HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Reading Timothy’s Mail: Simple Summary Articles
Author: Warren E. Berkley
Publisher: Pressing On, 2018
Related website(s): http://www.PressingOnMagazine.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Berkley, Warren E. Reading Timothy’s Mail: Simple Summary Articles (Published in 2018 by Pressing On). Isn’t it usually considered impolite to read someone else’s mail, especially without their express knowledge and consent? God had the apostle Paul write two letters to a young man named Timothy and apparently expects us to read them since they are preserved in Scripture. Almost everything that we know about Timothy is found in the Bible’s historical record. He was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor. His father was a Greek, implying not only ethnicity but also religion, i.e., a pagan. However, his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were Jewish women who had apparently become Christians. He traveled with Paul for a while and was eventually told to abide in Ephesus to do the work of an evangelist in that city. It was during his stay there that he received these two epistles from Paul.
First and Second Timothy are often considered to be primarily for preachers. It is certainly true that these letters were addressed to Timothy, who was a preacher, and contain instructions for the work of preaching that he was doing at Ephesus. However, as author Warren Berkley correctly points out, these letters “are part of the New Testament of Jesus Christ and contain indispensable instruction for every Christian.” The book is not intended as an exhaustive expository commentary. Rather, the chapters are summary pages designed to help the reader capture the basic meaning of each one. Berkley breaks down these letters into sections and gets right to presenting the main idea of each passage in a clear way.
Three good uses have been suggested for this book. Since I am a gospel preacher myself, Reading Timothy’s Mail has a special interest to me, and all those who preach can benefit from reading the book and applying its principles to their work. It would be especially beneficial when preaching through these epistles to have this volume as part of the material that one is studying through. Second, this is an excellent supplement for a personal study of these letters. And third, the book can be used for Bible classes in which teachers can divide the material into sections which correspond with their teaching schedules. While Berkley also supplements his comments with thoughts from other writers and commentators, his focus is on the text of Scripture and his comments reflect that focus, so that what we have here is a highly readable presentation of First and Second Timothy that gets to the heart of these letters.