Moreover, several years of teaching the Bible to a multitude of students has convinced the writer that what is needed most is a study of the Bible itself rather than things about it. Having this in mind this little volume presents only a small amount of introductory discussion. It offers instead a large number of topics for study and discussion. By following the suggestions for study which they offer the student may gain a working knowledge of the contents of Biblical history.
It is suggested that these outlines will furnish a basis of work for college and academy Bible classes. It is also hoped that it may be adopted for study in many Sunday School classes. If it shall be studied in the Sunday Schools according to instructions which the author will furnish, it will be granted college entrance credit in Baylor University. Women's societies will find it well suited to their Bible study work.
The aim has been to make a companion book to the author's "The Bible Book by Book." The twenty one periods selected are only one of the many ways in which Bible history may be divided and lays no claim to superiority. If this volume shall prove as helpful as the sale of its companion book would indicate that it has been, the work incident to its preparation will be amply repaid.
J. B. Tidwell.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
From the Creation to the Fall.
Problems solved. Creation of man. Man's hope and occupation. The temptation. The fall and punishment. The hope offered. Teachings of the story. Topics for discussion.
From the Fall to the Flood.
Cain and Abel. Cain and Seth, two races. The great wickedness. Noah God's chosen man. The Ark. The flood. The sacrifice and rainbow covenant. Confirmation of tradition and geology. Teachings of the period. Topics for discussion.
From the Flood to Abraham.
Noah's shame and prophecy. The Tower of Babel. The location of this tower. Specific purpose of the tower. Traditions of such a tower. The civilization of the ancient world. Two great empires of antiquity. Language and literature. Motive of their civilization. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.
From Abraham to Egypt.
Events of the period. Purpose of the narrative. Conditions of the times. Confirmations of Biblical records. Experiences of Abraham. The character of Abraham. The character and career of Isaac. Stories about Jacob. Stories about Joseph. Death of Jacob and Joseph. Social and religious conditions of the times. The book of Job. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.
From Egypt to Sinai.
Israel in Egypt. Moses the deliverer. The great deliverance. Crossing the Red Sea. Journey to Sinai. Lessons of the period. Topics.
From Sinai to Kadesh.
Mount Sinai. The Sinaitic covenant. Purpose of the Mosaic Law. Several parts of the law. Journey to Kadesh-Barnea. Twelve spies. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
From Kadesh to the Death of Moses.
The pathos of the forty years. Events of the forty years' wandering. Final scenes at Kadesh. From Kadesh to Jordan. Prophecies of Balaam. Last acts of Moses. Last scene on Moab. Significance of the work of Moses. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.
The facts of history recorded. The story in three parts. The land of Canaan. Crossing Jordan and fall of Jericho. The complete conquest of Canaan. Cruelty to the Canaanites. Character and work of Joshua. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
Characteristics of tie times. The Judges. Ruth the Moabite. Other nations. Outline of the narrative. Ethical and religious standards. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
The Reign of Saul.
Demand for a king. The principle of the kingdom. Saul, the first king. Saul's great achievements. Saul's decline. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
The Reign of David.
His reign over Judah. Reign over all Israel. His great sin and its bitter consequences. David's inspiring career. His last days. Psalms. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
Riddle of Solomon's character. His policies. Solomon's building enterprises. Solomon's writings. Nations surrounding Israel. Evidences of national decay. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
The Divided Kingdom.
The division of the kingdom. Comparison of the two kingdoms. Kings of the Northern kingdom. Kings of Judah. Important events in the history of Israel. Principal events in the history of Judah. Relation between the two kingdoms. Messages of the prophets of this period. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
The Kingdom of Judah.
The kings of the period. Principal events of the period. Prophets of the period and their messages. Teachings of the period. False prophets. Great religious revivals of this period. Wealth and luxury. Contemporary nations. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
The Captivity of Judah.
The ten tribes lost. Judah led into captivity. The period of the captivity. The fugitives in Egypt. Exiles in Babylon. The prophets of the exile. Benefits of the captivity. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.
Scripture analysis. Predictions of the return. Rise of the Persian Power. The Decree of Cyrus. Three Expeditions to Jerusalem. Prophecy of Haggai and Zechariah. Prophecy of Malachi. Story of Esther. Synagogues and Synagogue worship. Significance of the period. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
From Malachi to the Birth of Christ.
The close of Old Testament History. Persian period. Under the rule of Greek kings. Period of independence. The Roman period. Entire period. End of the Period. Topics for discussion.
From the birth to the Ascension of Jesus.
The story of the period. The childhood and youth of Jesus. The beginnings of Christ's Ministry. Early Judean ministry. Galilean Ministry. Perean Ministry. Final Ministry in Jerusalem. The forty days. Teaching of the period. Topics for discussion.
From the Ascension to the Church at Antioch.
The Book of Acts. Principal events of the period. Organization and control of the early church. Persecutions of the church. Growth and influence. Extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles. Teachings of the period. Topics for discussion.
From Antioch to the Destruction of Jerusalem.
The changed situation. The divine call. Time and extent of Paul's journeys. First missionary journey. Second missionary journey. Third missionary journey. At Jerusalem. At Caesarea. Paul at Rome. Epistles of this period. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.
From the Destruction of the Temple to the Death of the Apostle John..The period of history. Destruction of Jerusalem. From A. D.70 to A.D.100. Literature of the period. Death of John and end of scripture history. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.
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(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.
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