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R.A. TORREY TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACES
THIS BOOK REPRESENTS years of study. Its contents have been tested again and again in the classroom in classes composed, in some instances, of representatives of thirty-six denominations. However, it is not supposed for a moment that it exhausts all that the Bible has to say on the topics treated, much less that it takes up and exhausts every topic dealt with in the Bible.
The Bible is the one inexhaustible book. This work is simply an attempt at a careful, unbiased, systematic, thorough-going, inductive study and statement of biblical truth. The method of the book is rigidly inductive. The material contained in the Bible is brought together, carefully scrutinized, and then stated in the most exact terms possible. Exactness of statement is attempted first in every instance, then clearness of statement. Beauty and impressiveness must always yield to precision and clarity. The scripture from which a proposition is deduced is always given before the proposition. The methods of modern science are applied to Bible study thorough analysis followed by careful synthesis. Though no Hebrew or Greek words appear in the work, it is based on a careful study of the original text as decided by the best textual critics (especially Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort in the New Testament, though other editors, and the manuscripts themselves have been considered in some instances).
Wherever possible the text of the Authorized Version has been given. In many instances this was impossible, as the Revised Version is manifestly much more exact. Had it appeared that the Revised Version would soon obtain that general acceptance and use which it seems to so richly deserve, the author would have adopted it throughout, except in those rare instances where it is manifestly in error. In a few instances, it was necessary to adopt renderings differing from both the Authorized Version and the Revised Version, and from the American Appendix to the Revised Version.
One of the most satisfactory ways of determining whether the Bible is of divine origin is by finding out precisely what it teaches and whether there is one deep philosophy running through the book composed by multiple and various human authors. The writer must confess that his own conviction is that there was one Author behind the many writers, and that that one Author was God.
Just the suggestion of a few ways in which this book can be used with profit: its most apparent use is as a textbook in Bible Theology, its arrangement by sections and propositions having had such use in mind. The book can also be used in family devotions by those who desire something more orderly, systematic, and thorough than the methods usually employed in this important, but neglected, department of Christian culture.
The author hopes that it may be helpful also in private devotional study.
While the book aims to be scientific, it is not cold. Too much devotional study of the Bible is haphazard. By the use of this book, it can be made orderly, thorough, and progressive.
The author has received numerous letters from groups of believers where there were no churches and from other groups in various churches, asking for a definite outline of Bible study, and trusts that this book may be helpful in many such cases. Why, for example, could not groups of Christians who are shut out from ordinary church privileges gather together and study the Bible itself with the help of this book?
In all study using What the Bible Teaches, the scriptures given should first be pondered carefully; the reader should then put his or her own understanding of the contents of those scriptures, with respect to the subject in hand, into his or her own language before considering the author's proposition. In many instances, the reader will thus be able to improve upon the author's statement; if not, he or she will understand it and appreciate it all the more for having done a little thinking.