Welcome to this detailed DDT Product Review of Eerdman’s Wuest’s Word
Studies of the Greek New Testament by Kenneth Wuest (henceforth in this review
to be referred to as simply “Wuest”.) No matter what “version” of this work that
you are interested in, you’ll find out what’s most important about it: the content.
I want to give you enough information to make sure that you are an informed
buyer. I also want you to know right up front my theological perspective so you’ll
be able to understand what I write (I think that’s important, and I’m quite sure
Finally, I know that you’ve already looked at the DDT Rating, so you already know
the conclusion: this is a good resource.
Kenneth Wuest was a long time Greek teacher at Moody Bible Institute back in 1920’s,
‘30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. (Yeah -
When he started writing, it was his intent to bring the nuance of the Greek language
out for the non-
His first book was entitled Treasures from the Greek New Testament for the English
Reader. This was a collection of twelve essays (which became twelve chapters -
Over the course of his writing career, he wrote commentaries on Mark, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Timothy, 2Timothy, Hebrews, 1Peter, 2Peter, 1John, 2John, 3John, & Jude. [If you’re keeping score at home, that means he missed Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, 1Corinthians, 2Corinthians, 1Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, James, and Revelation.]
In addition to his commentaries, he also wrote six topical books -
I’ve already noted that Wuest is both dispensational and evangelical in his doctrinal outlook. I also mentioned that in the era he wrote, Moody was considered a fundamentalist institution. That’s good.
I would like to point out that Wuest was not a KJV lover. He served on the translation team that produced the NASB. He actually published an entire expanded translation of the New Testament. But as you might think with his NASB background, his own translation is based on the Nestle Greek text, and not the Textus Receptus (which is the text behind the KJV). Personal kudos for rejecting the ASV; but he was one of the early proponents within the fundamentalist movement to depart from the KJV. He makes no apologies for correcting “error” in the KJV. For this reason alone, I don’t recommend this resource to anyone not grounded in bibliology.
Again, please note that his NT commentary covers only 15 books of the NT (of 27 total
books); but because he left off four of the five longest books in the NT, his commentary
actually covers far less than 50% of it. However, where he does have comments -
I like to provide an example from Rom 3:24 in these reviews. So here is Wuest on Rom 3:24 –
"Freely" is dōrean [δωρεαν], "freely, for naught, gratis, gratuitously, without just cause." "Grace" is Charis [Χαρις] which signified in classical authors a favor done out of the spontaneous generosity of the heart without any expectation of return. Of course, this favor was always done to one's friend, never to an enemy. But when Charis [Χαρις] comes into the New Testament, it takes an infinite leap forward, for the favor God did at Calvary was for those who hated Him. It was a favor clone out of the spontaneous generosity of God's heart of love with no expectation of return. There are no strings attached to grace. It is given dōrean [δωρεαν], gratuitously. Of course, grace in the form of salvation is so adjusted that the one who receives it, turns from sin to serve the living God and live a holy life, for grace includes not only the bestowal of a righteousness, but the inward transformation consisting of the power of indwelling sin broken and the divine nature implanted, which liberates the believer from the compelling power of sin and makes him hate sin, love holiness, and gives him the power to obey the Word of God.
This grace shown the believing sinner is made possible, Paul says through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. "Redemption" is apolutrōseōs [ἀπολυτρωσεως], the verbal form of which is apolutroō [ἀπολυτροω], "to redeem by paying the lutron [λυτρον] price." There are three words translated "redeem," agorazō [ἀγοραζω], "to buy in the slave market" (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23, 2 Pet. 2:1), Christ bought us in this slave market of sin by His own blood; believers are His bondslaves; exagorazō [ἐξαγοραζω], "to buy out of the slave market" (Gal. 3:13; 4:5), the redeemed are never to be put up for sale in any slave market again; and litroō [λιτροω], "to set free by paying a price" (Tit. 2:14, 1 Pet. 1:18): the believer is set free from sin and free to live a life pleasing to God in the power of the Holy Spirit. The redemption price, the precious blood of Jesus, makes it possible for a righteous God to justify a believing sinner on the basis of justice satisfied. This Paul proceeds to explain in the next two verses.
This might be a little longer than his typical comment, but you get the flavor here of how he writes.
Language Skills Needed
Did you remember the ending phrase in his titles? “...for the English Reader.” While a little bit of Greek is helpful (he does use words like “aorist,” “imperfect,” “middle voice,” and even “pluperfect,”), he actually does a pretty good job of explaining the importance of each of those words in his exposition. So Greek is helpful, yes, but not essential in profiting from this work. HOWEVER: keep reading for more info on the necessity of language skills.
Wuest and I are going to disagree on this. His work; my review. Wuest would tell you that his target was the Bible disciple who wanted to know more about his English Bible by expanding all of the nuances of the Greek into English. Fair enough. I would tell you that Wuest does not like the KJV, believes there to be translation errors in it, and those errors are due to the KJV coming from a corrupt Greek text. Hmmm. I have a problem with that.
Some of his comments are based on the Nestle text, which differs regularly from the
TR. A knowledge of Greek will be very helpful -
And Then There’s All This Topical Content
Let’s not forget that he wrote six topical books, totaling almost another 100 chapters. From a personal perspective, this will be a harder tool to use (how are you going to find his interesting comments on “crowns” in a topical presentation?). But the writing is just as good, even though it may be hard to find.
I like Wuest very much, as a matter of fact. It is too bad he did not finish all of the NT Books. I wish he had. And with the above mentioned foibles in mind, I recommend the use of his writing to you. This is a DDT approved Good Resource.
Google gives this set a 4.0 star (out of 5) rating, with several reviews you can read here.
Amazon.com offers 95 reviews (as of Februrary, 2023). Average rating: 4.5 stars. Read them here.
Here is a review of his expanded literal translation.
Purchase Wuest Here
Purchase Word Studies from the Greek New Testament by Kenneth Wuest (sans his expanded translation) formatted for theWord Bible Software.
Purchase Wuest’s An Expanded Translation formatted for theWord Bible Software (note:
it is in the .gbk format, and not -
Purchase Wuest hardcover from Amazon.com.
This comprehensive review is by Dr. David S. Thomason. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.
REVIEW: Word Studies from the Greek NT by Kenneth Wuest
DDT Fast Facts
DDT Fast Links
Purchase Wuest (w/o expanded translation) for theWord Bible Software
Purchase hardcover Wuest volumes from Amazon.com
While recent publication of NT exposition has exploded (due to the personal computer), Wuest’s work on the New Testament has survived and thrived in this climate. Although not for everyone, those looking for deeper explanation will be satisfied.
No Greek Necessary
Language Skills Needed