A Review of The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary

By Byron Snapp
October 23, 2002

Perhaps the most neglected document within Presbyterian circles is the Larger Catechism. Yet the Larger Catechism contains a wealth of theology and its application to life in its 196 questions and answers.

The publishers are to be commended for putting into book format Vos' series of studies on the Larger Catechism which originally appeared in the Blue Banner Faith and Life magazine which he edited for almost thirty years.

Vos provides the reader with each question and answer of the Larger Catechism. Each of these is followed by a brief summary of the teaching from each Scripture reference. By means of a question and answer format, he provides the reader with an explanation of the teaching found in that question and answer of the Larger Catechism.

This type of commentary is very helpful. Each Catechism answer can be studied in portions and with greater profit. With some questions and answers the reader may desire to skim the various questions for sections that readily shed light on a particular theological issue. The questions and answers that make up the commentary for each question often show the relevance of the Catechetical teaching for current discussions ongoing in church and/or culture.

The author's writing style is very readable. He provides scriptural support for his reasoning. His concise writing maintains clarity without confusion even in the midst of explaining a variety of theological topics.

This book begins with an extremely helpful and well-written introduction to the Larger Catechism by Dr. Robert Godfrey and an outline of the Catechism by Jeffrey K. Boer.

There are many uses for this volume. Reading it should increase one's own appreciation for this Catechism as well as provide a deeper understanding of Biblical teaching. The questions and answers that make up the commentary are a great help for parents in the instruction of their children regarding Biblical teaching. As parents instruct their children in some other catechism, some question may arise on behalf of the child that can be readily answered by turning to the relevant section in this Commentary.

The very format of this volume provides great instruction for parents as to how they can break down the content of a catechism to better instruct their own children.

This volume should be of great use to officers and laymen.

Topics: Theology

Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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