Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
FM 1:1 (Fall 1983) p. 79
Books by the Faculty
Biblical Orientation, An Introduction to Biblical Study, by James H. Blackmore. Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Company, 1981. 386 pp. $25.00.
Just as a woodcutter needs an axe and a carpenter must have a hammer, so a student of the Bible requires tools with which to understand and interpret what is read. One may read the Scriptures with devotion and spiritual profit without much information, but piety is an inadequate substitute for study.
That is the great value of this recent book by Professor Blackmore. It is one of the most useful introductions to the study of the Bible available anywhere. The book is filled with information about the Bible, all carefully researched and explained with an experienced eye. The reader will not fail to notice the additional attitude of love and reverence which lies behind the scholarship.
The author has brought to his task a wealth of material gathered over a lifetime of study, travel, preaching, and teaching. He has learned to ask the correct questions and to supply the required answers. Much of the material comes from personal encounter with the biblical lands, manuscripts, artifacts, and leading scholars. To his experience and information, he has added his own considerable skill and wisdom. The result is a splendid source book and guide for all who would understand the Scriptures.
The content of the book is arranged in ten chapters between the introduction and conclusion. Each chapter, written in a clear style, presents an adequate discussion of a particular area of background material. Attention is given to such topics as biblical geography (with good maps and photographs), archaeology, history, languages, canonization, and translations. The dependable materials are especially well suited for the serious student of the Bible who is responsible for teaching, as in Sunday School or Bible study classes, or even for personal study. The book will also be of great benefit to the pastor, who is in constant need of a review of earlier studies in college and seminary.
This book is clearly not intended to be either a substitute for a good commentary or a work of creative scholarship. It does not pursue questions of historical or literary criticism. Rather, it provides a convenient and pleasant treasure of information about the Bible in such a way as to encourage the careful study and competent understanding of the Scriptures. It should be widely used in homes, churches, colleges, and seminaries.
J. William Angell
Wake Forest University
God’s Calling: A Missionary Autobiography, by Robert H. Culpepper. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981. 239 pp. $6.95.
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