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Gospel of Matthew – 1 VolumeAs the first Gospel in the New Testament, Matthew was, not surprisingly, the first to be published in J. C. Ryle’s series ofExpository Thoughts on the Gospels(1856). Ryle’s expositions are a rich combination of doctrinal and practical comments on the Gospel text.
Ryle’sExpository Thoughtscan be used as a help in family worship, or as an aid in pastoral visitation, or simply as a companion to the Gospels in the private reading of Scripture.
Gospel of Mark – 1 VolumeFirst published in 1857, Mark was the second book to appear in J. C. Ryle’s series ofExpository Thoughts on the Gospels.
The earliest of the Gospel narratives to be written, Mark, says Ryle, ‘is singularly full of precious facts about the Lord Jesus, narrated in a simple, terse, pithy, and condensed style’. Those last four adjectives could well be used to describe Ryle’s own comments on the Gospel!
Gospel of Luke – 2 VolumesWithin a year of publishingMarkin hisExpository Thoughts on the Gospelsseries, J. C. Ryle had, in 1858, completed the Gospel of Luke.
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 LukeLuke 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 Saviour soon about to come again’.
Gospel of John – 3 Volumes ‘The Gospel of St. John, rightly interpreted, is the best and simplest answer to those who profess to admire a vague and indistinct Christianity.’ There were many such in J. C. Ryle’s day, as in our own, and these final three volumes of hisExpository Thoughts on the Gospelsseries provide a detailed commentary upon, and ‘right interpretation’ of the fourth Gospel.
In these volumes Ryle shows again that, as in all his writing and preaching, he was first and foremost a pastor, and as J. I. Packer has pointed out, ‘alongside the question “Is it true?” the question “What effect will this have on ordinary people?” was always in his mind’.