Exerpted from: Arthur Pink,
The Exposition of the Gospel of John, (circa 1940)
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2009
The following excerpts on Arthur Pink were taken from Bible Commentaries
Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)
...is often described as an eccentric. He didn't really fit in anywhere. Converted to Christ out of a theosophical background (the New Age movement of his day), he became a student of Puritan thought. But his efforts at pastoring churches and evangelization were not successful. Nor did his books sell. A monthly magazine that he edited called Studies in the Scriptures, never topped a circulation of 1,000. The last sixteen years of his life, he spent on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in virtual isolation, having no formal association with any church...He seemed to take pride in his "persecution," although some of the men he disagreed with were among the greatest Christians of the century.
(from Christian History Institute)
In the interest of balance and fairness another source writes that...
There is a difference of opinion among Christians today as to the value of a study of his life. Many regard him as an eccentric while others see a spiritual quality reflected in his life marking him out as a unique servant of God, one who would be used in the service of the kingdom of God long after he had departed this life.
( Banner of Truth )
In contrast to the Arminian beliefs of Adam Clarke, Pink was a staunch Calvinist (in simple terms one who holds a belief in God's complete sovereignty - see Pink's landmark work The Sovereignty of God), he countered a growing trend toward acceptance of Arminian views. Pink has a writing style which is both doctrinal and devotional.
On the other hand, the informed reader who consults Pink's commentaries (he is frequently quoted on preceptaustin.org) should be aware that he is a notable example of a commentator who approaches the Scriptures leaning heavily on the supernaturalistic approach (see also allegorical interpretation) Pink frequently discusses "types" (other than those the Bible itself specifically designates as "types" - see understanding of symbols and figures) in which he uses an Old Testament event, personage or institution and associates it figuratively with some truth in the New Testament.
Donald Campbell, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, in reviewing Pink's work, The Life of David, Vols. I & II, comments that..
In his desire to be practical and helpful, the author sometimes is extreme in his typical applications (e.g., 1,148, 216ff). Dispensationalism is attacked as a hindrance to typology (1, 275). (Bibliotheca Sacra. Volume 115, October, 1958. Dallas Theological Seminary)
Therefore, good 'Bereans' are advised to be aware of Pink's supernaturalistic approach to the Scriptures lest one take away from a passage a meaning that God never intended. Remember that the most efficacious application of Scripture is predicated upon an accurate interpretation, lest one be misapply (see application) the Scriptures.
In summary, A W Pink's commentaries can be an excellent resource with the caveat that the reader be cognizant of Pink's tendency toward a supernaturalistic approach in interpretation.
The above caveat/warning may make the reader want to pass entirely on Arthur Pink. But we want to emphasize that these remarks are conservative but probably a little too cautious!
We have found Arthur PInk's commentary to be inspiring, and quite an enjoyable experience, compared to some of the dry 'scholarly' but mediocre commentaries that represent the status quo.
We think the reader will be delighted to discover some of the gems in Pink's writings, and even when they will have their own view on many issues, will find like we have that Arthur Pink has a lot to offer anyone who wants to make a serious study of Holy Scripture.
Insight and Common Sense
We don't need to embrace Pink's Christian mysticism, or accept his personal Calvinism, or even his critiques of Dispensationalism, to appreciate his down-to-earth common sense in dealing with the internal evidence regarding John 8:1-11.
Arthur Pink is refreshing, in simply cutting to the obvious, and appealing to the reasonable intelligence of the reader. There is no fancy theory, or sophisticated argumentation supporting dubious hypotheses. Pink simply puts it to the reader plainly, and lets a person weigh the basic facts of the case for themselves.
Pink simply follows his God-given instincts, and completely ignores the alleged 'textual evidence', and turns to the content of the passage and the gospel, and their obvious relationship. And this procedure allows Pink to evaluate the internal evidence without preconceptions formed from the textual evidence and its interpretation by others.
Pink's argument doesn't pretend to address or evaluate the textual evidence. Nor does he hide his choices. Instead he lets the internal evidence have its own space, and asks the reader to take it on its own merits.
One thing Pink does is clear away the obscurantism and red herrings regarding the internal evidence, and let the sun shine in on the problem. And the view is grand.
The Exposition of the Gospel of John: 7:53-8:11
In this series of expositions of John’s Gospel we have sedulously avoided technical matters, preferring to confine ourselves to that which would provide food for the soul. But in the present instance we deem it necessary to make an exception.
The passage which is to be before us has long been the subject of controversy. Its authenticity has been questioned even by godly men. John 7:53 to 8:11 inclusive is not found in a number of the most important of the ancient manuscripts. The Revised Version (1882) places a question mark against this passage.
Personally we have not the slightest doubt but that it forms a part of the inspired Word of God, and that for the following reasons:
First, if our passage be a spurious one then we should have to pass straight from John 7:52 to 8:12. Let the reader try this, and note the effect; and then let him go back to John 7:52 and read straight through to John 8:14. Which seems the more natural and reads the more smoothly?
Second, if we omit the first eleven verses of John 8, and start the chapter with verse 12, several questions will rise unavoidably and prove very difficult to answer satisfactorily. For example: "Then spake Jesus" - when? What simple and satisfactory answer can be found in the second part of John 7?
But give John 8:1-11 its proper place, and the answer is, Immediately after the interruption recorded in verse 3. "Then spake Jesus again unto them" (verse 12)—unto whom? Go back to the second half of John 7 and see if it furnishes any decisive answer.
But give John 8:2 a place, and all is simple and plain. Again in verse 13 we read, "The Pharisees therefore said unto him": this was in the temple (verse 20). But how came the Pharisees there? John 7:45 shows them elsewhere. But bring in John 8:1-11 and this difficulty vanishes, for John 8:2 shows that this was the day following.
In the third place, the contents of John 8:1-11 are in full accord with the evident design of this section of the Gospel. The method followed in these chapters is most significant.
In each instance we find the Holy Spirit records some striking incident in our Lord’s life, which serves to introduce and illustrate the teaching which follows it.
In chapter 5 Christ quickens the impotent man, and makes that miracle the text of the sermon He preached immediately after it.
In John 6 He feeds the hungry multitude, and right after gives the two discourses concerning Himself as the Bread of life.
In John 7 Christ’s refusal to go up to the Feast publicly and openly manifest His glory, is made the background for that wondrous word of the future manifestation of the Holy Spirit through believers—issuing from them as "rivers of living water." And the same principle may be observed here in John 8. In John 8:12 Christ declares, "I am the light of the world," and the first eleven verses supply us with a most striking illustration and solemn demonstration of the power of that "light."
Thus it may be seen that there is an indissoluble link between the incident recorded in John 8:1-11 and the teaching of our Lord immediately following.
Finally, as we shall examine these eleven verses and study their contents, endeavoring to sound their marvelous depths, it will be evident, we trust, to every spiritual intelligence, that no uninspired pen drew the picture therein described.
The internal evidence, then, and the spiritual indications (apprehended and appreciated only by those who enter into God’s thoughts) are far more weighty than external considerations. The one who is led and taught by the Spirit of God need not waste valuable time examining ancient manuscripts for the purpose of discovering whether or not this portion of the Bible is really a part of God’s own Word."