Paperback, 352 pages, Published by John Ritchie Publishing, 40 Beansburn, Kilmarnock, Scotland, UK. ISBN: 978-1-912522-42-2
As the back cover of the book indicates, the content of this book is ‘the substance of Bible Class discussions held at Mill Lane Chapel, Cheshunt’, the author’s home assembly. However, such a comment should not be taken to suggest that the material is in any way superficial or lightweight. Those familiar with Riddle’s oral ministry will expect a similar level of attention to detail in his written ministry, and they will not be disappointed. Similarly, it is apparent immediately that the author has consulted and refers to a plethora of other material to compile this book – eight authors/speakers in the first chapter! Perhaps, there lies one failing in the book and that is the lack of a bibliography.
At times, 1 Corinthians is a distressing Epistle. Riven by division, riddled with carnality, reckless in morality, and receptive of error, these believers might appear to be beyond rescue. What is remarkable is the painstaking way in which Paul address the issues systematically and thoroughly. Riddle adopts the same approach in this exposition. Although there are strong measures needed to tackle matters in Corinth, Paul manifests genuine concern and affection for those to whom he writes. Similarly, the author approaches many contentious passages with grace and warmth. He states his view, without unnecessary occupation with the alternatives, supports it with evidence, and leaves the reader to consider it.
This book is highly recommended as a valuable tool in understanding this crucial and very practical Epistle. It contains very helpful outline material, a clear analysis chapter by chapter, and detailed exposition that will reward careful study. Finally, the author has synthesized the many sources of help on the Epistle and selected the helpful, informative, or summative contributions of others.