Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 07:22 (Dec 2003)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The Synoptic Gospels: An Introduction by Keith F. Nickle, Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 2001 (revised), 215 pp., paperback, $19.95

Keith F. Nickle (retired pastor and educator living in Sautee, Georgia) has written a helpful survey of the difficulties in understanding the origin and literary relationship of the Synoptic Gospels. The book is useful, and interesting to read, but is marred by some of Nickle’s presuppositions.

Nickle advocates the common Two-Source Hypothesis of the origin of the Synoptic accounts which states that Mark was written first, and that Matthew and Luke used both Mark and an unknown source of oral sources (or perhaps written) known as “Q” from the German word quelle meaning “source” (although this derivation of “Q” is debated).

This approach defies the understanding of early Church history that established that Matthew was written first, and that all four Gospels were written independently. While this approach may be the best, Nickle’s work is a helpful survey of the issues. It is also most helpful for seeing the arguments for a Two-Source approach to the Synoptic Problem.

The Synoptic Problem may never be fully answered, and at the very least Nickle, does a good job of trying to answer the problem, but in the end, his approach raises more questions than it answers.

Allen R. Mickle, Jr.
Assistant Pastor, St. Clair Baptist Church, Tecumseh, ONT
Th.M. Student, Detroit Baptist Theol. Seminary, Allen Park, MI

An Illustrated Guide to Biblical History by Kendell H. Easley, Nashville: Holman, 2003, 300 pp., hardback, $19.97

Filled with color graphs, charts, maps, and photos, this is an outstanding reference work covering the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The book is produced on high quality paper, with an outstanding layout and format. But the biblical material is top quality and easy to understand. Every major event, personality, and the unfolding of God’s plan, is presented so that every level of reader is inspired by the Word of God.

The book focuses on well-known Bible events, but also, on the backgrounds of little known happenings that complete the story of how God has worked in the giving of His revelation. What is so good about the book is that it gives connections (visually and graphically) that could easily be missed. In terms of a visual resource, there are over 200 pictures, 75 maps, and 15 “timelines, all designed to increase your understanding of what God has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.”

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