Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 17, 1963

Old Testament X-Ray

Robert C. Welch

The illustrious J. D. Tant was the author of a book entitled The Gospel X-Ray, which for many years has been a very popular item. The reason is that it contains plain, fundamental and practical lessons. His son, Yater, has given us a book which will be of no less value and popularity in this and succeeding generations. Its quiet, dignified and unassuming title is Old Testament History. It takes the student through the books of the Old Testament which deal with historical matters in a clear, outlined and connected series of lessons which will give him a general picture of the Old Testament which will be of invaluable continuous help as he studies the Bible. It does for the Old Testament what The Gospel X-Ray does for the New.

There are forty-four full page charts and diagrams which portray in vivid display the historical sequences and incidents of the Old Testament. These are not composed of theoretical dissertations and views of that era of the world's history, nor of that part of the Bible. It is the historical data arranged in outlined form taken directly from the text of the Bible itself, with the passages cited for comparative study.

Complementing these charts and diagrams is a section of lesson material. In this section the author makes no attempt to be interpreter of the Scriptures. He makes no effort to give an allegorical exegesis of the statements and occurrences. They are accepted as fact. Aside from the arrangement of this section into titled lessons, the lessons are made up of questions designed to cause the student to draw out the historical data from the passages which are cited. Little or no appeal is made to contemporary writings and historical material. No present day scholars and commentaries are depended upon or cited as references. It proposes to be a study of the Old Testament itself.

The first two chapters of Genesis are dealt with in a factual manner. The creation of all things and of man in particular is dealt with as actual fact. There is no attempt to make it an evolutionary process, nor to hint that this was just some mythical explanation of the existence of things. This is the kind of thing taught by most educators and religious teachers of this age. One of the questions in this chapter is: "Make a diagram showing the orderly progress of creation, day by day." Hence, no attempt is made to define those days, neither as of twenty-four hours nor as eras, but just days. Another question, with references given for study in answering, is: "In what way did the creation of man differ from all the other acts of creation?"

Many modern religionists consider the story of the sin and fall of man as a myth. One of his questions brings the teaching of the Bible to a focal point: "Is Satan a personality or the personification of Evil?" Genesis 3:1-4:16; Job 1:6-12 and John 8:44 are cited as study references for a factual answer.

The charts on the "Divided" and "Lone Kingdom Periods" of Israel and Judah are well worth the price of the book. These show the contemporary kings, prophets, major world events and events in these two nations, in parallel columns. The Scriptural references are cited so that the incidents, the historical books and the books of prophecy are caused to fall into place in a concise, connected and easily grasped picture. Many people have no idea when the prophets lived and wrote. Because of this they fail to get the import of much that is said by the prophets. They are likely to imagine that Ezekiel is talking about the resurrection at the second coming of Christ, instead of speaking of the rising up of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, if they do not know when Ezekiel lived. This outline will help students to see that many of the circumstances of that day were the occasion for much of the teaching of the prophets; though this book does not deal with the books of prophecy.

What do you know of the feasts prescribed in the law of Moses? The various types, with the times, names and scriptural references, are outlined in one of the charts. What feast is designated as the New Moon and referred to in the New Testament as such and as the observance of months? (Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16) This is clearly detailed in the outline. What feast is known as Pentecost in the New Testament? You will find it in the outline. What feast was possibly referred to by Peter in Matthew 17? The outline gives the concise description of all these feasts.

Old Testament History will be used by thousands as a private reference work in studying the Old Testament. Perhaps its greatest use will be in the classroom, where, in fourteen lessons, a general view of the Old Testament can be given, without getting the students bogged down into details which when disconnected from the view of the whole becomes tedious and bore some. Where the aim is to "just study the Bible," this book by Fanning Yater Tant will serve as a refreshing outline.

— 1932 S. Weller, Springfield, Missouri