Paperback, 214 Pages, Published by Believers Publications, North Lakes, Qld, Australia. ISBN: 9780994397713.
There can be few more fundamental issues for Christianity than the trustworthiness and authority of scripture. In recent times the diversity and intensity of attacks on the Bible have been increasing. This contribution is therefore timely, and the author deals comprehensively with the subject. The book is well presented, and written in an engaging style with clear section headings to break up the text. Major chapters address such matters as: why the Bible is truly the word of God; what is meant by the inspiration of scripture; Christ’s view of scripture; the sufficiency of scripture; guidelines for the interpretation of scripture; the canon of scripture; ‘which Bible version should I read?’, etc. Importantly, Wilson highlights the inconsistency of confessing Jesus Christ as the divine Lord and, at the same time, conceding that He could have been mistaken as to the accuracy and authority of scripture.
The bewildering plethora of modern translations is discussed and the specialist discipline of textual criticism is introduced. Its importance is explained, thus clarifying one reason why Bible versions differ – they are not reflecting the same underlying original text at every point. On the other hand, the author emphasizes the ‘embarrassment of riches’ available to modern Bible translators, over against the erroneous and destructive conclusions that some have drawn from the large number of manuscript variations.
In a day when many possess Bibles which they rarely read, the final chapter, helpfully, gives important practical guidance on how to approach and sustain the daily reading of the Bible for personal spiritual profit.
Throughout, Wilson interacts with a wide cross-section of past writers who have addressed this subject. The student will find many useful pointers for further reading. Here, then, is a book to rebut negative criticism, and to reassure believers that they can have complete confidence in the Bible as fully trustworthy. It deserves to achieve a wide circulation. Whilst the focus is on English translations of the Bible, the major lessons of the book are readily applicable to other languages and versions. Anyone concerned to arrive at an intelligent appreciation of the solid foundations of the Christian faith will benefit from this book.
(Our thanks to Ken Totton, Cambridge, England for this review).