Book Review: Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth
Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth: God's Word In Human History
Paperback, 120pp. Published by John Ritchie Ltd, Kilmarnock, Scotland
Price: £6.99 ISBN 978-1907731730
Although it would have made for an awkward main title, the subtitle–God's word in human history–is a helpful summary of the author's intent. Commencing with the early church, Sweetnam takes 24 chapters to work through 2,000 years of history, narrating the story of the Bible. This is a biography of Scripture with particular emphasis on the sovereignty of God that superintended every step of the way. Reading it is well worth your time.
At only 120 pages, it is not designed to be an exhaustive volume. But the author does an excellent job of covering all the ground while emphasising the important details. He stops off at all the notable moments–the closing of the Canon, the Reformation and the translation of the King James Version–but the real value is in the manner in which he joins the dots between these events. The lesser known stories of Nicaea, Jerome, Wycliffe, Tyndale and the Hampton Court conference are all told with flair. Those with interest in assembly history will enjoy the chapters that record the role that Scripture played in their formation.
In my limited experience, many Christians have little or no knowledge about how their Bible came to be. Start with this book! First published as a series of magazine articles, each chapter is brief and to the point, taking no longer than 5-10 minutes to finish. For those with some knowledge of the subject, this book will serve as a helpful refresher course. Others with a deeper knowledge will find the chapter on recommended reading helpful. In summary, I have no hesitation in endorsing this book as a primer on the history of the Bible.