Dowling’s Bible Handbook is intended to help every Bible student build a better background framework through which to study and interpret the Bible. There are several areas of focus that include but are not limited to:
1- The historical periods of the Bible. Dowling helps Bible students grasp the big picture of the Bible by explaining the various periods of Bible history, who the main characters of each period were, and how all of the events piece together to point both forward and backward to Christ. Many Christians today do not have a good grasp of the layout of both the Old and New Testaments and this work is sure to help remedy that need.
2- The books of the Bible, their authors, their content, and their general purpose. Dowling provides a great introduction to all the books of both the Old and New Testaments that are both simple, insightful, and challenging. Before reading or studying any book of the Bible it would be helpful to read Dowling’s notes and be reminded of the general context of the book and details to keep in mind as it is studied.
3- The background of the Bible. Since the Bible was written over a period of 1500+ years, there are many countries, cultures, and customs address that are no longer familiar to the average reader. Dowling helps fill in some of the holes in time by providing historical and geographical background material.
There are two features of this book that are absolutely invaluable:
First, Dowling has collected, created, and provided a number of helpful charts detailed lists including:
Old Testament and New Testament Miracles
Weights and Measurements
Symbols used in both the Old and New Testaments
Types and Antitypes of the Bible
The Empires of the Bible
The Sayings of Christ
Harmony of the Life of Christ
The Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Paul
And much, much more.
Second, at the close of each chapter Dowling provides test questions and seed thoughts based upon the material that has been covered. The format of each chapter and the questions that are provided make this book an excellent tool for Bible study for both individuals and families.
I came across this work about six months ago and was so thoroughly impressed with its content, scholarship, and practicality that I began hunting for as many copies as I could find. At first I was unable to find any additional copies and thus resolved to reprint the work at a later date. By chance I came across a supply source last week and am pleased to offer them for sale at this time. I highly recommend this book to every Christian both young and old and hope that it will be put to good use in the Kingdom.
Parents: Consider starting and evening or a morning Bible study with your family and using this as a companion to your study.
Congregational Teachers: Consider using this material as the outline for a study to do with your home congregation on Wednesday or Sunday evenings to ensure that all the members gain a better grasp of the layout and purpose of the Bible.
Gift Givers: Consider giving a copy of this book as a gift to high school and college graduates or as a birthday present to a young person who might could use some direction in how to study their Bible.