Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke
Volume 1 shown. This is a 2-volume set
Within a year of publishing his work on the Gospel of Mark in his Expository Thoughts on the Gospels series, J. C. Ryle had, in 1858, completed the Gospel of Luke.
Ryle’s commentary on Luke was was a much more ‘substantial’ commentary than the earlier ones on Matthew and Mark, and comprehensive ‘explanatory notes’ were appended to the author’s ‘thoughts’ on each passage of Scripture. The purpose of the notes was four-fold:
1st, to ‘throw light on difficulties’ in the text
2nd, to provide literal meanings and comparative translations of certain of the Greek words used by Luke.
3rd, to quote what other ‘approved writers’ had said on particular passages.
4th, to use Scripture to ‘combat existing false doctrines and heresies’. Because of this, the Expository Thoughts on Luke were – and are in this new edition – presented in two volumes, the first covering Luke chapters 1-10, the second chapters 11-24.
Written specifically for a non-Jewish readership, Luke’s Gospel is perhaps the most ‘accessible’ of the narratives of the life of Christ for modern readers. Ryle’s desire for his readers mirrors that of Luke Luke 1:4), that they might gain ‘a more clear knowledge of Christ, as a living person, a living priest, a living physician, a living friend, a living advocate at the right hand of God, and a living Savior soon about to come again’.
About the Author
In 1841, Ryle was ordained as a minister in the Church of England. In his first position in a rural parish he developed the plain and direct style of communication that would mark his future ministry. He served at several churches for the next forty years, during which time he wrote hundreds of evangelistic tracts. He was a wildly popular writer. His tracts sold more than 12 million copies in his lifetime, and were eventually translated into about a dozen European and Asian languages.
While his ministry flourished, Ryle’s home life was challenging. In 1844, he married his first wife, who died in 1847. He married again in 1849. The couple was happy, but his wife’s health was poor, so the pastor seldom travelled and practically raised his children alone. When his second wife died in 1860, he became a single father with five children between 2 and 14 years old.
Despite these hardships, Ryle became a leader among the evangelical clergy in his day. In 1880, he was appointed the first bishop of the newly formed diocese of Liverpool. Because the diocese was new, it had no system of leadership, no formal administration. During his tenure as Bishop of Liverpool, Ryle raised enough funds to build 90 new houses of worship, ordained over 500 deacons, 500 ministers, and at least 45 salaried lay Scripture readers and 31 Bible women. He founded the Lay Helpers Association, an organization that oversaw Sunday schools, Bible classes, mission services, and cared for sick.
Other Expository Thoughts Volumes and further writings:
J. C. Ryle also wrote:
- Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew
- Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Mark
- (3 volumes) Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John
- Practical Religion
- Old Paths
- Christian Leaders of the 18th Century
- Warnings to the Churches
- Thoughts for Young Men
- The Duties of Parents