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The Biblical Illustrator

Old Testament

Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers
Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth
1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings
1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah
Esther Job Psalms Proverbs
Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon Isaiah Jeremiah
Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea
Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah
Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah
Haggai Zechariah Malachi

New Testament

Matthew Mark Luke John
Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians
1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy
Titus Philemon Hebrews James
1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John
3 John Jude Revelation

Over 34,000 pages in its original 56 volume printing, the Biblical Illustrator is a massive compilation of treatments on 10,000 passages of Scripture. It is arranged in commentary form for ease of use in personal study and devotion, as well as sermon preparation.

Most of the content of this commentary is illustrative in nature, and includes from hundreds of famous authors of the day such as Dwight L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, J. C. Ryle, Charles Hodge, Alexander MacLaren, Adam Clark, Matthew Henry, and many more. The collection also includes lesser known authors published in periodicles and smaller publications popular in that ara. Unlike modern publishers, Exell was apparently not under any pressure to consolidate the number of pages.

While this commentary is not known for its Greek or Hebrew exposition, the New Testament includes hundreds of references to, and explanations of, Greek words.

Joseph S. Exell edited and compiled the 56 volume Biblical Illustrator commentary. You will recognize him as the co-editor of the famous Pulpit Commentary (this commentary is even larger than the Pulpit Commentary). This remarkable work is the triumph of a life devoted to Biblical research and study. Assisted by a small army of students, the Exell draws on the rich stores of great minds since the beginning of New Testament times.

The Biblical Illustrator brings Scripture to life in a unique, illuminating way. While other commentaries explain a Bible passage doctrinally, this work illustrates the Bible with a collection of:

  • illustrations
  • outlines
  • anecodtes
  • history
  • poems
  • expositions
  • geography
  • sermons
  • Bible backgrounds
  • homiletics
for nearly every verse in the Bible. This massive commentary was originally intended for preachers needing help with sermon preperation (because who else in that day had time to wade through such a lengthy commentary?). But today, the Biblical Illustrator provides life application, illumination, inspiriation, doctrine, devotion, and practical content for all who teach, preach, and study the Bible.

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