Friday, February 4, 2011

Finding Josph Caryl Online

Green Baggins shared a wonderful post on the Westminster divine, Joseph Caryl's commentary on Job, particularly about how to preach about Job's friends. After all - is it all bad theology? If so, how do you preach through 20+ chapters of bad doctrine? I won't spoil Caryl's answer - you can look at Green Baggins to see what he has to say about it.

I was so impressed with Caryl's insights and Lane's glowing endorsement of Caryl's 12-volume set that I started to look online to see if I could find any versions of the book in electronic format, since $250+ dollars for this impressive set of commentaries is a bit out of my reach at the moment. The best I could find was two very rewarding eBooks, thanks to Google.

1. The first is Caryl's exposition of Job 18-21. It is an exact facsimile and pretty rough going, but if you really want to see what the man has to say, this is a good place to start.

2. The second is a set of selections from Caryl's work on Job titled A Directory for the Afflicted, which was printed in 1824 by John Berrie. This is a much more readable typeset than the one listed above, but obviously, it is a far from complete abridgement. As Berrie says in his introduction, he did this abridgement for those who lacked the time to read all twelve volumes of Caryl's work. I can certainly sympathize with Berrie's sentiments. I am one of those of whom he is referring, I think. I have loaded this into my Kindle, and was tremendously blessed by Caryl's thoughts on only the first two verses of chapter one, so far!

3. If you want an electronic, scanned, PDF copy of the entire original set of commentaries, you can get the whole thing for $6 from Puritan Books. That's a fine bargain for a set of books that would normally set you back $250. I just purchased this set from Puritan Books, as a matter of fact, and it is a fine, readable copy of all 12 volumes. However, as you might have guessed, the print is in ye olde English font, with 's's that look like 'f's.

One of my favorite insights which I already received from Caryl was a side-comment he made regarding the reference to Job as being a "perfect man."
Job was a perfect man, not absolutely, but in comparison of those that were all over spotted with filthiness, or only painted with godliness. A perfect man is one whom you may know by his tongue, and his actions are a transcript of his inner-man.

1 comment:

  1. If it could ever be said that one author had plumbed the full meaning of a portion of Scripture, it could be said of Caryl's Job commentary. To my mind, not even Owen on Hebrews compares with it. By the way, don't settle for an abridgement. It is a commentary on the whole Bible. Volume 1 has a complete Scripture index (in modern type!) that turns it into a commentary on the whole Bible. If you think of it that way, all of a sudden, $250 is not so much.


Before posting please read our Comment Policy here.

Think hard about this: the world is watching!