Believing Bible Study
Published by The Christian Research Press
This is a book is part of series of four books, that each stand alone. In the series are three book, the first on Evolution, the second on Science and a third on the defence of the King James version. I think this is the book that links the other three books in that series. Sadly, the book is usually only available in its rather dated paperback version from 1967. This old paperback suffers from a spine that usually is beginning to break apart and a front cover which is an eclectic mix of planets, space hardware, a large key and a Bible – with a strapline of ‘The Bible is True!’
However, don’t let the cover put you off, Edward F. Hills was an American Presbyterian scholar who gained his doctorate from Westminster Seminary after previously studying at Yale. His strong academic credentials only supplement his valuable work on the defence of textus receptus, where he was perhaps the foremost scholar in the last 50 years who has consistently defended and studied the received text of our Bible. If you want a modern author to given you a conservative, evangelical defence of the traditional position in relation to Scripture, then I can’t think of a better book than the 3rd one from this series (that I mentioned at the start of this review).
The preface to the book acknowledges his appreciation of J.G. Machen, C Van Til and R.R. Kuyper and I think that list alone gives it own recommendation. The first chapter looks at the Old Testament, its translations (like the Septuagint), the Dead Sea Scrolls and how it clearly expresses belief in Monotheism and the coming Saviour. The second chapter looks at the New Testament, it explains a range of errors around the person of Christ, his life and resurrection but, then goes on to examine the books themselves and the formulation of the Canon and preservation of the texts (see the New Year Day Lecture for 2022 in Barnoldswick). The third chapter examines the idea of neutrality in terms of Bible Study and picks up a range of themes from Evolution to World Views. The fourth chapter turns to the topic of neutrality in Science, picking up themes like uniformitarian geology against flood geology, geochronology, Einstein’s work on time, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and is a very good and measured challenge to atheist thinking and approaches in that sphere. Chapter five gives a believing view of the Bible, Chapter Six looks at modern versions of the Bible and ancient evidence (with various trees of the different manuscripts) and a discussion around Marcion’s involvement in any Western omissions. In Chapter Seven, he focusses on Dean Burgon and the challenge he gave to the naturalistic thinking being pushed for the Westcott and Hort school. Chapter Eight is a defence of the traditional (Byzantine) New Testament text of the Bible with this being extended in Chapter Nine into a wider discussion of Textus Receptus. In this ninth chapter, he gives his view of how the work of Erasmus is entirely consistent with the providential preservation of the text of Holy Scripture. The explanation and readability of the book is clear and engaging, some readers might appreciate the qwirky illustrations, others might find some of the illustrations unhelpful (the diagrams around the development of the text are very helpful in my opinion and I wish all the illustrations fitted this mould).
In short, this is a book that might have escaped the notice of some of my regular website readers. I would encourage you to pick a copy of Edward Hill’s books, we are in times when the prevailing sentiment is often to challenge the authority and veracity of many things – so it is helpful to have a range of clear, reasoned answers that are deeply rooted in the Bible and Conservative, Evangelical scholarship.