by DUNCAN MACPHERSON
The Zondervan Topical Bible (Marshall. Morgan & Scott 70s.)
T4E Topical Bible is "a 'digest of the Holy Scriptures' prepared, topically, analysing every verse in the Bible and grouping all Scriptures related to a given subject under their appropriate heading." In other words, it is a sort of inflated dictionary and concordance which, in most cases, gives the complete text rather than just a reference. The result is an extremely weighty tome which can be recommended only with some severe reservations.
First of all it appears to give no attention whatever to scientific biblical criticism. There is an exaggerated dependence on the Authorised Version with too few references back to the Greek and Hebrew of the original texts. The theological premises of the compiler are those of conservative evangelical protestantism and
these theological presuppositions clearly influence the choice of texts. The Virgin Mary is given one fifth of a column, the Eucharist receives one and a half. Depravity, a Calvinist concept and a word not found in the Authorised Version of the Bible, receives nearly six columns. Reflecting a sober Protestant bias, perhaps Wine receives three and a half columns! There is, of curse, no direct reference to the deutero-canonical books, and no reference to those Old Testament types which are not explicit in the New Testament.
Used in conjunction with the "New Catholic Commentary" or "The Jerome Biblical Commentary" this book may be useful for the busy priest or teacher preparing a sermon or a theme for a Bible Service. Used on its own it would only produce an attitude to Scripture which is neither Catholic nor critical.