Summary of Sightler's Commentary
Bibliography: Sightler, Harold. I, II Peter I, II, III John, and Jude. Greenville, South Carolina: Bright Spot Hour, 1983.
Dr. Sightler’s commentary is written in a verse by verse format. He gives a verse or a portion of a verse, and then comments on it. He explains the passage and when useful makes application to the believer’s life. The commentary was transcribed from messages he preached on the radio. The focus is on the simple truths of the Word of God.
The first verse of I Peter brings up the issue election. Dr. Sightler does not avoid it; but rather, he addresses it right away. (2) He states that the “elect” refers to those who are saved and that it does not apply to the unsaved. Other issues are covered briefly as they arise in the verses. If a verse connected with the previous one, he points it out and the significance of that connection. This commentary is easy reading for differing levels of spiritual maturity.
Good for snapshots of the truths found in the books of I and II Peter. It is short enough that someone can set down and read it in one or two settings. This allows the person to develop a clear total view of the books.
The practical application is something that every good commentary should have, but sadly it is often lacking in many commentaries. The purpose of studying the Bible is to produce a change in the life of the studier. This can not happen without the believer understanding and applying the truths of God’s Word. One good example of Dr. Sightler doing this is when he says, “No Christian life can be what it ought to be except the home life be in order.” (27) This is an application of I Peter’s address to the family in chapter three.
Dr. Sightler’s commentary would have been strengthened by the use of more supporting cross references; although, he did have some. It is very important when one teaches and preaches the Bible that he shows how the whole Bible fits together. It would also have helped if he picked out the themes of the book. This helps the reader to see the big picture of the book and not get lost in the minute details. He usually showed the connection from verse to verse, but it would have been helpful if he showed the major chapter connections throughout the entire book.
Sometimes in the author’s opinion he took things to far. He was addressing idle talk when he said, “A long time ago I purposed in my soul that I would not carry on conversation with anybody on silly surface things, I will not waste my time on such things. If my conversation cannot be about the holy scriptures or cannot be about things of the Lord or cannot be how to reach the souls of men with the gospel, I refuse to talk otherwise.” (16) I understand that there is much idle talk when there should be more talk of Biblical things, but we must get to know people before we start throwing scripture at people. That is what the Ruchminites do, and it comes across as a cold harsh gospel. We must be a people of balance and avoid both extremes.
There are many useful qualities of this commentary which have been mentioned previously, and I think that would make it useful in a church or school setting for people to read. It is important that people understand that just because something has been written in a commentary does not mean that it was inspired of God. They must learn to think for themselves as well and use discretion.
One of the reasons I would recommend this commentary for use in a church or school is because of the simplicity with which it is written. It sets forth Biblical truth; the way it should be plain and simple. He also puts the application of God’s Word constantly before the reader reminding us that we must always be applying what we are reading. If we do not do this then we are simply hearers of the Word and not doers.