Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I've moved

You can now find me at

Now that I'm back in regular ministry post-college and family life has returned to some semblance of rhythm, I will continue to think out loud in regular posts. Just not here. Over there.

I will be deleting this blog in a few months as an unnecessary monument to my youth.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The confluence of three great men

First John Stott. Then John 'Chappo' Chapman. Now Dudley Foord. Gone to glory in the last two years or so.

I have been prompted by the recent passing of Dudley Foord to share my church history research assignment written earlier this year. The essay explores the influence of John Stott on exegetical preaching in the Sydney Anglican Diocese, and both Chappo and Dudley play a prominent role.

I am not a Sydney Anglican, but in many ways my own heritage has been shaped by the kind of systematic expository preaching championed by all three.

The essay has its weaknesses. Also I realised too late that the 120 references have not survived the copy and paste into this post and I could not be bothered formatting again.

I hope that if in some way you share in the legacy of these humble and godly servants of Jesus you will find cause for much thanksgiving.

‘We’ve seen the model, all we’ve got to do is practise.’ 

The Influence of John Stott on Expository Preaching in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Any yarn from a known storyteller can be difficult to analyse historically. Yet the way prominent evangelist John Chapman tells it, the sequence of events that shaped expository preaching in the Sydney Anglican Diocese is simple and linear. On hearing John Stott for the first time at the Church Missionary Society (CMS) Summer School in January 1965 Chapman recalls,

‘John Stott’s expository preaching was novel. He didn’t leave the text, but showed you the argument so it had maximum impact. I said to Dudley [Foord], “Surely that is what preaching should be like at the parish level”. Dudley replied, “You and I are going to teach them to do it.” I said, ‘who is going to teach us?” And he said, “Don’t be ridiculous, we’ve seen the model [Stott], all we’ve got to do is practise it!’

Today, expository preaching is a defining characteristic of the Sydney Diocese, recognised to some degree in three recent books on Sydney Anglicans. Judd and Cable report a shift in both content; the development of Bible readings in line with the individual preaching programs, and method; the traditional exhortation and encouragement now including instruction.

Michael Jensen in Sydney Anglicans: An Apology dedicates an entire chapter to ‘The Romance of Preaching and the Sydney Sermon’ because Sydney Anglicans ‘preach a distinctive kind of sermon [[…]] and above all things to preach expository sermons.’ 

Porter identifies the theological conviction that underlies exposition as the way to uncover theological truth. ‘Sydney’s claim that they adhere to the ‘plain’ reading of Scripture [[…]] suggests that there is one straightforward, obvious meaning in the Bible the one to which they faithfully hold, and a highly uniform message in the Scriptures.’  The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact and extent of John Stott’s influence on expository preaching in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

1. What is expository preaching?

Expository preaching is often defined by the form it takes, namely, a ‘verse-by-verse explanation of a lengthy passage of Scripture.’  Yet, for Stott, the meaning is broader. Exposition ‘refers to the content of the sermon (biblical truth) rather than its style (a running commentary). To expound Scripture is to bring out of the text what is there and expose it to view.’  This method—in contrast to allegory—sets greater limits on the preacher.

Stott was not the first exponent of expository preaching, which has a long history.  He himself heard it when he was led to Christ.  During this period, Martyn Lloyd-Jones was known in England as an adept expositor though his sermons were significantly longer than Stott’s and were weighted towards systematic theology.  Still, there is a dominant belief that Stott played a defining role in the development of exposition. English clergyman Dick Lucas recalls that in 1981, when teaching young clergy exposition, ‘There is nothing we sought to achieve in expository preaching that JRWS was not practicing in the 1950s!’  Lucas recalls the early sermons of Stott,

‘Long queues reaching far down King’s Parade bore witness to the attraction of the man, what he had to say and how he said it. [[…]] Since those days expository preaching has been high on the agenda among convinced evangelicals, and John Stott, more than anyone, has been responsible for this.’

So is there any truth to the reputation of Stott as ‘the father of modern expository preaching?’  The evidence suggests something unique in Stott’s particular expression of expository preaching. His first university mission at Cambridge in 1952 consisted of relatively simple messages, which ‘were plain unhurried Biblical expositions, almost unadorned with illustrations.’  However, the influence on the hearers was profound. Canon G. W. Hart, a student during this time, remembers it was on this mission ‘that I discovered, really I think for the first time, what expository preaching is.’ 

Such a response could be explained by a lack of prior exposure to exposition, however, the ongoing association of Stott as expository preacher par excellance suggests that whilst not an innovator he was an adept and prominent exponent. What exposure did Australian audiences have to Stott’s expository preaching?

2. John Stott and the Sydney Anglican Diocese

The interaction between John Stott and the Sydney Diocese existed prior to the aforementioned 1965 CMS Summer School; existing officially through his first visit to Australia in 1958, but also unofficially through longstanding relationships with Sydney clergy.

a. Ecclesial Recruitment and Personal Friendships

Years before his first visit to Australia, John Stott was approached by the Archbishop of Sydney, Howard Mowll, for ecclesiastical promotion. Mowll said in July 1956, ‘I write to ask whether you would prayerfully consider coming to our help as a Coadjutor Bishop.’ Mowll makes clear this appointment is a precursor to the Archbishopric, ‘Having reached the age of 66, the appointment of Bishop Pilcher’s successor is extremely important, as it is very probable that a new Archbishop may be appointed during the next 5–10 years.’

Although the offer was declined, Mowll continued with his plan to woo Stott. The invitation for Stott’s first visit in 1958 was to appraise and parade the Englishman for future ecclesial appointment.  Just months after the 1958 mission Archbishop Mowll died unexpectedly.  This prompted a flurry of telegrams to Stott imploring for his nomination.  Although subsequently nominated he failed to be elected, in large part due to ‘the belief that you did not really want to come.’

The approach to Stott by Mowll arose from their previous contact at the 1948 Lambeth Conference and through mutual friends from Cambridge.  Their friendship was based on a shared evangelical commitment demonstrated as Stott describes Mowll as ‘a very dear old boy, a staunch evangelical, perhaps a bit of an autocrat, but very sweet and gracious.’   A mutual affection also developed between Stott and Marcus Loane. Loane recalls, ‘No visitor from overseas was ever more welcome in our home or among evangelical clergy and congregations in Sydney.’ 

Such personal friendships between Stott and influential Sydney figures reflects the general historical connection of Sydney with the Church of England but specifically through shared evangelical convictions.  This period leading in to the 1960s was a time that Dean of Sydney Stuart Babbage said consisted of ‘pressures, both covert and overt, against the profession and practice of evangelicalism.’   The 1958 visit, for example, doubled as an opportunity for Stott to discuss with Archbishop Gough their hopes for the future of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC).

b. First Australian visit: university mission 1958

John Stott visited Australia in 1958 sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance and the Inter-Varsity Fellowship principally to conduct a weeklong evangelistic mission at Sydney University.  Stott writes in his diary at the end of mission,

‘For 6 days the lunch-hour meetings (in which the main mission addresses were given) were packed. The Wallace lecture theatre was full to overflowing. 700–800 students were sitting at the desks and on the floor, and standing at the back. They were attentive and receptive, and I was relieved (among other things) that the British sense of humour was not lost on Australians!’ 

The schedule included an average of three sermons each day and many additional talks were delivered across city churches and in Wollongong.

Sydney minister Dudley Foord was inspired by this mission for similar missions in Australian universities. Foord recounts, ‘I shall never forget the University Mission at Sydney in 1958 [[…]] it was the power of John’s model plus warm encouragement from John himself that launched me on university missions in the period 1960–80.’  Such a reception affirms John Stott’s 1958 mission had some influence on the Diocese, though at this time mostly in the area of evangelism.

Beyond the mission work and individual church visits, The Australian Church Record reported that, ‘Mr Stott will conduct a Church of England Clergy Conference at Gilbulla, Menangle, on Monday June 30.’  Paul Barnett began as a student at Moore College in 1960 and recalls these clergy conferences were convened by the Archbishop of the time. ‘The clergy would troop out to somewhere or other and have the day listening to Stott preach.’  The influence of Stott on his first visit was significant. However, it appears mostly confined to the area of evangelism, not preaching method.

c. Second Australian visit: CMS Summer School 1965

As a result of the prior visit and personal friendships, Stott’s second Australian trip to teach at the CMS Summer School is to be seen as a continuation of an existing partnership. The Summer School is held each January in Katoomba and attracts students, families on holiday, and missionaries on furlough.  The Summer School moved to Katoomba in 1960 and from that time ‘it became the place to go to, the thing to do every year.’  Stott was well received by the attendees, which included many clergy and former friends. Bishop Loane, for example, was co-secretary with Stott of EFAC at this time.  The Australian Church Record reported “The main speaker, the Rev. John Stott from England, gave excellent Bible studies on II Corinthians, dealing with the ministry. All meetings drew good attendances, one of the evening meetings registering an attendance of 1,130.’

If John Stott’s second visit was the impetus for the rise of expository preaching in Sydney, then what can this be attributed to? One factor could be that whilst 1958 was primarily an evangelistic mission, 1965 represented a slight change in focus to the edification of the churches. Michael Jensen observes that ‘It is the occasional nature and remarkable setting of the convention that means that the preaching heard there lingers long in the memory in a way in which the regular Sunday preaching tends not to.’  It was at conventions that ‘people got tuned up and inspired.’  However, Stott’s first trip was already successful, gave exposure to believers and clergy, and demonstrated a developed expository method. In contrast, 1965 was shorter and Stott spoke to significantly fewer people. So why, as suggested, was this second trip the impetus for expository preaching to be embraced? It is fair to suggest that it was not primarily where the addresses were, nor how many listeners, but who was impacted by the preaching style.

On Stott’s first visit, John Chapman was serving as assistant curate at Moree in the Armidale Diocese.  It was at Summer School that Chapman heard Stott preach for the first time. He recalls,

‘I heard only one of those Bible studies but I was so taken by the way he stuck to the text and stayed with it. He could show you the logic of the argument in the Scriptures. Prior to that, I had tended to get an idea from a passage and to leap all over the Bible supporting the idea from other parts so that the people I taught knew the “idea” but not the passage from which it came or how that passage fitted into some overall argument from the Scriptures. It is to John Stott I owe what ability I have to expound the Bible. He provided a model for expository preaching that I could copy and make my own. I needed time to practise.’

For Chapman, at least, the Summer School was a watershed moment. This individual vision for a new method of preaching would be a significant force behind the rise of expository preaching in Sydney. But what was the character of Sydney preaching leading up to the 1965 visit? As the reaction of Chapman suggests, Stott exhibited a marked difference compared to the preaching of that time.

3. Dominant preaching influences in Sydney in 1965

Former Archbishop Harry Goodhew identifies the main types of sermons in the 1950s involved ‘A text, a theme, or doctrine was preached on rather than an extended passage. I cannot remember ever hearing in my Parish Church anything like a connected exposition of a Book of the Bible.’  These typically took the form of allegory, word-studies using a concordance, or beginning with a passage to springboard to a biblical truth outside the passage. 

The sermon preached by Bishop A. J. Dain at the Sydney Synod in 1965 demonstrates the contrast with Stott. Dain presents 'A strategy for renewal' based on the book of Nehemiah.

‘The general picture in the book of Nehemiah is one of spiritual declension — of lost distinctiveness in the life, worhsip [sic] and witness of the people of God, The walls of Jerusalem were broken down, the Sabbath was desecrated, the people were defaulting in their tithes, they were marrying unbelievers and the Wod [sic] of God was neglected.
Could there be any picture of Christendom more relevant to our day and generation.’

Dain continues, ‘‘“Let us build” [Nehemiah] said, and in chapter three we find a real example of mutual responsibility and interdependence [[…]] A careful study of church growth throughout the world will prove conclusively that lay participation in the life and witness of the church is directly related to its growth.’  John Chapman recalls a similar sermon, which declared Jesus could raise men and women to a new life of righteousness and can give a new beginning.  Chapman concludes, ‘Everything in that outline is both true and biblical, but none of the statements is a true exposition of its text.’

Such approaches were common and came from both inside and outside the Diocese. Paul Barnett recalls, ‘the globetrotting preachers; the Sidlow Baxters and Alan Redparths, they were mostly allegorisers, ingenious allegorisers. Godly men and very inspirational.’ Barnett also heard many of the better-known Sydney preachers at the Cathedral and various conventions. ‘There was some very fluent and moving public speakers around; Archie Moreton was up at Darlinghurst, Arrowsmith who was the head of the Bible Society was a very articulate preacher, Marcus Loane was a very powerful preacher, Clive Kerle was a winsome preacher,’ but they were ‘not precise, not focused.’ A curate at the time, Harry Goodhew identifies ‘a distinct yet influential strain of preaching was that of Geoffrey Bingham’ arising out of the holiness movement.

American evangelist Billy Graham was another overseas preacher with a large profile amongst Sydney Anglicans. Graham’s 1959 crusade shared many of the qualities of Stott’s trips: large crowds, a winsome speaker, evangelical conviction, and Graham shared many of the same personal friendships.   Harry Goodhew recalls that ‘People did try to emulate Graham but [[…]] it was not a style that could be repeated week after week.’   As John Chapman puts it, ‘Sometimes [Graham’s] preaching is like the mad dog’s breakfast.’   This lesser influence of Graham could also be a result of Australians adopting what historian Stuart Piggin calls ‘a characteristically British reserve toward American enthusiasms.’

Although the method of these preachers differed from Stott, within these sermons there is an inherent commitment to the biblical text. Goodhew recalls that ‘teaching the bible [[…]] was always part of the mindset, but it became a greater feature.’  That is, expository preaching represents both a departure from, as well as some continuity with the preaching in Sydney. Furthermore, expository preaching was not unheard of. John Chapman remembers being introduced to Graham Delbridge in the late 1940s who he describes as a fine evangelist but ‘I realised later that every one of the talks came out of Bishop Ryle’s expository sermons.’  Broadly speaking the ‘Convention culture’ at that time was a major influence on Sydney preaching. 

The other chief influence on the Diocese was Moore Theological College.  Broughton Knox was principal of Moore College from 1959–1985 and had a reputation for being uninterested in delivering coherent, structured and clear lectures.  In terms of method, John Chapman summarises, ‘Broughton did nothing except take you to the Bible. The method of doing systematic theology was simply by going to the Bible and taking down all the things which he thought were relevant to it.’  As for his manner, ‘He was sharp, he was interesting he was funny.’  Broughton’s own view on preaching is found in an undated tract, which condemns the emptiness of much contemporary preaching. ‘They have been well constructed, and delivered with a good deal of eloquence and ability, but they have no content; they have been empty.’  It is questionable how much influence Knox had. Phillip Jensen recalls, ‘His exposition of the Scriptures was not something you could ever emulate: it was so idiosyncratic that you had to be Broughton to preach it.’  Yet his contribution was in part simply due to longevity as principal, but also in the emphasis on the Bible as authoritative.

Donald Robinson who was vice-principal 1959–1972 was a more capable exegete but as Paul Barnett remembers, ‘There was no beginning or ending to a Robinson sermon. Every sermon was a lecture and every lecture was a sermon, people used to say. He’d be preaching his way through Romans in the chapel and he’d start at the appointed time to start and when it came time to finish he’d stop. And there was no shape or structure.’ A contemporary on staff at Moore College, New Testament scholar Peter O’Brien, says that Robinson, ‘Might preach three or four sermons on the same passage and do different things with it, whereas the tendency of later exponents was to be like a bulldozer or a steamroller, covering the whole territory.’  Barnett also identifies Bruce Smith at this time as ‘an expository preacher and mostly brilliant.’

In the mid-1960s allegory was a dominant feature of most pulpits, but simultaneously Moore College presented some expository alternatives. Therefore the strong feeling that Stott was doing something new and different suggests firstly that the influence of Moore College may not yet have filtered out to the churches, and, secondly, that there might be something about Stott himself that stood out.

4. What was unique about the preaching of John Stott?

Paul Barnett suggests it was a lot to do with the packaging,

‘He wasn't long-winded and boring. To the point, interesting and challenging. [[…]] His style, from one point of view was very simple. He’d simply take a bible passage, and analyse it exegetically and reduce it to a moderate length sermon bringing out the main points of the passage with application.’

    Dick Lucas says ‘To this day I recall something of the shape of an Oxford sermon of John’s on 1 Timothy 2:3–7.’  This was not accidental as Stott desired to ‘show the congregation what our hermeneutical methods are.’  That is, Stott provided a model that allegory could not. Paul Barnett recalls that his wife, upon hearing allegory, ‘would go along to meetings and be inspired and come home and start reading the bible—but she couldn’t find what they said was there.’  It’s the reason John Chapman remembers thinking after hearing Stott for the first time, ‘At last I know what this is about.’  By his emphasis on packaging and structure, Stott inspired people to be expository preachers.

At a very human level, it is important not to underestimate Stott’s British charm. Marcus Loane refers to Stott’s, ‘clear and beautiful voice, his flawless diction.’  Paul Barnett recalls, ‘He had a beautiful voice, a beautiful speaking voice. It wasn’t Pommy particularly , I suppose it was a Cambridge sort of voice, It was a musical voice.’  Others still suggested the entire appeal of expository preaching could be attributed to Stott’s dulcet tones.

In the end, no single aspect of Stott’s preaching can be isolated as the sole cause of his popularity. It is, however, necessary to evaluate the immediate impact of the 1965 Summer School talks.

5. The College of Preachers

Stott’s second visit produced an immediate response with John Chapman and Dudley Foord initiating the training of young Sydney clergy in expository preaching. Initially this movement began informally. John Chapman recalls,

‘The School of Theology that went for a long time at Moore College and the College of Preachers. It was like an informal clergy conference where we read papers to each other. It was a rallying place where people got inspiration (particularly in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s).’

By 1970 the formalising of this training began. Synod Resolution 10 sought to investigate the establishment of a school for preaching.  The report suggests preaching training is imperative after formal theological training.  Support came from both clergy as well as episcopal leaders.’

Even though expository preaching was a foreign concept in most pulpits, the Synod’s authorisation of the College of Preachers meant whichever form of preaching was being taught there became—at least in theory—the official preaching method across the Diocese. The College was to exist under the authority of the Archbishop. Moreover it was to be integrated into ‘whatever other ongoing programmes may be instituted by the Diocese for the continuing education of clergy.’ By the following year, the College of Preachers existed as a mere dot point under the ‘In-service training of clergy.’ 

But there was no guarantee it would gain popular acceptance. Thus the format was integral to its success, and exhibited significant guile. The College ran for five days from Monday evening until midday Friday, giving time to convince the clergy of the concept.  Chapman reports that the older clergy were not convinced and would say, ‘But surely, Dudley, when you came to the verse about the precious promises, you’d preach on several of them.’ Dudley replied, ‘No I wouldn’t. And the sooner you get rid of that promise box, the better!’  In contrast, Harry Goodhew remembers that younger Bishop Ken Short took expository preaching more seriously.

The College of Preachers involved Dudley Foord taking the men South of Sydney to Gilbulla, ‘On the first day he’d sell it, put them into small groups, broke up 1 Peter, [then] in smaller groups to prepare the first talk. So they went home with a series planned, first sermon prepared.’  In other words, the goal was to move each attendee from little acceptance of exposition, to leaving having their first expository series organised.

The College of Preachers was established to gain widespread acceptance, with the initial synod report recommending that participation in the program should be compulsory for all recently ordained men over the first six years of their ordination.  One of the means of ensuring that each annual gathering would be as influential as possible was that of the thirty men attending, ten would come from special invitation of the Council.  Chapman recalls,

‘Ten years down the track, Brian Richardson made all the deacons come to the conference, and Ian Powell came home and said, ‘what is all the hoo-ha, who doesn’t do it?’ I rang Dudley and said, “We’ve won the day!”’ 

    Such a victory was envisaged from the first report to Synod, which suggested that the College of Preachers was designed with a use-by-date.  Chapman may be right in acknowledging the role Stott played in this outcome but it was Foord and Chapman’s advocacy that established that legacy beyond Stott’s personal influence.

It is, it seems, a combination of both Foord and Chapman that led to this more immediate impact on preaching in 1965. As discussed previously, Foord had significant contact with Stott from the 1958 university mission, but seems to have been inspired for evangelism more than exposition at that time.  In 1958, Chapman was a curate in the country New South Wales town of Moree and his connection to Stott came only vicariously when Foord led a mission on the university campus in Armidale. 

Chapman was often known to remark that he ‘never had an original idea in my life.’  On hearing the 1965 Summer School talks and recognising the expository method, he then set about teaching it himself, especially once he moved back to Sydney in 1968 to work for the Department of Evangelism. Chapman recalls, ‘John Stott provided a model to do expository preaching that I could copy and make my own.’  The effect on Chapman can be seen in an article he produced for the Department of Evangelism in 1968. Arguing that evangelism is really worth the hard work, Chapman closely follows the text of 2 Thessalonians 1:5–10 and draws out ‘three different aspects of the passage worth noting [[…]] 1. Basis of Judgement v.8 [[…]] 2. Consequence of Judgement for the Unbeliever v.9 [[…]] Results of that Day for the Christian v.10’  Chapman’s goal is that if it were possible, ‘Nothing could be better than to hear [the biblical author] say ‘that is exactly what I meant!’

Chapman was an intuitive judge of influence. He contends ‘that the Diocese of Sydney has hardly ever been run exclusively by the designated leader [[…]] the visionary leadership is often supplied by others,’ of whom he gives the example of Dudley Foord.  Thus he went about the task of influencing. Paul Barnett suggests, ’Chappo, whilst also being a good preacher, was also a good mentor for preachers.’ 

John Stott provided the inspiration, John Chapman the transformative vision, and Dudley Foord the personal and organisational leadership. It wasn’t so much Stott himself that brought the change to preaching. His key contribution was whom he inspired.

6. Dominant preaching influences in Sydney after 1965

The College of Preachers was integral for the initiation and saturation of expository preaching, and frequent visits by Stott to Australia inevitably acted as further reinforcement.  Yet due to the occasional nature of Stott’s visits, the ongoing influence on expository preaching continued to flow predominately from local exponents.

John Chapman was an integral figure amongst Sydney Anglicans, not from ecclesial office but through his Diocesan role. From 1968–1995 John was Director of the Department of Evangelism, which gave him incredible reach.  The itinerant role provided many people access to Chapman across the breadth of the Diocese. For example, in one four-month period in the lead up to the Hurstville mission, John spoke at forty-eight meetings - a relatively typical workload for Chapman. 

Phillip Jensen believes Chapman acted for the subsequent generation in a way that Stott had for Chapman.

‘It was only when we saw and heard Chappo actually doing [expositional preaching] that we could say, “Aha! That’s it!” In this way he was like John Stott. Stott was the first person Chappo saw doing this sort of faithful, close-to-the-text biblical exposition, but then Chappo did it for us in a very Australian way. Chappo had humour, which John Stott didn’t have; Chappo had illustrations, which John Stott didn’t have.’

    Similarly to Stott, this effect was not accidental. Chapman aimed ‘to set myself as a model that other people could copy.’

Beyond this, Chapman spent decades training evangelists and preachers through his work at the Department of Evangelism and Moore College.  The move to training students within Moore College from 1985 was a deliberate choice ‘to upgrade preaching.’

Furthermore, there is evidence that the expository preaching movement was bearing fruit outside the College of Preachers. Bishop Dain who had preached an allegorical sermon from Nehemiah at Synod in 1965, the following year preached a sermon on Hebrews 10:22–24 that had a markedly expository character, which drew meaning from the context of the passage. ‘These particular verses summarize the appeal of the whole Epistle. They are based, through the writer’s use of the word “therefore” in verse 19, on the doctrinal teaching already given, about the efficacy of Christ’s one sacrifice and His continuing ministry as our great High Priest at the Father’s right hand’

Marcia Cameron suggests that the preaching of Paul Barnett from 1967 at St Barnabas’ Broadway, and later Peter Jensen as his assistant, created a culture of expository preaching.  Paul Barnett recalls that upon the suggestion of his catechist, Bob Young, ‘He and I worked out a series of series on Bible Books, which we printed in a nice folder. [[…]]  Each folder would have a term's passages with titles (terms coinciding with Sydney Uni's trimesters).’  Consequently, the significant link to students at the University of Sydney ensured that as students were exposed to expository preaching and graduated or returned to other churches, the expectation lifted across the Diocese amongst congregational members as well.

Bruce Ballantine-Jones became a curate in 1971 and recalls that his rector Tony Lamb had already formatted the expository preaching method.  The changing emphasis of the Katoomba Convention ministry also played a role, with the platform hosting other proponents of expository preaching.  This orientation has only increased as former chairman David Cook states, ‘Katoomba wants to encourage faithful expository preaching.’  In a similar vein to Stott, others such as Dick Lucas would come for Summer School and Diocesan Clergy conferences and they ‘lent encouragement to expository preaching by their instruction and example.’

A number of other influences began to arise in the following decades. Paul Barnett returned from Adelaide in 1980 and noticed that Phillip Jensen who had worked with Chapman at the Department of Evangelism in 1973–1976 was becoming influential.  Phillip’s style is ‘quite different from Stott’s; it’s longer; his approach to the text is more detailed.'  Similar to Paul Barnett at St. Barnabas, Phillip Jensen’s impact was in part due to the links with students, but also later due to his tape ministry.

Over this period Stott’s influence on the leadership of Sydney remained. As Paul Barnett in his role as a Bishop observed, there were ‘people of his generation like Harry Goodhew who were very devoted to John and a group of people in that demographic who continued to look to John.’  And yet at the same time Stott’s influence over the harder edge of evangelicalism waned somewhat in England and Sydney due to his support of women’s ordination and his relatively agnostic views on annihilationism.

The proliferation of Stott’s expository method through local preachers indicates his direct influence was sizeable but only for a short period of time. His influence instigated large organisational changes. Yet these developments did not occur in such as way as to disregard Stott as the source. Perhaps it was the quick proliferation through many preachers that meant no single individual became the ‘face of exposition’. Indeed, if this role was to be filled by anyone it was most likely John Chapman himself, and he consistently redirected the credit to Stott.

7. Expository Preaching and the Theological Emphases of Moore College

As has been alluded to throughout, underlying each of these influences is a firm evangelical kinship between Stott’s expository sermons and the theological convictions of Sydney Anglicans. It was a methodology for their theology. As David Peterson assesses, ‘John Stott [[…]] tied in with our heritage anyway, illuminated and encouraged us in the direction we were already going.’

It is difficult to assess theological convictions across a Diocese, for any supposedly representative statement necessarily compresses a range of beliefs. However as expository preaching began to take hold through the 1960s and 1970s the capacity for commonly held convictions increased through the ever-increasing number of Sydney clergy trained through Moore College.  There was a growing conviction amongst this generation of students that faithfully discharging the ministerial duty involved teaching the Bible. This emphasis came through Principal Broughton Knox who believed that ‘The essential Christian ministry is preaching the word of God.’  Stott’s expositions informed this task through emphasising closer attention to the Bible in a way that convicted the hearer.

A second emphasis of Moore College theology that coalesced with expository preaching was Biblical Theology. A commitment arose during this period, especially from the work of Donald Robinson, of teaching the narrative story arc of the entire biblical canon, which is known as Biblical Theology.  It was a hermeneutical conviction that was not as consistent with allegorical preaching. David Peterson says,

‘The old style of preaching in Sydney was textually based, often taking it out of context and spiritualising the text in a way that wouldn’t necessarily be true to the context, but expository teaching was teaching people to handle the bible more holistically, and really played into the development of Biblical Theology in the college. The two things go hand in hand – if you’re going to teach whole passages you’ve got to deal with Biblical Theology (and vice versa).’

    That is, in many ways Stott’s expository preaching provided a necessary counterpoint to Biblical Theology by ensuring the broader overarching narrative was informed by each individual text. 

In expository preaching, many Sydney Anglicans found a method of preaching which complemented their growing commitment to discharging their ministry by teaching the word of God in its Biblical Theological context.


The impact of Stott’s 1965 visit can only be understood in light of his existing personal and historical connection to Sydney Anglicans as a Church of England clergyman with a shared evangelicalism. Prior to Stott, expository preaching existed in various forms but was not the dominant method. Yet Stott—whilst not the first exponent—demonstrated an expository method of an identifiably different character, which could be copied.

Stott’s brief visits had a lasting impact through influencing local clergymen who in turn made personal and organisational changes to teach expository preaching to others. The subsequent widespread proliferation of expository preaching in Sydney can be attributed to the way in which Stott's style complemented many existing theological convictions, and inspired the influential leadership of key clergymen (who were in turn supported by Diocesan training structures).

Like all yarns from great storytellers, simplicity is the key to their greatness. For John Chapman the story of expository preaching in the Sydney Anglican Diocese could not be simpler. He heard Stott at the 1965 CMS Summer School, exclaimed to Foord, ‘Surely that is what preaching should be like at the parish level’, who replied that he and John would teach everyone how to do it.  As we have seen, though significantly more complex than Chapman indicates, his simple narrative is grounded in history, and the ministry of John Stott continues to bear fruit throughout the pulpits of the Sydney Anglican Diocese to this day.

Bibliography of Sources Cited
‘”Remarkable” Summer School at Katoomba’. The Australian Church Record, January 28, 1965.
‘At Sydney University Theatre Packed for Mission’. The Australian Church Record, June 26, 1958.
Ballantine-Jones, Bruce. ‘Interview with Bruce Ballantine-Jones’, March 7, 2013.
Barnett, Paul. ‘Interview with Paul Barnett’, June 3, 2013.
Braga, Stuart. A Century Preaching Christ: Katoomba Christian Convention, 1903-2003. Sydney, NSW: Katoomba Christian Convention, 2003.
Cameron, Marcia Helen. An Enigmatic Life: David Broughton Knox, Father of Contemporary Sydney Anglicanism. Brunswick East, Vic.: Acorn Press Ltd., 2006.
Chapman, John. ‘Applying the Text to the Listeners’. Pages 32–6 in How to Prepare a Bible Talk. Edited by Sarah Buckle-Dykes. Croydon, N.S.W.: Sydney Missionary and Bible College, 2003.
_____. ‘John Chapman Interview at the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students Senior Staff Conference’ (June 15, 2012). Cited 7 Jun 2013. Online:
_____. ‘John Chapman on John Chapman and Preaching’. Gordon Cheng’s Blog, October 19, 2011. Cited 19 Apr 2013. Online:
_____. Know and Tell the Gospel. Kingsford, N.S.W.: Matthias Media, 1998.
_____. ‘Phillip Jensen interview with John Chapman at Sydney Anglican Candidates Conference’, June 2012.
Dain, Arthur J. ‘A Strategy for Renewal’. The Australian Church Record, October 21, 1965.
Dudley-Smith, Timothy. John Stott: A Global Ministry. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
_____. John Stott: The Making of a Leader. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1999.
Goldsworthy, Graeme. Christ-Centered Biblical Theology: Hermeneutical Foundations and Principles. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2012.
Goodhew, Harry. ‘Interview with Harry Goodhew’, May 14, 2013.
_____. ‘Letter from Harry Goodhew’, June 19, 2013.
Jensen, Michael P. Sydney Anglicanism: An Apology. Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock, 2012.
Jensen, Phillip. ‘Interview: Majoring on the Majors - Sam Freney and Phillip Jensen’. The Briefing, April 2013.
Judd, Stephen, and Kenneth Cable. Sydney Anglicans: A History of the Diocese. Sydney: AIO, 1987.
Knox, David Broughton. D. Broughton Knox Selected Works Volume II: Church and ministry. Edited by Kirsten Birkett. Kingsford, NSW: Matthias Media, 2003.
Loane, Marcus. Archbishop Mowll: The Biography of Howard West Kilvinton Mowll, Archbishop of Sydney and Primate of Australia. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1960.
_____. ‘Reaching out to touch the ends of the earth for God’. Pages 89–91 in John Stott: A Portrait by His Friends. Edited by Chris Wright. Nottingham: Inter Varsity Press, 2011.
Lucas, Dick. ‘Helpless with laughter at the Hookses’. Pages 45–50 in John Stott: A Portrait by His Friends. Edited by Chris Wright. Nottingham: Inter Varsity Press, 2011.
Orpwood, Michael. Chappo: For the Sake of the Gospel: John Chapman and the Department of Evangelism. Russell Lea, N.S.W.: Eagleswift Press, 1995.
Payne, Tony. ‘Chappo and the magic potion’. The Briefing, April 2013.
Peterson, David. ‘Interview with David Peterson’, May 10, 2013.
Piggin, Stuart. ‘The American and British Contributions to Evangelicalism in Australia’. Pages 290–309 in Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles, and Beyond 1700-1900. Edited by Mark A. Noll, David Bebbington, and George A. Rawlyk. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Pollock, John. A Cambridge Movement. London: John Murray, 1953.
Porter, Muriel. Sydney Anglicans and the Threat to World Anglicanism: The Sydney Experiment. Ashgate contemporary ecclesiology. Farnham, England: Ashgate Pub., 2011.
Prince, John, and Moyra Prince. Out of the Tower. Homebush West: Anzea, 1987.
‘St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney: Order of Service - Thanksgiving for the Life and Ministry of Canon John Charles Chapman 23 July 1930 – 16 November 2012’. Cited 17 May 2013. Online:
Stott, John R. W. I Believe in Preaching. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1982.
‘Synod Resolution 10/1970 College of Preachers’. Year Book of the Diocese of Sydney 1972. Sydney, NSW: The Diocese, 1972.
‘University mission commences in Sydney’. The Australian Church Record, June 12, 1958.
Wells, David. ‘On Being Evangelical: Some Theological Differences and Similarities’. Pages 389–410 in Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles, and Beyond 1700-1900. Edited by Mark A. Noll, David Bebbington, and George A. Rawlyk. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Year Book of the Diocese of Sydney 1967. Sydney, NSW: The Diocese, 1967.
Year Book of the Diocese of Sydney 1971. Sydney, NSW: The Diocese, 1971.
Year Book of the Diocese of Sydney 1973. Sydney, NSW: The Diocese, 1973.

Monday, August 19, 2013

How to write a New Testament exegetical

I am no Greek gun. I'm a battler, mostly. But nevertheless here's how I go about preparing my New Testament exegeticals. It takes nowhere near as long as it looks. I know the 10 or so books I need and get them off my shelf, and my aim is to do all my research before writing. By the time I've worked through these steps I am then essentially just turning my notes into prose.

1. Prepare a word document
I have four columns so that I can jot down my research as I go. I am particularly looking to record first impressions, anything interesting I note, repeated words and ideas. What I'm looking to have is everything I need in one place for when I write my prose. And to have easy access to my translation to modify it as I research.

To achieve this I use a chart with four columns, and a different row for each verse:
a. Verse number
b. Greek text
c. Translation
d. Comments

2. Translate the passage
Just a rough go, this will be constantly modified until the final version. I want to try and translate on my own without software (which usually gets me about half the verse). I write down the verb forms in my notes for quick reference and any vocabulary I don't recognise immediately.

3. Write a Flow Chart + Structure
Next I will try and make a flow chart. Again, this will be modified as I go, but will inform the structural analysis. I try to do this with nothing in front of me but the Greek, to further try and commit the verses to memory and get it in my head. From the syntactical work I try and come up with a structure for the passage and turn this into prose ready to insert straight into the final work.

I was chatting with Paul Barnett at college, and he suggested that many of our sermons suffer because of inadequate structural analysis, and that few commentaries give you help on this. I've recently discovered a new commentary series which at least in the passage I looked at, had a near identical flow chart (though in English). It looks to be a wonderful resource for preachers - the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

4. What is the Context?
Now it seems an obvious step, but here I want to read the entire Bible book up until my passage to see the verses in context and pick up any relevant previous concepts or passages. From this, I consult with a commentary or two to see their structure for the book and try and write this up into prose for my context statement.

It is also worth noting whether the geographical or historical context helps inform the literary context.

5. Summarise Text Critical Issues
Next I want to get a feel for any textual issues in the passage. To do this requires four books:

  • Greek New Testament. Must have the critical bits down the bottom.
  • Bruce Metzger A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. Metzger gives his opinion on the most relevant issues.
  • Paul Wegner A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible. Wegner will give you the technical terms for the variations in the text, and his worked examples are a quick way to decipher the critical bits down the bottom of the GNT.
  • Word Biblical Commentary. I have found this series offers another opinion on text critical issues from Metzger and generally includes more examples.

It's important to give a nod to text issues and come to an opinion yourself without merely parroting Metzger, but it is easy to focus more on text issues than the meaning of the text, so beware!

6. Read your Commentaries
I'm now ready to read my commentaries on the verses to see what I've missed. I put this information into my word document. Generally I try and read about 3 or 4 commentaries, I try to have the three levels of commentary:
a. technical (e.g. Word, Hermeneia, NICNT)
b. mid-level evangelical, exegetical, narrative focus (e.g. Pillar)
c. non-technical (e.g. Tyndale, Bible Speaks Today)

7. Fudge your Greek Analysis
As I've done my own Greek work and looked at the commentaries, I've got a heap of questions on the Greek. I try to look these up in one go, but my first point of call is to look up the Bible index of Daniel Wallace Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics and Con Campbell Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek to see where they mention my passage. I also do a search of each individual verse within BDAG on Accordance to see if there's anything I need to know about the words in my passage.

8. Compare
A final (though minor) step is to see if there are any synoptic comparisons or relevant passages across the New Testament that would form a parallel to this passage.

9. Contribution
What does this add to the biblical book? What place does this passage play within the argument? What would be lost without it? How is it conceptually linked to other sections? What is the connection to the purpose of the whole book? Asking these questions will help me get to the heart of the contribution.

So that's it. With all the work done in one spreadsheet, I'm ready to write.

Here's my last one I'll write for college, assuming I pass NT4:

Matthew 5:27–32
27 You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone looking at a woman in order to lust after her, has already committed adultery in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you. For it is better for you that you might destroy one of your parts, than your whole body be thrown into the hellfire. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you that you might destroy one of your parts, than your whole body be taken away to the hellfire.

31 Now it is also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, shall give her a divorce certificate.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife—except in the matter of sexual immorality—makes her an adulteress. And whoever marries the divorcee, commits adultery. 


Matthew 5:27–32 is part of Jesus’ teaching within the first extended discourse of Matthew’s gospel, which outlines the righteousness and standards of the kingdom of heaven (5:1–7:29). The sermon explores the norms of the kingdom (5:3–16), its demands in relation to the Old Testament (5:17–48), the need for inward righteousness rather than hypocrisy (6:1–18), the new ethical perspectives within society (6:19–7:12), and the subsequent conclusions of two paths to follow (7:13–27), and Jesus’ authority in these matters (7:28–29).[1]

Jesus explains that he has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets and that the kingdom of heaven will require a righteousness beyond that of the Pharisees (5:17–20). Jesus then gives six antitheses of this better righteousness containing iterations of the phrases ‘Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη [[…]] ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν’ (5:21, 22).[2] The clauses Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη (5:27) and Ἐρρέθη δέ (5:31) demonstrate 5:27–32 contain the second and third of these.[3]

In this passage there are two distinct—yet connected—examples of the greater righteous fulfillment of the law (5:27–30 and 31–32).[4] Each illustration begins by declaring the accepted teaching (5:27, 31) followed by Jesus’ authoritative interpretation of it (5:28, 32), ‘You have heard it said [[…]] but I say.’[5] The first antithesis regarding adultery speaks of the inner thoughts bringing condemnation, and two warnings are given through first class conditional sentences of drastic measures to take to avoid the condemnation of hidden inward sin (5:29–30). The second antithesis regarding divorce is connected through the mention of μοιχάω (5:27, 28, 32) but doesn’t require an extended explanation.

Exegetical Comments
Verse 27 is a quotation from the 10 commandments regarding adultery (Exod 20:14, Deut 5:18), which Jesus will assess.[6] The formula Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη is not a common Scriptural citation formula but is said to reflect a rabbinic device.[7] The content of the quotation is given by a future indicative μοιχεύσεις, but with negation is an imperative of prohibition.[8]

Verse 28 counters with Jesus’ locating the source of adultery in the heart, expressed through ogling. A contrastive δέ introduces this verse and the movement from the perfective aspect of the aorist passive ἐρρέθη (5:27) to the imperfective aspect of the present active λέγω provides a contrast that highlights Jesus’ authoritative interpretation on the existing command.[9] Jesus’ words are addressed to anyone (πᾶς) looking at a woman in order to lust after her (infinitive of purpose πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτήν).[10] Although γυνή (5:28) could refer to a wife, it is better to keep the broader meaning of ‘woman’ to reflect Jesus’ desire to maximise righteousness.

The additional αὐτήν could place the woman as the subject ‘in order for her to lust.’[11] However she is likely to be the direct object considering the movement from looking to lusting is from external to internal as will be discussed next. Furthermore, a similar construction occurring in 13:30 πρὸς τὸ κατακαῦσαι αὐτά ‘in order to burn them’ has the third person accusative as direct object.

The adverb ἤδη indicates that in the looking, the sin of adultery has already occurred in the heart.[12] This present substantival participle βλέπων is contemporaneous in time with the main verb ἐμοίχευσεν, further emphasising the outward action of looking is a reflection of the inner state.[13] The first illustration of murder (5:21–26) likewise assessed motivation.[14]
Verses 29–30 warn the hearers to take drastic action to avoid the consequences of sin. The continuity is demonstrated through a connective δέ and the subject of eyes.[15] These two verses are closely connected syntactically as both talk of right-sided anatomy causing sin (σκανδαλίζει), two imperatives to remove and throw the anatomy, an extended parallel phrase and conclude with references to Gehenna.[16] Some manuscripts attempt to further the parallelism by substituting βληθῇ for ἀπέλθῃ but this appears to be a conflated reading.[17] The change of verbs is merely stylistic or more appropriate for the anatomy (you ἔκκοψον your χείρ, not tear out).

The force and meaning is found as a first-class condition assumed true for argument’s sake.[18] That is, the protasis says, ‘if your eye does cause you to sin’, and the apodosis resolves to, ‘tear it out’. These verses occur later with additional reference to the foot (18:8–9), and again in Mark 9:43–48. There is no need to conclude that 5:29–30 is a scribal or authorial addition for it is equally plausible that Jesus used illustrations on different occasions, and for different purposes (18:1–10).[19] The omission of the foot in 5:29–30 shows the choice of eye and hand are not arbitrary but closely related to lustfulness. The ὀφθαλμός is associated with βλέπων (5:28), but the hand is more problematic. Some suggestions are a euphemism for the male organ or masturbation.[20]

It is simplistic to dismiss Jesus’ words as hyperbole because the gravity of them must be felt. Although a true statement, it is unhelpful to reduce Jesus’ meaning to ‘it is better to suffer minor losses willingly than to suffer the ultimate loss unwillingly.’ Jesus says instead, ‘Take drastic action because of even greater consequences’. To suggest the examples are used only to expose the hypocrisy of people who don’t truly believe these body parts are the cause of sin, also removes the rhetorical force.[21] Rather, the righteous resolve to amputate for the sake of salvation! Yet knowing this is a mere superficial cure (so don’t amputate!).

An explanatory γάρ asserts the seriousness of the situation through introducing a comparison.[22] The μή indicates a negative clause within the purpose clause and is for comparison, thus ‘than’.[23] The inclusion of βάλλω twice draws a clever connection, that it is better to throw (βάλε) your eye rather than be thrown βληθῇ into the hellfire. The suppression of the agent of this passive verb (assumedly God) is for rhetorical effect on this point.[24] The place where the sinner would be thrown is γέεννα. Whilst not strictly referring to ‘hell’, it is the physical place where rubbish was burnt and thus became associated with the place of eternal punishment.[25] Rather than Gehenna, the sense is captured through ‘hellfire’.[26]

Verse 31 subsequently introduces the third antithesis of Jesus’ better righteousness: divorce.[27] The new section is indicated by the truncated clause Ἐρρέθη δέ. The focus now moves to external actions rather than inward motivations. However, there is a connection to the preceding example through μοιχεύω (5:27, 28, 32), and δέ used to connect closely related data.[28]

Verse 32 presents Jesus’ assessment that divorce except for sexual immorality makes the wife and her subsequent husband adulterers. The verse is controversial for its exception clause παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας, allowing divorce in the event of sexual immorality. Some have suggested the choice of πορνείας rather than μοιχεύω suggests incestuous marriage.[29] However, πορνεία is not used in the LXX of Leviticus 17–18, and divorce would not apply in an unrecognised marriage.[30] The similar exception in Matthew 19:9 is suggested could read ‘not even in the case of sexual immorality’ but this requires a modification to μηδὲ to be read as a prohibition.[31] Other parallel passages without the exception (Mark 10:11–12, Luke 16:18) has led to a proposal of Matthean addition, but need not be the case.[32]

Does this exception nullify the antithesis and otherwise absolute command of Jesus condemning divorce, and weakens the later logic of 19:3–12?[33] It cannot, for on hearing the equivalent phrase later, the disciples interpret it not as a lowering of the expectations but an increase (19:10). Instead, the exception is a true reading of Deuteronomy 24:1.[34] Jesus is desiring a return to God’s standards, which in this case requires an exception. To join with another is breaking the bond. It does not demand divorce, but can allow it. By limiting divorce to immorality, Jesus is showing a better righteousness.

The final phrase contains the present indicative μοιχᾶται, which is a universal command.[35] Because the final phrase is a logical conclusion of the first part of the verse, some manuscripts omit the entire final phrase most likely a scribal deletion for repetition.[36] A number of other variations to this verse exist, predominantly to more closely parallel word forms (such as γαμήσας) but have little bearing on meaning,.[37] The absence of further illustrative material like that of 5:28–29 is not required here, for the matter is more directly connected to action. Furthermore, Matthew will return to the topic in chapter 19:1–13 which will be understood from this earlier context.[38] In it’s own way this second illustration provides a counterpoint to that of 5:27–30, for here the external action (divorce) leads to an internal state (adultery).

Matthew 5:27–32 is a searching exploration of the Old Testament Law and its place in the kingdom of God. Because Jesus has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, he attacks not the Law itself but legalism (5:17). The first antithesis on adultery, Jesus’ authoritative interpretation itself goes beyond the Law (5:27–30). The second antithesis on divorce, Jesus refutes those going beyond the Law of their own accord (5:31–32). Thus he declares the righteousness that will exceed the Pharisees (5:20). A literal, legalistic Law observance does not compare with the high standards demanded by Jesus. Indeed, Jesus is providing the foundation from which he will declare ‘You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (5:48).

The perfection required by God though, will not be seen inherently but require a cleansing from the perfect Christ who will go to the cross in order to baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Bibliography of Sources Cited
Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition. Edited by Frederick William Danker. 3rd ed. University Of Chicago Press, 2001.
Campbell, Constantine R. Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2008.
Carson, D. A. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke, with the New International Version of the Holy Bible. Edited by Frank Ely Gaebelein. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1984.
France, R. T. (Richard Thomas). The Gospel According to Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary. (Tyndale New Testament commentaries). Leicester: I.V.P., 1985.
Hagner, Donald Alfred. Matthew 1-13. Word Biblical commentary. Dallas: Word Books, 1993.
Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. 2 Revised. Hendrickson Publishers, 2005.
Osborne, Grant R., and Clinton E. Arnold. Matthew. Zondervan exegetical commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2010.
Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. Enlarged. Zondervan, 1997.
Wegner, Paul D. A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: [its History, Methods & Results]. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic/InterVarsity Press, 2006.

[1] D. A. Carson, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke, with the New International Version of the Holy Bible (ed by. Frank Ely Gaebelein; Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1984), 52.
[2] Grant R. Osborne and Clinton E. Arnold, Matthew (Zondervan exegetical commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2010), 41–2.
[3] Donald Alfred Hagner, Matthew 1-13 (Word Biblical commentary; Dallas: Word Books, 1993), 119 The addition in 5:21 of τος ρχαίοις provides a further marker in this section (it is repeated in 5:33) suggesting a closer connection between the first three antitheses 5:21–32.
[4] The equivalent phrases are Ἠκούσατε ὅτι [[…]] ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν (5:27, 28) and Ἐρρέθη δέ [[…]] ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν (5:31, 32).
[5] Interpretation is a misleading word, as it includes fulfilment, trajectory, and intention.
[6] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 119 That the order of assessment here reverses that of the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:13–14) demonstrates Jesus is sampling the commandments for illustration.
[7] Osborne and Arnold, Matthew, 111.
[8] Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Enlarged.; Zondervan, 1997), 452–3.
[9] Constantine R Campbell, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2008), 60; 83.
[10] Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 591.
[11] Carson, The Expositor’s Bible commentary, 151.
[12] Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition (ed by. Frederick William Danker; 3rd ed.; University Of Chicago Press, 2001), δη.
[13] Campbell, Basics of Verbal Aspect, 122.
[14] Although this statement of Jesus reflects the truth found in the commandment regarding coveting (Exod 20:17), it should be seen as Jesus’ own word rather than a conflation of two commandments.
[15] Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 671.
[16] The extended parallel phrase is συμφέρει γάρ σοι ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μελῶν σου καὶ μὴ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου.
[17] Paul D Wegner, A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: [its History, Methods & Results] (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic/InterVarsity Press, 2006), 303.
[18] Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 690–3.
[19] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 119 The later Matthean usage is a very different context of making children sin.
[20] Carson, The Expositor’s Bible commentary, 151; Osborne and Arnold, Matthew, 196.
[21] Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 693.
[22] Better to amputate than incinerate!
[23] Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition, μή.
[24] Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 437.
[25] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 117.
[26] Later in 18:9 τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός referred to as the hell of fire, associating these concepts.
[27] It will reflect on traditional and contemporary understanding of Deuteronomy 24:1–4.
[28] Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition, δέ.
[29] Osborne and Arnold, Matthew, 200 give some examples.
[30] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 124–5 Furthermore, to define a meaning so tightly moves away from Jesus’ greater righteousness back into circumnavigating the law. .
[31] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 12.
[32] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 123 Reflecting the contemporary interpretation of Deut 24:1.
[33] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 123.
[34] R. T. (Richard Thomas) France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary ((Tyndale New Testament commentaries); Leicester: I.V.P., 1985), 123.
[35] Campbell, Basics of Verbal Aspect, 66.
[36] Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2 Revised.; Hendrickson Publishers, 2005), 13–14.
[37] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 123.
[38] Osborne and Arnold, Matthew, 199.