The Great Texts of the Bible - James Hastings
THE GREAT TEXTS
OF THE BIBLE
EDITED BY THE REV.
JAMES HASTINGS, D.D.
EDITOR OF “THE EXPOSITORY TIMES” “THE DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE”
“THE DICTIONARY OF CHRIST AND THE GOSPELS” AND
“THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF RELIGION AND ETHICS”
GENESIS to REVELATION
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS
EDINBURGH: T. & T. CLARK
The purpose of these volumes is to direct attention to the value for the pulpit of the great texts of the Bible, and to offer a full exposition of these texts, illustrated throughout.
There is, first, a short introduction to each text, bringing it into relation with its context, and giving the circumstances which led to its utterance. Its contents are, next, arranged in order, so that the leading thought or thoughts may be made prominent, and each subordinate topic may receive its proper place and value. Then comes an exposition of the contents of the text, expressed in good modern English, and illustrated throughout.
Thus the preacher is not supplied with a ready-made sermon, but with materials for a sermon. And in some cases the exposition and illustration of the text will furnish materials for more sermons than one. This is what we need. “The first qualification for writing a sermon,” says Bishop Boyd Carpenter, “is that you should have something to say. For this purpose,” he adds, “a man must have material at command. It is better to realise this necessity, even though it should lead you to discover how small your stock of material is, than that you should indulge in indolent self-complacency, and should attempt to spin something out of nothing.”
The illustrations are new. That is to say, none of them have been taken from any existing store or collection of illustrations. Some of them have never before been in print. They have been sent to the Editor by friends and correspondents all over the world out of their own experience. If they should be considered too numerous, let it be remembered that the preacher is certainly not expected to use them all, but to make his choice among them. Their number will encourage or even compel him to make every sermon his own.
Nothing in the world is easier than to gather illustrations of a kind and dot the sermon with them. Nothing is more difficult than to find the illustration that really illustrates and to bring it in pointedly at the very place where it is required. The attempt has been made to render that service in these volumes.
It is proposed to cover the whole Bible in five years, issuing four volumes annually. The volumes for 1910–1911 will be Isaiah, St. Mark, Genesis to Numbers, and Romans.