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The work has been done with a conviction that the students of American
schools should become as well acquainted with the sources of our
religion as they are required to do with the religions of ancient
heathen nations, and all the more so, since the most of our people
regard it as the true and only religion, and still more so, since "it
is made the basis of our civilization and is implied and involved in
our whole national life." It is believed by the Author that a
knowledge of the simple facts of the history, geography and chronology
of the Bible is essential to a liberal education and that to be
familiar with the prophecies, poetry, and ethics of the scripture is
as essential to the educated man of today as was a "knowledge of Greek
history in the time of Pericles or of English history in the reign of
Henry the VIII." And, in order that such knowledge may be gained,
effort has been made to put into the book only a minimum of matter
calculated to take the student away from the Bible itself to a
discussion about it and to put into it a maximum of such matter as
will require him to study the scripture at first hand.
Having intended, first of all to meet the needs of those whose
advantages for scripture study have been limited, the information has
been put in tabular form, giving only such facts as have been
carefully gathered from reliable sources, with but little attempt to
show how the conclusions were reached. It is expected that the facts
given may be mastered and that an interest may be created which will
lead to further study upon the subjects treated. And to this end some
of the studies have been made sufficiently complicated for college
work and instruction for such work given in suggestions for teachers,
leaders and classes. Besides the studies of the books there have been
introduced some matters of general interest which have been found
helpful as drills for academy pupils, and which will be found
interesting and helpful to all classes of students.
The general plan is the outgrowth of the experience of a few years of
teaching, but the material presented lays little claim to originality.
It has been gathered from many sources and may in some cases seem
almost like plagiarism, but due acknowledgment is here made for all
suggestions coming from any source whatsoever, including Dr. George W.
Baines, who read all the material except that on the New Testament.
Let it be said also, that in preparing these studies the Author has
proceeded upon the basis of a belief in the Bible as the Word of God,
a true source of comfort for every condition of heart and a safe guide
to all faith and conduct whether of individuals or of nations. It is
hoped therefore that those who may study the topics presented will
approach the scripture with an open heart, that it may have full power
to make them feel the need of God, that they may make its provisions
real in their experience and that it may bring to them new and changed
If the pastors shall deem it valuable as a book of reference for
themselves and to their members who are desirous of pursuing Bible
study, or if it shall be found serviceable to any or all of those
mentioned in paragraph one of this Preface, the Author will be amply
rewarded for the effort made.
J. B. TIDWELL.
Waco, Texas, August, 1914.
* * * * *
Table of Contents.
Some Introductory Studies.
Chapter I. Why We Believe the Bible.
Chapter II. The Names of God.
Chapter III. The Sacred Officers and Sacred Occasions.
Chapter IV. Sacred Institutions of Worship and Seven Great
Chapter V. The Divisions of the Scriptures.
Chapter VI. The Dispensations.
Chapter VII. Ages and Periods of Biblical History.
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