Hodge’s work on 1 and 2 Corinthians forms one of the most significant parts of the plan for a series of ‘popular commentaries’ on the New Testament which he projected with J. A. Alexander in the 1850s. When the early death of Alexander prevented the completion of the series, the individual volumes were quickly prized in their own right and went through many editions on both sides of the Atlantic.
The qualities which have given Hodge’s commentaries such a wide and enduring market are readily to be seen. In the first place they are singularly clear. The technicalities of critical opinion, which soon cause a volume to become dated, are not to be found in his pages. His aim was to produce commentaries which learned and unlearned alike could consult with profit. Believing that he was dealing with the words of the Holy Spirit he endeavoured to set out both what those words contain and the effects which their truth should have upon the conscience and life.
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