Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Outline Bible

The Outline BibleHarold L. Wilmington's Outline Bible is a real help in looking at the Scriptures. I had noticed a copy of this book at the local Lifeway. My wife noticed my interest, and when birthday time rolled around I received one. Wilmington does a great job of digesting the Biblical material into an outline for Bible students and teachers. His best work is in the Gospels and Epistles, and he does a fairly good job with outlining the passages from Torah and the histories.

Since I have been preaching through Isaiah, I immediately looked at the outlines he had compiled for the chapters I had recently preached. His approach with the Prophets generally is to rework their messages by reordering them to fit his impressive powers of classification. While there is merit in trying to understand the prophet's message, as an inerrantist, I get a little uncomfortable with reordering Biblical passages for one's own classification. Context is king for understanding the theology and proper teaching of a passage, and when the text is severed from its context, there are red flags. Still, I don't think Dr. Wilmington would want to divorce content from context, and he might defend his work by saying he has classified the passage within its broad context.

Despite the slight differences in looking at the Prophets, I recommend that pastors, teachers, and Bible students take a look at the Outline Bible.