Pros: Professor Tidwell writes in a clear, easy to understand, and enjoyable manner. Each chapter has a self contained purpose and is short in length (about five pages or less) thus allowing the reader to digest it in small portions. At the end of each chapter Professor Tidwell provides a list of lessons to be learned from the period covered and offers some suggestions for further study. The structure of each chapter and the summary provided at its conclusion provides material that can easily be used in home Bible studies or transformed into teachable material for congregational teachers and evangelists.
Cons: Professor Tidwell is a Baptist and every once in a while his theology presents itself in one of the following forms: 1- He views the interaction of God in the Old Testament with His people and surrounding nations as being parallel to His interaction in today’s world. 2- He does not seem to understand that while Church and State were combined under the Old Law that such is not the case today and our duty as Christians is not in the realm of political reformation. 3- He believes the purpose of John’s baptism was to demonstrate that people were already forgiven of their sins. If such was the case, why did John resist baptizing Jesus? This issue surfaces only once, and then only briefly, but I still fill it is worthy of note. 4- From one sentence he wrote it seems he believes in Premillennialism, though he does not get into it at all. I point this out for the sake of keeping it in mind in case someone chooses to read his other writings. The reader should distinguish between Tidwell’s exegesis and his application.
Recommendation: Having pointed out things to be aware of, I would still highly recommend this book; I would particularly recommend it to parents, teachers, and those looking to build a foundational understanding of the Bible. Professor Tidwell’s exegesis is outstanding, though he is sometimes wrong in his application (though these errors are few and I have pointed them out beforehand). I believe that if people would read a work such as this and gain an understanding of the “Big Picture” of the Bible, they would walk away with a greater appreciation for the Book we often take for granted. Many times we miss the forest for the trees and fail to appreciate the beauty of God’s word and the care He has provided for His creation throughout history. So, get a copy, read it in light of God’s Word, and gain a better understanding and appreciation of The God whom we serve. Also, be sure to check out James E. Smith’s book Bible History Made Simple that is written along the same lines and for the same purpose.
P.S. You can download a free Kindle version on Amazon.com or find an HTML version available online. If you want a paper copy and are a Prime Member on Amazon.com you can get a copy for $6.50 shipped to you – otherwise they will charge you $10.50 for a copy. If you are not an Amazon Prime Member, you can order a copy through me for $9.