Using Secondary Resources for Isaiah 6:10 & Romans 5:1-2
by Bobby Bruno

In his commentary, Adam Clarke gives the Hebrew or Greek word, but does not always define it, though, at other times, he does. For example, in Isaiah 6:10, he gives us the Hebrew word for "close up" (hasha), which pertains to "the closing of the eyes, so that one cannot see." In the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary (JFB in further uses) for these verses, no Hebrew words are given, therefore no definitions are provided. The authors explain the verses with many cross-references given for each, sometimes giving word-by-word cross-referencing.

At times, Mr. Clarke provides the meanings through many different philosophers and scholars. For example, Mr. Clarke quotes Demosthenes, Onkelos, along with other sources such as Hebrew idioms, and Aeschylus. For Isaiah 6:10, he quotes from Aeschylus, after giving the saying written in Hebrew, "Seeing, they saw in vain; and hearing, they did not understand." JFB commentary gives a more rounded meaning to the verses by interpreting word by word, so that we can see just how they fit together in definition and meaning. For example, in Isaiah 6:10, JFB defines the meaning of the words "makefat" and then spends one whole paragraph telling us what it means for the rest of the verse.

Oddly enough, there is not a whole lot of background or historical information for these two verses in either commentary. They both instead define the Scripture by concentrating on getting the meaning clear for their readers. What I learned from these two commentators is that the prophets, guided by the Holy Spirit, could not only deliver the message, but, at times, could cause things to happen by actually carrying the message out, for the people did close their eyes and ears to what God was telling them.

For Romans 5:1-2, the commentaries give more information, and that information is usually more relevant to everyday living than the Old Testament commentaries (for me anyway). The two I like the most are the Romans Verse by Verse commentary and Barnes Notes on the New Testament. Neither one of these commentaries use vocabulary other than English, but do explain the English word as it pertains to the Scripture, especially the Barnes' commentary.

In the Romans commentary, the author takes a line of verse, breaks it down, and gives an explanation of that verse, usually by defining a major word from the verse. For example: "We have peace with God." The author takes the word "peace" and explains what peace with God really means, and how God's peace works in our lives. The Barnes commentary goes even further by breaking down the verse word by word and gives either a meaning of that word, as it pertains to the Scripture at hand, or gives another verse for cross-reference.

Neither of these commentaries uses a lot of historical background. They simply tell us what the Scripture means in the context of our lives, sometimes throwing in a little snippet about the culture and times the Scripture was written. The insight that always inspires me about Romans 5:1 is that the peace of God means that God no longer holds anything against me. This frees me up to be what He needs me to be, and for me to be free of the stain of sin so that I may serve God in a more perfect way. I like the way that the Romans Verse by Verse commentary puts it, "'Peace' means that the war is done." No more am I at war with God, and the sin that once bound me and kept me from Him.


Barnes, A. (2004). Barnes Notes on the New Testament. Joyce Meyer Everyday Life Bible Study Library (Version [Computer Software]. WORDsearch Corp.

Clarke A. (2004). Adam Clarke's Commentary on the New Testament. Joyce Meyer Everyday Life Bible Study Library (Version [Computer Software]. WORDsearch Corp.

Jamieson R., Fausset, A, Brown, D. (2005). Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary: Criticaland Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1891). Joyce Meyer Everyday Life Bible Study Library (Version [Computer Software]. WORDsearch Corp.

Newell, W. (2007). Romans Verse by Verse. Joyce Meyer Everyday Life Bible Study Library (Version [Computer Software]. WORDsearch Corp.

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love.  He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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