Building a Foundation for Your Faith:
A Guide to Bible Study and Theological Tools (4)
BIBLE COMMENTARIES 《圣经》注释
We have seen above that authors of Bible study books have different presuppositions (convictions)! The more common presupposition among evangelical Bible scholars is: the Bible is a book written by men, and should be studied as such. Many Bible scholars no longer believe that God has given us propositional revelation (i.e., that God told us things, ideas, concepts, truths, doctrines, in the Bible). This is at variance with what evangelicals have always believed, at least since the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century.
我们在上文看见，如何查经和释经学这类的参考书籍，不同的作者们对《圣经》的预设都不同。目前福音派的神学家中，比较普遍的预设乃是：《圣经》是人写的，而且神并没有要向人类启示一些命题 (presuppositions)或教义 (doctrines)。在这方面读者们必须儆醒，因为这与几百年的正统（福音派）信仰有所出入。
Let us now look at Bible commentaries.
Jonathan Edwards, the eighteenth-century theologian and leader in the Great Awakening, once said that, our understanding of one passage of Scripture must be based on our understanding of the entire Bible. What he meant was: we must have a basic, overall grasp of what the Bible teaches. Otherwise, it is so easy to take Bible passages out of context!
十八世纪大觉醒复兴运动教复兴 (The Great Awakening) 领袖之一，也是美国最伟大的神学家爱德华兹 (Jonathan Edwards) 曾经说过：“我们对每一段经文的认识，乃是建造在我们对整本《圣经》的认识。”他的意思是说，我们对《圣经》的总原则和主题必须有某一程度的掌握，不然的话，很容易断章取义。
Of course, we must begin our journey with studying individual portions (passages, paragraphs) of the Bible, and eventually build up a solid system of beliefs. However, we also must believe that the Holy Spirit does illumine and guide us. Ever since we were converted, we had a certain understanding of the Bible, even though it may be very rudimentary. We all know that Jesus is our Savior; he has forgiven our sins; we are saved. We know something about the power of the cross, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Then we learn a few things about the character (attributes) of God, and we get involved in the ministry of the church – so we learn about the doctrine of the church. At least, we begin to ask questions in these areas! These are all theological questions; they are intimately related with our study of the Bible.
当然，基督徒必须从一段一段经文的研读，来建构我们的信仰系统。可是，我们必须相信圣灵会光照我们。从重生得救之后，我们对《圣经》的主题都会有某一程度的理解，虽然在起初时，这方面的理解非常幼稚，但我们都知道耶稣基督是我们的救主，赦免了我们的罪；后来，对救恩的道理、十字架的能力、圣灵的工作有一些进一步的理解；曾几何时，对神的属性(the attributes of God) 又开始知道一些；事奉一段时间之后，对教会论 (doctrine of the Church) 开始接触，至少心中会产生这方面的问题。这些都是教义 (doctrine)或系统神学的问题，都与我们的解经息息相关。
You see, Biblical studies cannot be separated from doctrine (systematic theology)! Every time we study the Bible, we bring our overall understanding of the Bible (i.e., our presuppositions) with us to the Bible. This is only natural, it should not surprise us! We need to be aware of this fact, and constantly re-evaluate our faith according to the clear teaching of Scripture. We should continue to ask the Holy Spirit to illumine, guide, and correct us. We can then share with all the saints in Christ our common knowledge of Christ’s love, and come to learn something of the mind of God revealed in Scripture.
《圣经》研究与系统神学是不可分开的！我们每次查经的时候，都会把我们对《圣经》的总原则、对《圣经》主题的认识带进我们的研经过程中。这是非常自然的，我们并不需要惊奇，只要我们意识到这点，常常按照《圣经》清楚的教导来检视我们的信仰（教义），而且不断的求圣灵光照、教导、纠正，就可以相信我们是与众圣徒一同在认识基督的丰富上长进，并掌握神在《圣经》里要启示的心意(the mind of God)。
There is no such thing as “neutral interpretation” of the Bible; we cannot naively believe that we must just “let the Bible speak for itself!” From the vantage point of what the church has historically believed to be orthodox beliefs, this is only fanciful thinking on the part of a few scholars! Everyone has presuppositions about the Bible. The critical question is: Are we aware of them? And are these presuppositions consistent with what the Bible itself teaches?
解释《圣经》，并没有“中立” (neutral) 的地带。所谓“中立” 的解经，或说让《圣经》自己说话 (Let the Bible speak for itself)， 从两千年教会历史和神学的宏观看来，不过是神话，是一些《圣经》学者（不是所有《圣经》学者）的自我安慰。我们每一个人的解经都有预设 (presuppositions)，重要的是，我们有没有意识到自己的预设，这些预设是否合乎《圣经》本身的教导。
Bible commentaries may be helpful as we prepare Bible study lessons or sermons; they encourage us to see the big picture, and not take things out of context. Some pastors discourage Christians from using commentaries; their point is: let’s learn from God’s Word only rather than learning from men. Of course, they have a good point. We need to learn what God says; our goal is to grasp the mind of God. However we are all human – not only the Bible student, but the Bible commentator as well. We are all sinners saved by grace (if evangelical Christians). We all need the illumination by the Holy Spirit, and learn in accountability with other saints throughout history. We all bring our preferences, biases, interests, and spiritual needs into our Bible study.
使用《圣经》注释，在准备讲章和主日学教材时，可以给我们一些帮助，叫我们从大处着眼，不至于灵意解经，或者断章取义。有些传道人可能会说，基督徒读《圣经》时，就应只读《圣经》，不应使用任何参考书，因为后者所代表的是人为的意思，惟有《圣经》是神的话，我们需要的是神的教导，不是人的想法。这种说法，背后的用意是非常正确的。我们读经的目的，的确是要明白神的心意 (the mind of God)。可是，我们都是人 －－ 不论是读经的，或者是写注释书的 －－ 都是蒙恩的罪人（假如是福音派的信徒的话）。我们都需要圣灵的光照，和历代教会众圣徒的彼此守望、彼此学习，因为我们都带着自己的主观经历、个人的喜好、性格、灵性上的需要等来阅读《圣经》。
After we study a passage carefully, we can go to a basic Bible commentary to check whether we have interpreted it properly. The single one-volume Bible commentary most available and most helpful is The New Bible Commentary: Revised (Eerdmans, 1970; Chinese translation was based on original version: The New Commentary, Inter Varsity, 1953; in Chinese: Sheng Jing Xin Shi《圣经新释》, Hong Kong: Christian Witness Press 证道出版社, 1958). It is compact, and does not intend to answer every theological question. But is is a helpful overview of the content of the passage. Remember that this commentary has gone through many editions, including the present 21st century edition. I prefer the older editions, which have not been influenced by contemporary theories of biblical criticism.
当我们经过严谨的读经、查经之后，可以参考一些基本的注释，来检查我们对一段经文的解释，有没有断章取义。中文的《圣经》注释方面，有《圣经新释》这本单行本 (香港：证道出版社，1958) 。这本注释是从英文的 New Bible Commentary翻译过来的，不过原著已经绝版，取代的是不同的修订本，包括：The New Bible Commentary: Revised (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1970)。《圣经新释》非常的精简，并没有解答所有有关的神学问题，可是它可以给我们每一卷书一个正确的概念。用《圣经新释》时，不要忽略好好地读每一卷书的介绍。 我比较喜欢中译本所用的第一版本，因为后来的版本比较多受最新的《圣经》批判理论所影响，比方说有些旧约书卷（摩西五经等）可能是被掳之后写的，等等。
Ripe, mature commentaries on the various books of the Bible have been written by John Calvin (1509-64), the Puritans and other leaders since the 16th century. Some Puritan commentaries appear in The Geneva Commentaries (Banner of Truth Trust). Try the one-volume abridged Bible commentary by Matthew Henry, or his 6-volume set. It is devotional, and solidly rooted in the Puritan’s reverence study of Scripture.
自从加尔文的系统原文解经以来，基督教在不同时期都出现了严谨的注释。可惜，中译本不多，加尔文的只有一两本。到了清教徒时期，《圣经》注释不断地出版，而亨利马太 (Matthew Henry) 的《圣经》注释，是清教徒运动后期的作品，收集了一百多年(1550年代至1660年代) 的清教徒们的智慧。今天我们可以买到六卷的，或者是单行本的亨利马太《圣经》注释。小的时候，我只知道父亲的书架上放着六本亨利马太的注释，到了几十年后才知道是属灵宝藏。
Campus Evangelical Fellowship in Taiwan 校园 has been translating and publishing the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries and Tyndale New Testament Commentaries series 《丁道尔圣经注释》 (English original published by Inter Varsity Press). They are very helpful. More recently written commentaries contain evangelical scholar’s dialogue with, and use of, contemporary theories of Bible interpretation.
台湾的校园出版社为华人教会做了一件好事，就是出版旧约和新约的《丁道尔圣经注释》；原著是 Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries 和 Tyndale New Testament Commentaries series (Inter Varsity Press). 这些都很有帮助，不过最近写的部分可能包含了最新的《圣经》批判理论。
Some individual Bible commentaries are truly classics: the 3 volume commentary on Isaiah by E.J. Young 杨以德, the 1-volume or 2-volume commentary on Romans by John Murray 慕理, and the 2-volume on The Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd-Jones are tremendous feasts of spiritual wisdom. They are all in print at this point! Martyn Lloyd-Jones has been hailed as the greatest preacher in the 20th century. He has written Bible commentary series on Romans and Ephesians, etc. James Montgomery Boice, the late pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, is an able Bible commentator; some of his commentaries have been published in Chinese.
英文的《圣经》注释世界里有一些著作是经典之作，所以，虽然它们有时从一些系列中被取代了，可是出版社还会独自地再版。最好的例子就是慕理的罗马书注释：John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans。 另外钟马田的登山宝训和以弗所书，杨以德的以赛亚书注释（三卷）都是不可错过的。钟马田的注释中译本，请中文读者注意。还有 James Montgomery Boice的注释也陆续面世。
My favorite New Testament commentary series is William Hendriksen, The New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker); it was completed after Hendriksen’s death by Dr. Simon Kistemaker of Reformed Theological Seminary. Hendriksen - Kistemaker is expository and homiletical; that is, the commentary reads like a sermon. There are many helpful outlines, and I Corinthians, in particular, was written by Kistemaker who responded intelligently to contemporary debates, e.g. the place of women in the ministry of the church.
我个人喜欢用的新约注释，是William Hendriksen 和 Simon Kistemaker 合著的 New Testament Commentary，对准备讲道很有用，没有学术味道，对传道人和平信徒都适宜。 至于中文出版社陆续出版的中文作者写的《圣经》注释系列，每一位作者对《圣经》的立场都不同，读者可以自行判断，例如：作者是否相信以赛亚书是以赛亚写的？还是两个以赛亚写的？摩西五经有没有一些段落是被掳之后才写的？《圣经》的神迹是否事实？等等。
The Anchor Bible and other commentary series published by Word and Zondervan put the reader in touch with contemporary debates in Bible background and interpretation. They do not have the same solid, traditional flavor as Hendriksen, Murray, Young and the Puritans.
(EVANGLEICAL) BIBLICAL THEOLOGY (正统) 《圣经》神学
Biblical theology 《圣经》神学 is different from systematic theology 系统神学. While systematic theology asks the question, “What does the entire Bible teach about a particular topic x?,” Biblical theology is the study of themes which God has revealed, at different periods of the history of revelation. For example, studies on the covenant in the Five Books of Moses; the promise of the Messiah in the Old Testament prophets; the kingdom of God in the Gospels; suffering and the age to come in the epistles of Paul; etc. are classic examples of Biblical theology.
Your understanding of the Bible will be greatly enriched through the study of Biblical theology. Another benefit is: you will be amazed how Jesus Christ is really the central figure and focus of the Old Testament.
In my view, an effective worship leader should be a student of Biblical theology, especially Old Testament biblical theology.
Biblical theology is grounded on two beliefs: the historical progression of revelation, and the unity of revelation. Contemporary evangelical Biblical scholars often forget the unity of revelation; e.g. they pitch Jesus (a Hippie-like lover of all people) against Paul (whom they accuse of being a woman-hater). This is the kind of Biblical study which clearly harms the church and erodes the Christian’s confidence in the Bible!
A word of caution: Biblical theology refers to the evangelical study of the history of revelation. This is not to be confused with another movement, the “Biblical theology movement” which is non-evangelical (treated by J.I. Packer 巴 刻 in his book, Truth and Power). This non-evangelical type of Biblical theology purports to study what the people of God believed and preached at different points in time; however, these scholars do not necessarily (often they actually do not) believe that the Bible is inspired and inerrant.
The great leader of the evangelical Biblical theology movement – as properly understood by J.I. Packer in Truth and Power – is Dr. Edmund P. Clowney, retired president of Westminster Theological Seminary. You can taste the riches of Biblical theology through Clowney’s book, The Mystery Unveiled, or his older work, Preaching and Biblical Theology. A shorter work by one of the numerous students of Clowney, is Charles Drew, Ancient Love Song: Finding Christ in the Old Testament (Presbyterian and Reformed, 2001).
Standard academic works on Old Testament biblical theology include: Gerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology; Meredith Kline, Treaty of the Great King; and Meredith Kline, The Structure of Biblical Authority. Seminary students are often required to read works on biblical theology by non-evangelicals such as Von Rad and W. Eichrodt.
中文的《圣经》神学书籍不多，首推Geerhardus Vos 的《圣经神学》（卷一、二，天道），可惜已经绝版。近年来有《圣经神学辞典》出版，与《圣经新辞典》一起用，勉强可补偿这方面的缺欠。
New Testament biblical theology is best exemplified by the last section in G. Vos, Biblical Theology, and Vos’ other work: Pauline Eschatology. Besides G. Vos, Herman Ridderbos is another name to remember when shopping for books on biblical theology. Ridderbos has a book on Paul. Vos has a shorter book entitled The Coming of the Kingdom.
A French Roman Catholic author has edited a one-volume Dictionary of Biblical Theology, which is very helpful as a supplementary tool.
OTHER TYPES OF BIBLICAL STUDIES PUBLICATIONS
There are some other books in the field of Biblical studies: a good Bible atlas may be very helpful. Increasingly there are Chinese books published (written by Chinese authors) on textual criticism; Greek and Hebrew textbooks; Greek and Hebrew Bibles; concordances based on the original languages, concordances based on the English or Chinese Bible, and verse-by-verse interpretation of the original text (e.g. by A.T. Robertson). May you learn to discern, and mature in your grasp of God’s Word! May you be a blessing to Christ’s church!
2/16/2006 4:06:00 PM