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Book Review

What the Bible teaches, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi; published by John Ritchie Ltd; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 610 pages; price £19.99.

This latest volume in the Old Testament series of What the Bible teaches covers the so-called Minor Prophets from Nahum to Malachi. It has been written by two authors: Phillip Harding (Nahum – Haggai, and Malachi), and John Stubbs (Zechariah). Mr Harding has also provided a chapter on the Intertestamental Period of around 400 years between the end of Malachi and the beginning of the New Testament giving background material which enhances our appreciation of events recorded in the Gospels. Both authors are well-known and respected expositors of the Word of God, and they have brought their own particular approach and style to their respective sections of the Commentary.

The authors have written in a manner which is easy to follow, and, where appropriate, the text of Scripture is dealt with in considerable linguistic detail without becoming burdensome to the non-Hebrew scholar. The background necessary for the understanding of each prophecy is given, as is information (where known) about each prophet. The individual books are thereafter dealt with section by section.

In opening up this (sometimes neglected) part of Scripture, the writers have demonstrated that there is so much for the reader to appreciate and understand in relation to God’s sovereign dealings not only with Israel, but also with the Gentile nations which He used as His instruments in these dealings. Thus we learn a great deal about the character of God as His steadfastness and greatness are emphasised, and His holiness and majesty are illustrated in the experience of Israel.

The exposition is not confined to Israel, however, for in the nation’s history there are identified lessons, illustrations, and warnings for believers today, and examples of unchanging divine principles are brought to our attention showing that, indeed, these things were written aforetime for our learning. The reader is directed to passages telling of the goodness of God and His dependability, the danger of outward form without inner reality, and, thankfully, the faithfulness of God in His remembrance of His people - all of which have echoes in our present day.

This Commentary will encourage its readers to further study of these most interesting times in the experience of the people of God, both in the past as well as in relation to that which has yet to be fulfilled. The authors clearly show that fulfilled prophecy reassures us (if that were necessary) of the certainty of the fulfilment of prophecy yet to be brought to fruition. In this assurance believers of all generations can rest.


Lady Jane Grey, Nine Day Queen of England, by Faith Cook; published by Evangelical Press; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 249 pages; price £8.95.

The year 2004 marked the 450th anniversary of the death of Lady Jane Grey and inspired Faith Cook to write a new record of her life.

The book Lady Jane Grey, Nine Day Queen of England is a very readable account of the life and death of this fascinating character from history.

Lady Jane Grey was a Tudor and a great niece of that famous English king, Henry VIII. She is known as the "Tudor Pawn" as she was manipulated and used by the religious and political powers of the day, then tragically executed at 16.

The first few chapters of the book speak very little about Lady Jane Grey as it was important for the author to outline the far-reaching religious and political changes that were shaking England at the time. These chapters give an insightful description of the effects of the Reformation and how it affected the whole population, from the palace to the pauper’s cottage.

The later chapters then detail the events of the short and complicated life of Lady Jane Grey. Throughout a time of great change and intrigue she remained a firm Evangelical and ultimately gave her life because of her refusal to recant on her faith. Her strength of character and remarkable faith shine out despite the darkness that surrounded her.

This book is a truly fascinating read. It will be of particular interest to those who have a love of history and especially to those interested in events surrounding the Reformation. It is a book for all, however, as reading the life story of this remarkable young woman is moving, challenging and inspiring.

Lady Jane Grey, Nine Day Queen of England comes highly recommended as an excellent Christmas gift.



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