in the original may take you all day.  Read the abridgment straight through in several sittings and you will have a great view of Owen on the whole book.  See the Preview link.

Exposition of Hebrews: Revised and Abridged, vol. 1 (Intro), 2 (1-4), 3 (5-9), 4 (10-13) by Dr. Edward Williams  The volumes average about 450 pp., about half the number of the original.  The editor’s preface explains his, quite good, philosophy of abridgment.

Williams (1750–1813) was a Welsh nonconformist minister.

Williams: “The reader… may depend upon on it, that all the valuable, useful, and pertinent criticisms; the most forcible arguments in proof of any important point; the most evangelical and sublime sentiments and doctrines; the most close, convincing, and edifying improvements; the most animating and pathetic addresses and exhortations, contained in the other [original work], are preserved in this.”

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Intermediate

1800’s

Brown, John, of Edinburgh – An Exposition of Hebrews, vols. 1 (1-10:18), 2 (10:19-End)  1862

***  “Dr. David Smith says of this work: ‘There is not a single instance of carelessness in investigating the true meaning of a text, or of timidity in stating the conclusion at which the author had arrived.’  What more could be said in praise of any exposition?” – Spurgeon

“A devout, Reformed exposition which is true to the text and edifying to the believer.” – Cyril J. Barber

Lange’s Commentary – Commentary on Hebrews

*** – Spurgeon

Maclean, Archibald – A Paraphrase and Commentary on Hebrews, vol. 1 (1-8), 2 (9-End)  1820

Maclean (1733–1812) was a Scottish baptist minister.

***  “One of the most judicious and solid expositions ever written.” – Spurgeon

Stuart, Moses – Commentary on Hebrews  1837

***  “We are constantly differing from Moses Stuart, but are bound to consult him.  He is one of the greatest of American scholars, and this is one of his best comments.” – Spurgeon

“A concise, conservative commentary based on the Greek text.  Its main strength lies in its extensive introduction.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Vos, Geerhardus

The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews  Buy  1956

“A series of lectures portraying the central theme of the epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber

‘Hebrews, the Epistle of the Diatheke  1915  31 paragraphs  Diatheke is Greek for ‘Testament’ or ‘Covenant’

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Commentaries on Hebrews

1500’s

Luther, Martin – Works, vol. 29: Lectures on Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews  Buy

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1600’s

Jones, William – A Commentary upon the Epistles of St. Paul to Philemon and to the Hebrews, together with a compendious explication of the Second and Third Epistles of St. John  1635

Jones (1561-1636) was reformed. 

**  “Very lively, sprightly, colloquial lectures, by a Suffolk divine, who thinks the Brownists and Dissenters were not persecuted.  “Christ was whipped, that was persecution; Christ whipped some out of the temple, that was no persecution.”  Despite his intolerance he says some uncommonly racy things.” – Spurgeon

Lawson, George – An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews wherein the Text is Cleared, Theopolitica [the city of God] Improved, the Socinian Comment Examined  1662

Lawson (c.1598-1678) was reformed.

**  “Richard Baxter says: ‘I must thankfully acknowledge that I learned more from Mr. Lawson than from any divine that ever I conversed with.”

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Simple, Practical & Devotional

1800’s

Knox, J. Spencer – The Mediator of the New Covenant, Sermons on Hebrews  1834

**  “Thirteen Sermons on select passages.  Mediocrity highly polished.” – Spurgeon

M’Cheyne, Robert M. – Sermons on Hebrews  Buy  rep. 2004  197 pp.

M’Cheyne was of the Free Church of Scotland.

Meyer, F.B. – The Way into the Holiest: Expositions of the Epistle to the Hebrews  1893  290 pp.

Meyer (1847–1929) was an English, baptist pastor who wrote numerous, very good devotional works.

Newton, Adelaide – The Epistle to the Hebrews compared with the Old Testament  1872

**  “Devout, simple, and instructive.  The authoress was an invalid, and died ere she had finished her work.  She worked out a good idea with far more of expository matter than could have been expected of her.” – Spurgeon

Patterson, Alexander Simpson – A Commentary Expository and Practical on the Epistle to the Hebrews  1856

Patterson was of the Free Church of Scotland.

**  “Lectures delivered in the course of the author’s ministrations.  Excellent for the public; the student should consult other authors for learning; but Patterson has savor and spirituality.” – Spurgeon

Murray, Andrew – The Holiest of All: an Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews  1894  580 pp.

“Devotional, Calvinistic, and applies the truths of the text in a pleasing, practical way.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Moule, H.C.G. – Messages from the Epistle to the Hebrews  1909  130 pp.

Erdman, Charles – The Epistle to the Hebrews  Buy

Erdman was a conservative liberal, who was the chief antagonist to J. Gresham Machen during the restructuring of Old Princeton.

“A devotional and practical commentary which can be used to real profit in adult Bible study groups.” – Cyril J. Barber

Morgan, George C. – God’s Last Word to Man: Studies in Hebrews  Buy  1936

“Not a verse-by-verse commentary, but sixteen expository studies based on selected texts in the epistle.  Warm and practical.  Often overlooks difficulties in interpretations.  Not Morgan’s best work.” – Cyril J. Barber

Thomas, W.G.H. – Hebrews, a Devotional Commentary  Buy  1962

“Forty-one devotional messages based on the theme of the epistle and stressing the need for spiritual progress in the Christian life.” – Cyril J. Barber

Stibbs, Alan M. – So Great Salvation: the Meaning and Message of the Letter to the Hebrews  Buy  1970 in Christian Student’s Library

“A capable expository study of the theme of Hebrews which admirably links precept with practice.” – Cyril J. Barber

Gleason, Archer – The Epistle to the Hebrews: a Study Manual  Buy  1974

Hewitt, Thomas – The Epistle to the Hebrews  Buy  in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

“A strongly conservative, Reformed treatment.  Silas is looked upon as being the most likely author.  The writer has some novel interpretations on the ‘apostasy’ passages, and has not reasoned through some of the historic and interpretative problems.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Intermediate

1700’s

Duncan, Robert – An Exposition of Hebrews  1731  Duncan gives a 20-30 page lecture, commenting verse by verse, on each chapter of Hebrews.

**  “An excellent condensation of Dr. Owen’s valuable work, and giving the pith and marrow of the great commentator.” – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Dale, R.W. – The Jewish Temple and the Christian Church, a Series of Discourses on Hebrews  1868

Dale (1829–1895) was an English Congregationalist minister, and co-pastor with John Angell James.

**  “Among modern divines few rank so highly as Mr. Dale.  Daring and bold in thought, and yet for the most part warmly on the side of orthodoxy, his works command the appreciation of cultured minds.” – Spurgeon

“Eloquent, sophisticated sermons covering almost every facet of Hebrews.” – Cyril J. Barber

Edwards, Thomas – Hebrews  1888  in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Edwards was a Welsh evangelical Presbyterian, known for his commentary on 1 Corinthians.  

Haldane, James – Notes Intended for an Exposition of Hebrews  1860

Haldane wrote this and his commentary on Galatians in order to present an alternate view of covenant theology consistent with baptist theology which heavily contrasts the Old with the New Covenant.

***  “A posthumous work, and issued, not as a finished exposition, but as ‘Notes of an intended Exposition.’  Very valuable for all that.” – Spurgeon

Lindsay, William – Lectures on Hebrews, vol. 1 (1-8), 2 (9-End)  1867  420 & 365 pp.

Lindsay (1802–1866) was a minister and professor in the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, succeeding John Brown of Edinburgh in the chair of exegetical theology in the United Presbyterian Hall.  He was not wholly orthodox in all of his theological views.

***  “One of those great expository works with which the Scotch ministry has so frequently enriched the Church.  We wonder if any one ever read this excellent exposition through; we should not like to be sentenced to do so.” – Spurgeon

“An exhaustive commentary on the Greek text.” – Cyril J. Barber

Plumer, William S. – Commentary on Hebrews  1872  550 pp.

Plumer was a noted American, Southern Presbyterian.

Pridham, A. – Notes and Reflections on the Epistle to the Hebrews  1862  Greek is kept to the footnotes.

**  “Rather mystified with expressions peculiar to ‘dispensational truth’, whatever that may mean; but devout, candid, sober and sound.” – Spurgeon

Saphir, Adolph – Lectures on Hebrews, vol. 1 (1-7), 2 (8-End)  n.d.  American edition: 1902

Saphir was of the Free Church of Scotland.

**  “Mr. Saphir has always something to say worthy of the attention of spiritual minds.  His mind finds a track of its own, but he is never speculative.  We always enjoy his remarks, though he is not specially terse or brilliant.” – Spurgeon

“Fervent expository studies by a converted Jew.  Originally published 1874-76.  Calvinistic.” – Cyril J. Barber

Seiss, Joseph A. – Popular Lectures on the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews  1846  420 pp.

Seiss was a Lutheran pastor, known for his massive, premillennial, proto-dispensationalist commentary on Revelation.

“Thirty-six eloquent sermons which exalt the deity of Christ, stress the necessity of studying the Word, expound the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and exhort believers to a closer walk with Christ.” – Cyril J. Barber

Steward, George – The Argument of the Epistle to the Hebrews  1872

**  “Unhappily the author died before he had quite completed this ‘argument’.  The work is most helpful.” – Spurgeon

Tait, William – Meditationes Hebraicae, or a Doctrinal and Practical Exposition of Hebrews in a series of Lectures, vol. 1, 2  1855

Tait was an Anglican.

**  “A noteworthy series of lectures.  If Gouge, Owen and others had not done all for Hebrews that one could well need, this would have been of first-class value; and though we have much better, it is still a worthy companion to them.” – Spurgeon

Williams, Henry W. – An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews  1872

**  “The author has evidently been a diligent reader and student.  Apart from its Wesleyan peculiarities, we can commend this book as edifying and instructive, though we do not place it in the first class.” – Spurgeon

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1800’s, Liberals

Bruce, A.B. – The Epistle to the Hebrews: the First Apology for Christianity: an Exegetical Study  Buy  1882  276 pp.  in Handbooks for Bible Classes, ed. Dods & Whyte  This was reprinted by Klock & Klock

“An exhaustive interpretation of the epistle based on the premise that it is a formal defense of the Christian faith.  Readers will not always agree with Bruce, but they will find that he has made a valuable contribution to the overall study of this epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber

Davidson, A.B. – The Epistle to the Hebrews, with Introduction and Notes  1882  260 pp.  in Handbooks for Bible Classes, ed. Whyte & Moffatt

Davidson (1831–1902)

“Small in size, but contains many valuable insights into the truths contained in this epistle.  The additional notes are most helpful.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s, Evangelicals

Pink, A.W – Exposition of Hebrews

“An exhaustive exposition which, in spite of its verbosity, contains helpful expository values.” – Cyril J. Barber

English, Eugene Schuyler – Studies in the Epistles to the Hebrews  Buy  1955

“A capable exposition of the theme of this epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber

Schneider, Johannes – The Letter to the Hebrews  Buy  1957

“A helpful commentary by a European Baptist theologian.  Generally conservative and of value to the expositor.” – Cyril J. Barber

Bruce, F.F. – The Epistle to the Hebrews  Buy  in The New International Commentary on the New Testament

“A thorough, reverent exposition.  The footnotes are helpful and give evidence of the author’s vast learning.” – Cyril J. Barber

Homer, Kent – Hebrews  Buy  1972

“A work which the pastor or seminary student will welcome.  Adequately explains the theme of the epistle, builds exposition upon a very capable exegesis of the text, and ably elucidates the theological facets of the epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Advanced

Conservatives

Delitzsch, Franz – Commentary on Hebrews, vol. 1 (1-6), 2 (7-End)  1874

**“Thoroughly learned, but wants unction.  Not adapted for common readers, but scholars will prize it greatly.” – Spurgeon

“An exhaustive treatment of the Greek text in which the writer deals with many of the critical problems and draws heavily upon older literature for many of his ideas.” – Cyril J. Barber

M’Caul, Joseph – The Epistle to the Hebrews, in a Paraphrastic Commentary, with Illustrations from Philo, the Targums, the Mishna and Gemara, the Later Rabbinical Writers, and Christian Annotators, etc.  1871

**  “Mr. M’Caul attacks the gentlemen of the higher criticism with great plainness of speech and some asperity.  We hardly think his work will attain a great circulation, it has so much Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German in it, that only men of learning and leisure can use it.” – Spurgeon

Sampson, Francis – A Critical Commentary on Hebrews  Buy  1856  Reformed, edited by Robert Dabney, who was a colleague of Sampson

*  “A respectable production, but we know many which we value far more.  As a set of lectures to a college class these comments would be of no great value, but the author did well not to print them, although it was natural and fitting that his surviving colleague should do so.” – Spurgeon

Vaughan, C.J. – The Epistle to the Hebrews  1891  405 pp.

Vaughan was an Arminian.

“A thorough study by a Wesleyan theologian.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Liberals

1800’s

Ebrard, John – Biblical Commentary on Hebrews in Continuation of the Work of Olshausen  1853

Ebrard (1818–1888) was a German, protestant, liberal scholar who also wrote commentaries on the letters of John and the Revelation (the latter is not available on the net in English).

**  “This is intended as a continuation of Olshausen, but it is an improvement thereon.  Ebrard is at once learned and spiritual, and we prefer him to almost any other author whose works the Messrs. Clark have issued.” – Spurgeon

Tholuck, A.F. – Commentary on Hebrews, vol. 1, 2  1842  in the Biblical Cabinet

**  “Delitzsch speaks highly of this work; but, for our part, we understand the Epistle better without Tholuck than with him.  Clouds of smoke and volleys of hard words destroy our equanimity.” – Spurgeon

Turner, Samuel – Hebrews, in Greek and English; with an Analysis and Exegetical Commentary  1852

**  “Carefully done.  Written for those who really wish to understand the Epistle.” – Spurgeon

Westcott, B.F. – The Epistle to the Hebrews: the Greek Text with Notes and Essays  1892  600 pp.

Westcott (1825–1901) was a Biblical scholar, a British bishop, and a liberal.

“One of the best treatments of the Greek text.  The notes on Melchizedek, the Tabernacle, the Christology of the epistle, the use of OT quotations by the writer of Hebrews, etc., are worth the price of the book.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Dods, Marcus – The Epistle to the Hebrews  1910  in The Expositor’s Greek Testament 

Moffatt, James – A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews  1924  in The International Critical Commentary

“Exposes the non-Jewish character of the recipients of this letter.  A critical work which provides a helpful section on the rhythmic cadences.  One of the better commentaries on the *theme* of Hebrews.” – Cyril J. Barber

Barclay, William – The Letter to the Hebrews  Buy  1957

“Good for word studies, and abounds with quotations from sacred and secular writers.” – Cyril J. Barber

Montefiore, Hugh – The Epistle to the Hebrews  Buy  1964

Montefiore was an Anglican bishop.

“Brief, critical, perceptive comments based on the original text.  Provides twelve arguments for Apollos’ authorship of the epistle.  Scholarly.” – Cyril J. Barber

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The Early Church on Hebrews

Compilation

ed. Heen, Erik – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Hebrews  Buy

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Individual Father

Chrysostom – Homilies on Hebrews

**  ‘Enough of solid truth and brilliant utterance will be found here to justify this father’s title of ‘Golden Mouth’; but still all is not gold which fell from his lips, and to modern readers Chrysostom is not so instructive as he was to his own age [A.D. 349-407].’ – Spurgeon

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The Medieval Church

Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on Hebrews

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Hebrews 1-6

Manchester, George, Duke of Montague – Horae Hebraicae, an Attempt to discover how the Argument of the Epistle to the Hebrews [1-4:11] must have been understood by those therein addressed, with Appendices on Messiah’s Kingdom  1835

**  “A peculiar book, altogether sui generis, written by a man who did his own thinking.  The Duke would be an unreliable guide, but he frequently strikes out new paths, and suggests novel trains of thought.” – Spurgeon

Dering, Edward – 27 Lectures, or Readings, upon part of the Epistle written to the Hebrews  [Heb. 1-6:6]  1577

Dering was reformed and a puritan.

***  “Mainly aimed at the errors of the Church of Rome, and at the practical questions of the Reformation period.  A learned but antiquated set of lectures.” – Spurgeon

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Hebrews 3

Roberts, Huw – The Day of Hearing: or, Six Lectures upon the latter part of the third chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews of the time and means that God has appointed for man to come to the knowledge of his truth that they may be saved from his wrath  ToC  1600

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On Hebrews 11

1600’s

Manton, Thomas – 66 Sermons on Hebrews 11:1-4, 11:4-28, 11:29-31  704 pp.  in Works, vol. 13-15

***  “Exhaustive.  Manton piles up his matter heaps upon heaps.”

Perkins, William – A Cloud of Faithful Witnesses, leading to the heavenly Canaan, or, a Commentary upon Hebrews 11  d. 1602

**  “Good in its day, but now superseded.  Very many points are discussed which would now be regarded as ridiculous: as for instance, whether a man may travel in a foreign country.  It is terribly prosy.”

Shaw, John – The Catalogue of the Hebrew saints, canonized by St. Paul, Heb. 11, further explained and applied  ToC  1659

Shaw was a reformed puritan.

Burroughs, Jeremiah

Moses, his Self-Denial , Delivered in a Treatise upon Heb. 11:24  EEBO  Buy  1641

Moses his Choice, with his Eye Fixed upon Heaven: Discovering the Happy Condition of a Self-Denying Heart, a Treatise upon Hebrews 11:25-26  Buy  1650

The Excellency of Holy Courage in Evil Times  Buy  1661  on Heb. 11:27

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1900’s

Bullinger, E.W. – A Great Cloud of Witnesses  Preview  Buy  1911

“A series of studies on Hebrews 11 by the ‘father’ of modern ultra-dispensationalism.  An extensive expository treatment which frequently provides discerning explanations of Greek words and their origin.  Preachers will find these studies helpful.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Hebrews 12

1700’s

Andrews, G. – Sermons upon the Twelfth Chapter of the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews 12  1711  published posthumously, Andrews was a minister in Edinburgh, Scotland

**  “Thoroughly Scotch.  Sound, but somewhat polix and commonplace.” – Spurgeon

Sylvester, Matthew – The Christian’s Race and Patience, Sermons on Hebrews 12, vol. 1, 2  Buy  1702-8

Sylvester (1636-1708)

**  “Not of the first class; yet respectable sermons.” – Spurgeon

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1900’s

Sauer, Erich Ernst – In the Arena: a Call to the Consecrated Life  Buy  1955

“Written with verve and insight.  Provides a handy exposition of the Christian wayfarer as seen in Hebrews 12.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Related Pages

Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries