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Craig Evans: God Speaks

This volume is a topical introduction to the Bible for lay people and those with little knowledge of biblical revelation.

In place of a bibliography, Evans lists 32 books that he divides into seven helpful categories: defense of the Christian faith, science and faith, archaeology, Bible interpretation, ethics, the historical Jesus, and Jesus’ resurrection.  Ten pages of “Notes” follow that support much of the more detailed aspects of the volume with 111 footnotes distributed among the introduction and 13 chapters.

Evans describes his own book as “a solid, easy-to-understand guide to the Bible” (p. 11). However, he waffles on the age of the earth and the creation of man, saying “However old the earth is, at some point and in some way God created human beings” (p. 13). Regarding biblical criticism, Evans apparently discounts the Bible’s many claims that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, asserting that the oldest “Old Testament books date to about 1000 BC” although “some portions of the oldest books could be earlier” (p. 14, emphasis mine). Moses lived from about 1500-1400 BC. Evans also does not believe the 6th century BC Daniel wrote the book attributed to “Daniel,” but instead sides with liberal scholars holding that Daniel “is usually dated around 165 BC (although the stories in Daniel are probably much older” (p. 14). That kind of compromise is outdated and should have no place in a conservative evangelical book of this kind with a Foreword written by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. I noticed only a few typographical mistakes. The Table of Contents has “Part 1” followed by “Part Two” and “Part Three.” The numbers should each be spelled out to maintain proper parallelism. Page 3 has “Other then” which should be “Other than.” The mention that all biblical quotes, unless otherwise indicated, are from the ESV is violated numbers of times, as on pp. 51-52 in citing Psalm 19:1-2. Nevertheless, Evans writes very well and simply and his book should prove helpful to many readers. Its contents are filled with helpful factual material and its aim is to reach those who need to understand the Bible better but lack the necessary tools to do so.

Reviewed by James A. Borland

 

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Category: Biblical Studies, Fall 2017

About the Author: James A. Borland, Th.D. (Grace Theological Seminary), is past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, and Secretary-Treasurer since 1992. He is Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Theology at the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia) having taught there since 1977. He served on the N.T. Executive Translation Committee for the NKJV, penned Christ in the Old Testament, A General Introduction to the New Testament, and six biblical commentaries. He is a founding member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

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