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- Submitted: May 13 2013 10:03 PM
- Last Updated: May 13 2013 10:04 PM
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- Author: Godbey, William
- e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x
- Tab Name: Godbey
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Godbey, William - Commentary on the New Testament (7 volumes)
9.x - 10.x
Dr. William Godbey was a Wesleyan Bible scholar who wrote this 7 volume commentary on the New Testament. Godbey spent 5 years, working day and night, to produce this 5,500 page exegetical commentary.
Godbey was premillennial at a time when it was unpopular. He interpreted Revelation as literally as possible, teaching the rapture, the literal reign of Christ for 1,000 years, etc. Yet, he lived at a time when Revelation was difficult to interpret literally (i.e. Israel did not exist as a nation, nuclear weapons had not been invented, technology did not yet exist for controlling all buying and selling, etc). Godbey believed the Roman Catholic Church matched the symbols in Revelation for the rise of the False Prophet.
The bulk of Godbey’s commentary does not deal with eschatology, however. Godbey expounds from a Christ-centered, Wesleyan, holiness perspective, but without accepting “tongues”.
Highlights from the introduction:
- 7 Volumes, 5,500 pages, 5 years to write
- Exegetical, not critical.
- Only the Sinaitic Greek Testament by Tisehendorf was used for the hightest NT authority
- “My best preaching is in these books”
William B. Godbey was one of the most influential evangelists of the Wesleyan-holiness movement in its formative period (1880-1920). Thousands of people experienced conversion or entire sanctification under his ministry, and Godbey gained a reputation for having revivals everywhere he went. A prolific author, he dictated over 230 books and pamphlets and wrote numerous articles for holiness periodicals. He produced a new translation of the New Testament in 1901, and published a seven-volume Commentary on the New Testament (1896-1900). Godbey’s publications, along with his preaching and “Bible lessons” at camp meetings, earned for the evangelist a widespread reputation among “holiness people” as the “Greek scholar” and “Bible commentator.” Relentlessly on the move, Godbey traveled extensively across the continental United States and circled the globe five times. He was widely reputed to be the holiness movement’s expert on “Bible lands” and “Bible manners and customs.” Through his publications and sermons, Godbey joined a limited number of other ministers who introduced premillennialism into the holiness movement. Godbey was also one of the principal agents responsible for keeping the “tongues movement” out of the rest of the holiness movement.
Godbey encouraged large numbers of people to join the new holiness denominations, and through his preaching and publications shaped popular opinion on holiness and millenarian doctrines. However, he never joined any of these new denominations; rather, he chose to remain in “Babylon” as a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Today Godbey has in large measure been forgotten in Methodism as well as among most people in the separatist-holiness denominations. His most honored remembrance may be found in the ranks of the Conservative holiness denominations. .
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