A Paraphrase, and Annotations upon All the Books of the New Testament

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by Henry Hammond

A Paraphrase, and Annotations upon All the Books of the New Testament

Title page from A Paraphrase, and Annotations upon All the Books of the New Testament, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Henry Hammond
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed for J. Flesher for Richard Royston at the Angel in Ivie-Lane
Date 1653
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [6], 1008, [18]
Desc. Folio (34 cm.)
Location Shelf A-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Henry Hammond (18 August 1605 – 25 April 1660) was an English churchman widely regarded as an excellent preacher and orator, as well as a diligent scholar of both religious texts and literary works.[1] A loyalist clergyman, Hammond’s clerical activities included serving as the Archdeacon of Chichester, obtaining a canonry at Oxford's Christ Church, and acting as a royal chaplain.[2] Parliament had him restrained for ten weeks in 1648 for his loyalist leanings, though he was subsequently allowed to move to his friend’s house where he was permitted to continue his ministerial obligations. Remaining there for about two years, Hammond preached only to a small, impoverished church. When King Charles I was put on trial in 1649, Hammond wrote on his behalf to the Council of War.[3]

Marginalia, Romans, chapter 11, verses 29-30, page 523.

In his lifetime, Hammond wrote more than fifty separate works, primarily controversial sermons and religious tracts. His Practical Catechism, arguably his most famous work, was published in 1644 or 1645.[4] Paraphrase and Annotations on the New Testament was published about several years later in 1653. An innovator in Anglican theology, Hammond is thought to be the first English scholar to compare the language in New Testament manuscripts to decipher the New Testament's true meaning.[5] Though considered mostly outdated today, Paraphrase and Annotations on the New Testament established Hammond as the father of English biblical criticism.[6] Among Bible commentaries, the work was admired by such figures as Samuel Johnson.[7] Hammond and his works were so respected that even critics of his views held him in high esteem, with one such opponent referring to Hammond’s death as “a very great loss; for his piety and wisdom would have hindered much of the violence which after followed.”[8]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Thomas Jefferson listed "Hammond's New testament. fol." in his inventory of Wythe's Library, noting that he kept the volume himself. He later sold a copy of the 1653 first edition to the Library of Congress. The copy still exists, but it contains no Jefferson or Wythe marks of ownership. Instead, it has the inscription "Richard Dunn, 1724" on the title page.[9] Both Brown's Bibliography[10] and George Wythe's Library[11] on LibraryThing include the Library of Congress volume as Wythe's former copy. The Wolf Law Library purchased a copy of the same edition.

Headpiece, "A Premonition Concerning the Interpretation of the Apocalypse," page 904.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full leather with recent rebind and new endpapers. Includes Greek, Latin and English marginalia throughout the volume. Purchased from Cobweb Books.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's Online Catalog

Full text

See also


  1. The Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. "Hammond, Henry (1605-1660)."
  2. John Fell, The Life of the Most Learned, Reverend and Pious Dr. H. Hammond (London: J. Flesher, 1662).
  3. Hugh de Quehen, "Hammond, Henry (1605–1660)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Arthur Middleton, Fathers and Anglicans (Herefordshire: Gracewing, 2001), 158-167.
  6. The Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. "Hammond, Henry (1605-1660)."
  7. de Quehen, "Hammond, Henry."
  8. Michael McGiffert. "Henry Hammond and Covenant Theology," Church History 74, no.2 (June 2005): 256.
  9. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 2:102 [no.1488].
  10. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433
  11. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.