Books Of Value For Church Libraries

David R. Kenney

Commentary on Romans by Robertson L. Whiteside

Guy N. Woods stated that there were over 3,000 books on the epistle of Romans. This speaks to the magnitude of themes for this great letter by the hand of the apostle Paul. I think of this book as part of the meat that has been provided for mature Christians to feed upon. Some mistakenly believe the Scriptures are all easily understood. Apparently, they have not meditated on the epistle of Romans. They must not realize that the apostle Peter did not share that sentiment when he wrote "... and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvationas also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures." (2 Peter 3:15-16).

There are, obviously, some books on Romans that are good and some that are not so good. This work by Whiteside is one of the very best on the epistle to the church at Rome. Even though printed in 1945, it is still one of the most praised works on the subject by faithful writers who attempt to build on Whiteside's work. In fact, I would almost say that unless someone referenced Whiteside on Romans in his book I would be reluctant to purchase it. This writer had made a feeble attempt to teach an adult class on the book of Romans. The study was as good as it was primarily because of this work. This reviewer is not alone in his assessment.

The Introduction of Whiteside's commentary was written by three eminently qualified scholars among churches of Christ: C. R. Nichol, Cled E. Wallace, and Foy E. Wallace, Jr. In the introduction they write of Whiteside: "From the beginning of his study of the Bible he has respected the conclusions of godly and experienced students of the Bible, though he early realized that no man is infallible. He had to be sure of his own ground before he took issue with such men; he greatly admired the intellectual powers, the faith, and stalwart character, and humble bearing of that great man, David Lipscomb. To him David Lipscomb was the ideal teacher, the ideal Christian; yet, on more than one occasion in Bible classes in the Nashville Bible School, he took issue with the expressed views of Brother Lipscomb. On more than one occasion Brother Lipscomb accepted the views of Brother Whiteside."

That says volumes of not only the humility of David Lipscomb that he would be open to further study of the word of God by a student but also the student's ability to have an influence on the teacher.

The commentary is structured by chapters and verses with Whiteside's comments on each section of Scripture. There may be fancier formatted books on Romans; however, there are very few that measure to the depth of knowledge that Whiteside provides. This commentary is very readable and is not filled with a lot of religious jargon that is hard to understand or not worth the effort in attempting to figure out. This volume is an essential addition to the church library that needs material on Romans. -29 Flora Dr., Bedford, OH 44146-2011. For previous book reviews, visit


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