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Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties Paperback – 1982

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Zondervan (1982)
  • ASIN: B000OT2QXG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on July 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've used this book for almost 2 decades now, and it remains one of my favorites in the field of Bible difficulties. Archer did a super job giving explanations for difficult passages found in the Bible. Although I have never read the book cover from cover, I've probably read enough of it to count for 3-4 readings! I consider Archer's use of the context of the passage, the Biblical languages, and other pertinent information exemplary. Rarely do I find that I disagree with his assessment, so I give this book my highest endorsement. Another good book of this genre is When Critics Ask by Geisler and Howe. It has been fun for me to compare Archer and Geisler/Howe when they discuss the same passages (which happens more often than not). Again, I highly recommend this book for a research tool in the serious Christian's library.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Archer is well-schooled. He has a law degree, and extensive training as a linguist. Many of the points he makes in this volume would have been more influential if he had only chosen to annotate the text. He presents numerous ideas about so-called bible difficulties that are not mentioned in commentaries by other authors. Due to the complete absence of footnotes or other annotation, it is nearly impossible to determine what ideas were the product of research and which are opinion. A work of this type should provide the reader with the opportunity to pursue the sources of origen in order to evaluate the author's points against the points of others in the same field.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Pat Murphy on March 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book blindly - I reckoned I might need such a book at some time in the future. Whilst I have never taken it up to deal with a 'Bible difficulty' I have found it to be an excellent book in that it deals with some very tricky theological issues. Hidden in there among the explanations of bible difficulties I found the best EVER (and I have looked around a lot for years) dealing of [1] what happens to babies/children who die before they can sin (or understand their need for Christ) and [2] what happens to people who never hear of Christ. Both of these are dealt with in the Romans sections.
I have heard explanations of these issues before by many others including John Piper and John Stott but having read this book, I feel at last I have got the right explanation and it is based upon and backed up by the scriptures in question. Buy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Rupert on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Archer is a scholar and a thoughtful teacher. He reads over 20 different languages and has spent a lifetime studying the Biblical text. This is an excellent book for those who believe that the Bible is a divine book written by human beings. It will not (and is not meant to) convince the skeptic. This is a book for the already convinced.
In most places Dr. Archer gives thoughtful explanations to difficult Bible passages. It will stimilate your thinking.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My pastor let me borrow his copy when I was having a "crisis of faith." The book answered my specific question and more, and did it well. Not every "difficulty" is answered in the book, but it is certainly a great reference. Every minister, and anyone who critically studies the Bible should have this book.
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28 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey S. Robinson on March 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've heard a lot of critics. We must keep in mind that critics, just like believers, are biased. They need the Bible to be untrue. They need it, because they need to live in rank sin. (Please reference RC Sproul's "If There's a God, Why are There Atheists?") I've never seen an alleged contradiction that hasn't been either resolved or enough reasonable explanations given that it remains a problem for me.
This book helps aide those who want to examine these difficulties. I do not agree with the author all of the time. I've seen others give better answers to the same questions. But I must say, when he is on, the author is spot on. And he's on a lot. The book is also not as exhaustive as I would like. My only other problem with the book is that it would have benefited from more people writing in it (to give it more of an encyclopedia feel). However, it is a wonderful resource I highly recommend. I also like how the book deals with some passages that are difficult to understand, not just alleged contradictions.
I highly suggest reading his passage on the critics of Daniel, and how these critics completely ignore the evidence to give it a late date. Why did they give the book a late dating? Because if they didn't, they would be admitting to fulfilled prophecy. That is the bias believers are up against. And that is why I feel justified in saying what I said in the first paragraph of this review.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David A. Baer VINE VOICE on January 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Gleason Archer was an amazingly learned man, representing a kind of conservative biblical scholar trained in the Albright School and its astonishing capacity for managing multiple Ancient Near Eastern languages, the growing field of 'biblical archaeology', and an inside-out knowledge of the biblical texts.

It isn't hard to observe that reviewers of Archer's work and the Albright School's legacy tend either to gush or to sneer. Neither response is entirely appropriate, though the gushers win on points.

What Archer possessed that most of his critics do not is the ability to allow the biblical authors the benefit of the doubt when a statement they made seemed to contradict the evidence, common sense, or--for Archer a very important matter--affirmations common to the rest of the Bible.

No doubt Archer over-reached in the attempt to harmonize difficulties. His work must most assuredly be subjected to this claim and will with some regularity be found wanting. Yet he worked the angles before he cried 'uncle', a patience and a discipline that too few onlookers are prepared to exercise. When he argued from linguistic data, he was seldom wrong.

This book can now look quaint in the light of a generation of biblical scholarship by men and women trained in the classical disciplines and profoundly respectful of the biblical text. Archer, who did not have the luxury of such company, was fighting a rear guard battle.

If all is not fair in war, some shortcomings are at least less difficult to understand.
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