By Josiah Blake Tidwell
(Pastor Geo. W. Truett.)
In offering to the public this little book "The Bible Period By Period," Dr. Tidwell is making another contribution to the cause of Bible study. He has already published "Some Introductory Bible Studies", "An Outline for the Study of the Life of Christ", and "The Bible Book By Book."
All of these have been well received. The last named formed a part of a definite plan for the study of the sacred Scripture which is carried forward in this volume.
The fact that the first edition of "The Bible Book By Book" has practically all been sold before the end of the second year since its publication, is sufficient proof of its popularity and of its value to Bible students. It has been adopted for study in a number of colleges and academies and is in use as a text book in a number of women's societies and Sunday School classes.
The author, as teacher of Bible in Baylor University, has tried out the studies he offers and has had a splendid opportunity to select what has proven valuable. He teaches a larger number of young preachers than any similar instructor in the whole of the Southland, and also many Sunday School Teachers and other Christian workers. He can, therefore, offer the best.
Dr. Tidwell accepts, without question, the inspiration and authoritativeness of the Bible as the Word of God. He believes in directing the student in the study of the Bible itself rather than having him study about it. His hooks are, therefore, more in the nature of outlines or guides than of discussions. He gives the pupil a clue to the study and says only enough to create a zest for truth such as will lead to a thorough investigation of the subject in hand.
In this volume, as its title would indicate, the whole Bible has been divided into periods and main facts and characteristics of each is studied. There are twenty-one periods forming the basis for as many chapters.
The plan is to discuss in the beginning of each chapter the most striking events of the period, Giving such outlines of the contents and principal events of the period as will make the whole period stand out so that the student may comprehend it at a glance. This is very brief but most comprehensive.
In the next place the lessons and teachings of the period are suggested. The author sets forth in tabular form the great teaching found in the Scripture events, both in their value to the Hebrews and in their permanent value to all people and for all times.
In the case of the poetical and prophetic books, suggestions for their study are given in the chapter on the period in which each book and the facts it records occurred. At the close of each chapter there is given a large number of topics for study and discussion. For the most part these topics require the searching of the Scripture itself and, if properly followed, will give the student a splendid knowledge of the contents of the Scripture of the period.
This book when completed in our Sunday Schools will, if done under the direction of the author, be given credit in Baylor University as college entrance. Our Sunday School workers would do well to organize classes of young men and women in the study of this book. In this way they would not only help these young people in Bible study but would tie them all to our great school at Baylor and make it possible for them to get credit for it when they attend provided they need it to get into the college. There ought to be hundreds of such classes in Texas.
Every Sunday School teacher and woman worker would do himself or herself a valuable service by securing and studying a copy of this new book. And it is also to be hoped that many of our women's societies will adopt it for their Bible study.
Let our pastors buy this book for themselves and bring it to the attention of their people. For the people of today, as of old, are perishing from a lack of Bible knowledge. The one unceasing effort that should be constantly and whole heartedly put forth by every Christian leader in every realm is to get the people to read and to know the Holy Scripture. Dr. Tidwell's book will greatly help in such effort.
First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.