Ephesians to Revelation is a recognized standard of expository commentary written by eminent scholars who, representing important branches of Protestantism, were also preachers. The Expositor’s Bible may be regarded as an interdenominational exposition demonstrating agreement on the profound realities and essentials of the Christian faith.
The inception of this work took place at a time when critical and historical scholarship had arrived at mature and reliable conclusions concerning the text and truth of the Bible. What had been regarded as subversive of the Christian faith was now accepted without question. To be sure, there have been changes and even modifications in the attitude toward certain subjects, but the general consensus of biblical scholarship has not been thereby affected. None of the results has in the least undermined the accepted view of the church that the Bible is the revelation of the spiritual life, imparted “by divers portions and in divers manners” and marked by energy, variety, and adaptability. The Bible continues to occupy its place of finality as the supreme authority on religion and morals. This is the basis on which The Expositor’s Bible was written.
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This notable work was conceived and carried out by that genius among editors, Sir William Robertson Nicoll, CH, DD, LLD. He had an exceptional knowledge of religious and literary, of theological and philosophical, thought. He understood what were the most urgent needs of the church as to spiritual enlightenment, for the better exercise of the Church’s mission in advancing the Kingdom of Christ to earth’s remotest bounds.
—Oscar L. Joseph, LittD
William Robertson Nicoll (1851–1923), a religious journalist, was born into the Free Church of Scotland manse at Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire. Nicoll’s reading habits began early among his minister father’s 17 thousand volumes. William graduated from Aberdeen (1870), and after theological training in his church’s divinity hall, he served parishes at Dufftown (1874–1877) and Kelso (1877–1885) and established his reputation as a preacher. When ill health forced his resignation from the ministry, he went to London and began his editorship of The Expositor (1885) and the British Weekly (1886), posts that he held for the rest of his life. His aim in the latter publication was to handle everything in a Christian spirit. In 1896, he visited America with his friend Sir J. M. Barrie, where he maintained a fruitful correspondence with many American writers, politicians, and preachers. He engaged increasingly in political controversies, was a friend of Lloyd George (with whose social legislation he identified himself), and helped overcome nonconformist pacifist views in World War II. Like a good Free Kirkman, Nicoll was a formidable foe of Erastianism. He made the British Weekly widely influential, published several religious and secular books, edited The Expositor’s Greek Testament, was knighted (1909), and was made a companion of honor (a prestigious order) two years before his death. (Taken from Who’s Who in Christian History.)