HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: History and Geography of the Bible Story Study Guide
Authors: Bob and Sandra Waldron
Publisher: Guardian of Truth Foundation, republished in 2005
Related website: www.truthbooks.net (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Grade 9 to adult
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Waldron, Bob and Sandra. History and Geography of the Bible Story Study Guide (originally published as History and Geography of the Bible Story, A Study Manual in 1984, and republished in 2005 by the Guardian of Truth Foundation, P. O. Box 88, Fairmount, IN 46928). Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative word of God, the Lord’s revelation of His message for all mankind. However, unlike other so-called “sacred books” of various world religions, the Bible is not just a vague philosophical treatise generically filled with pious platitudes. It was written and set in a definite historical and geographical background, and the more we know about the history and geography of the Bible, the better we can understand it. This practical, workbook-based Bible study is a good resource to consider for that purpose. I have counted authors Bob and Sandra Waldron among my friends. Sandra just recently passed away. Before this book was published, I had heard Bob deliver a series of lectures about Bible history and geography on a number of occasions.
The book has 52 lessons in which students will be engaged in learning about the geographical features and the roles they played in the histories of the various nations involved with the Holy Land. The workbook is divided into two main parts. Part one consists of the first lesson as an introduction to discuss man as an intelligent being and the next seven lessons which give a brief look at all the Bible Lands. The rest of the lessons (lessons 9-52) correlate the Bible history and geography together, beginning with “The Book of Beginnings” in Genesis and continuing down to “The Close of the First Century” in the book of Revelation, with a concluding chapter of “Review of the Geography Study.” Every few lessons, there is a section of review questions with a total of eleven periodic review lessons. There are plenty of full color maps with corresponding blank maps for the student to fill in. One of the outstanding highlights of this study is the three-lesson section called The Chart of the Kings. It covers the entire period of the Divided Kingdom, which is generally one of the least understood sections of the Bible although it is about one-third of the story, in chart form which includes the placement of the appropriate prophets of the period and some secular history references, particularly as other nations interacted with Israel and Judah.
After this work was published, I sat in Bible classes where it was used and used it myself in teaching a Bible class. I also have used it to prepare a series of sermons on the subject of Bible history and geography. In addition it would make a great Bible study curriculum for the homeschool, and we have used it as such for our older son’s senior year. The only other resource a student should need to complete this is a Bible, and the study can be done at whatever pace is best for the student. Ferrell Jenkins, one of my teachers in college who wrote the foreword for this book, said, “History and Geography of the Bible Story is one of the best resources of its kind for individual and class study….The Waldrons have demonstrated an ability to take difficult material and make it both understandable and usable. The book can do several things for the user: (1) it will provide a complete survey of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; (2) it will give one a good summary of the history of the nations involved in sacred history; (3) it will acquaint one with the geography of the Bible lands. The good maps add tremendously to the quality and usefulness of the book.” A companion CD has been produced by gospel preacher and homeschooling father Richie Thetford.