Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson, Amazon Digital, 1886. 82 pages. Five of Five stars

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 4.12.51 PMIn 1885 and at the age of 36, Robert Louis Stevenson published his third and most popular larger novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is a dark and complex tale about corrupt human nature.

In real life, Stevenson experienced a grim story of his own. Always tormented by poor health, Stevenson dropped out of his law profession, married a divorcée against his parent’s wishes and died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 44.

The protagonist is Dr. Jekyll, an elderly scientist who has discovered how to change himself into the grotesque form of Mr. Hyde. It began as an innocent experiment by which Hyde could indulge in carnal delight by night and Jekyll could maintain his high social standard by day. It was the perfect life of two identities.

The doctor made systematic provisions for his evil nature, including his own quarters, wardrobe and bank account. Though Jekyll was confident that he could control Hyde, he soon found that his evil nature was gaining strength.

If each, I told myself, could be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin; and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path, doing the good things in which he found his pleasure…

But Hyde had energy and the will to be alive. One morning, Jekyll awoke to discover that he had transformed into Hyde without taking the potion. “My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring.” He then realized that a choice had to be made between the two. Continue reading

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Review: Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 2.39.29 PMAs Francis Bacon said, “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested.” Hoehner’s commentary on Ephesians fits the latter category.

Dr. Hoehner has served as professor of NT studies for over 30 years at Dallas Theological Seminary. Though he took nearly 20 years to compile this commentary, it was well worth the wait. The formatting is excellent and the research superb. The Greek text of Ephesians contains 2,422 words, which means that Hoehner’s 900+ page volume covers about 2 1⁄2 words per page. The strengths below will show why this is significant.

One of Hoehner’s strengths is that he approaches Ephesians from a dispensational viewpoint. I agree with his conclusions on Israel in chapters 2 and 3. More importantly, Hoehner is Calvinistic in his soteriology. And most importantly, this commentary is the quintessential example in how to do word studies.

I learned how to do word studies the old-fashioned way. With hundreds of examples, Hoehner meticulously details the root, function and usage (classical, LXX, NT, Paul, Ephesians).

In conclusion, Hoehner surpassed Garland’s First Corinthians as my favorite commentary. People generally refer to—not read—commentaries. But I digested Hoehner from cover to cover nearly twice. Bravo!