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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry (18 October 166222 June 1714), was an Englishmarker commentator.


He was born at Broad Oak, a farmhouse on the borders of Flintshire and Shropshiremarker. His father, Philip Henry, had just been ejected by the Act of Uniformity 1662. Unlike most of his fellow-sufferers, Philip possessed some private means, and was thus able to give his son a good education. Matthew went first to a school at Islingtonmarker, and then to Gray's Innmarker. He soon gave up his legal studies for theology, and in 1687 became minister of a Presbyterian congregation at Chestermarker. He moved again in 1712 to Mare Street, Hackneymarker. Two years later (22 June 1714), he died suddenly of apoplexy at the Queen's Aid House in Nantwichmarker while on a journey from Chester to Londonmarker.


Henry's well-known Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (1708–1710) is a commentary of a practical and devotional rather than of a critical kind, covering the whole of the Old Testament, and the Gospels and Acts in the New Testament. After the author's death, the work was finished by a number of ministers, and edited by George Burder and John Hughes in 1811. Not a work of textual criticism, its attempt at good sense, discrimination, its high moral tone and simple piety with practical application, combined with the well-sustained flow of its English style, made it one of the most popular works of its type. Matthew Henry's six-volume Complete Commentary, originally published in 1706, provides an exhaustive verse by verse study of the Bible. His commentaries are still in use to this day.

Henry's commentaries are primarily exegetical, dealing with the scripture text as presented. Henry's prime intention was explanation, not translation or textual research.

His Miscellaneous Writings, including a Life of Mr. Philip Henry, The Communicant's Companion, Directions for Daily Communion with God, A Method for Prayer, A Scriptural Catechism, and numerous sermons, were edited in 1809 and in 1830.


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