Dr. Lillie is considered by some to have been one of America’s first classical and Biblical scholars. He had an unusual regard for the truth and accuracy of the original text; to him every word was significant. If the name of John Lillie is familiar to Bible students, it will probably be through their acquaintance with the American edition of Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, for Lillie translated the portion on the Thessalonian Epistles. His Lectures of the Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians was a distinct work and complemented the former. They have never been reprinted, unlike Lange’s Commentary, and consequently have commanded very high prices on the secondhand market.
C H Spurgeon in his Commenting and Commentaries gave both works top rating and quoted Dr Philip Schaff as saying: “Lillie’s Thessalonians will be found to be one of the best executed portions of the American edition of Lange. The translation is remarkably accurate and elegant, and the additions from his own researches, and the best English Commentaries, are carefully selected and valuable.” Spurgeon added that these comments applied equally to the Lectures.
Lillie also produced Lectures on the Epistles of Peter and Schaff wrote in his introduction to them: “…[T]he practice of expository lecturing may be precisely what is needed in our day, to give greater power and efficiency to the pulpit. We urge not so much the consideration that the general adoption of this practice would gather interested hearers around the pulpit, as the consideration that it would minister truly to the spiritual wants of the people of God; and we can scarcely doubt would be followed by a signal revival of the languishing graces and energies of the Church. . . [T]he regular exposition of some book in the Bible, such as we find in these Lectures, would insure due attention to important doctrines which otherwise are apt to be overlooked, and the consideration of relative duties which could not otherwise be introduced into the pulpit without the suspicion of some personal or party aim.”
Here is stimulating and edifying material for the preacher and the serious Bible student.