Gleanings from the book of Ruth – Alex Dryburgh

Paperback, 104 pages, Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. W. Port Colborne, ON L3K 6A6. ISBN 978-1927-5216-18.

A book review is, by its very nature, a subjective exercise. The style and format of a book, though brief and merely suggestive in character, will appeal to some; others favour a more detailed and systematic exposition. The preface of this book makes it plain that the four chapters are essentially ‘gleanings’, a word which frequently seems to be considered appropriate when reflecting on the book of Ruth.

The stated intention of the author is to provide ‘bare bones for others to flesh out according to their needs and exercise’. This he does throughout the book, and it would be fair to say that the ‘bare bones’ are not ‘dry bones’. Having briefly considered the whole book in the opening chapter, the writer then focuses the reader’s attention on each individual chapter of the book. By use of word association, comparison, linking of thoughts and subjects, the author brings to light a variety of concise reflections, devotional and practical. In many instances he reaches out to other portions of scripture to enhance and support his considerations.

The author of this book is not alone among writers of Christian books in his belief that an excess of alliteration enhances and clarifies a subject or chapter. There are undoubtedly times when this approach can be used as an aid to memory, or to summarize a subject. However, the risk is that the alliterated headings can become forced in order to fit the desired primary letter and the impact can be lost.

For those who wish to undertake a detailed study in the four chapters of Ruth, this book is not intended for you. There will, however, undoubtedly be others who will enjoy and appreciate this author’s approach and find encouragement in his ‘gleanings’.


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