Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Continuators (Part 1)

In literature, a continuator completes the unfinished work of an author after their death or creates a new work based on another's prior text. Because I like to know when I am reading something who wrote what, I have done a bit of research on the continuators of certain Puritan works which may be of interest to some who share my love for historical or literary trivia.

I have previously listed the continatuors of Matthew Poole's English Annotations here. I would add that at least one authority claims it was not Peter Vinke but Edward Veale who completed the annotations on Acts.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible

Matthew Henry died after completing the section on Acts. Romans - Revelation was completed by his friends and colleagues as noted below:

Mr. [afterward Dr.] John Evans (1680-1730) (see below) - Romans.
Mr. Simon Browne (1680-1732) - 1 Corinthians
Mr. Daniel Mayo (1672-1733) (his father Richard Mayo was a continuator of Matthew Poole's English Annotations) - 2 Corinthians; 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
Mr. Joshua Bayes (1671-1746) - Galatians.
Mr. Samuel Rosewell (1679-1722) - Ephesians.
Mr. [afterwards Dr.] William Harris - Philippians; Colossians.
Mr. Benjamin Andrews Atkinson - 1 & 2 Timothy.
Mr. Jeremiah Smith - Titus; Philemon.
Mr. William Tong (1662-1727) - Hebrews; Revelation
Dr. S. Wright - James.
Mr. Zec. Merrill - 1 Peter.
Mr. Joseph Hill (1667-1729) - 2 Peter
Mr. John Reynolds, of Shrewsbury - 1, 2 & 3 John.
Mr. John Billingsley - Jude.

William Gouge's Commentary on Hebrews

William Gouge died before completing his commentary on Hebrews. His son, Thomas Gouge, completed the last chapter.

William Perkins' Commentary on Galatians

William Perkins died after completing his exposition of the fifth chapter of Galatians. The sixth chapter was completed by Ralph Cudworth (d. 1624), father of the famous Cambridge Platonist by the same name.

John Flavel's Exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism

John Flavel died before completing his exposition of the Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism. George Trosse (1631-1713) completed the last five questions.

The History of the Puritans

John Evans began the work of writing a History of Nonconformity, but died before it could be completed, as it was by his assistant Daniel Neal with the title The History of the Puritans.


  1. That is so interesting reading about the continuators. I had no idea that so many others wrote a large portion of the NT of Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible. Thanks for sharing....Ginny

  2. You are very welcome, Ginny. I find it helpful to know something about the author of a particular commentary or other work, and it was years before I figured out that a big chunk of Matthew Henry's (and Matthew Poole's) commentary was written by others, although based somewhat on his notes.