Bible History Commentary

When Philip observed the Ethiopian reading Isaiah, he asked him, "Do you understand what you are reading?" "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" (Acts 8:30,31.) You may have had a similar problem when you read your Bible. In fact, every serious seeker of the Truth desiring a more complete understanding of what God's Word teaches will at times seek help. Such will welcome Bible History Commentary: Old Testament by Werner H. Franzmann.

The Background

When our Sunday-school course, The Story of God's Love, was being written, the Board for Parish Education (BPE) felt that the teachers needed more than a simple manual suggesting step-by-step procedures for teaching each lesson. Only too easily, the teacher is tempted to present the lesson simply as an isolated story, which proclaims an interesting truth. This is especially true in teaching the Old Testament. Consequently, the BPE felt than an overview of each story, explaining the main events and emphasizing their importance in unfolding God's gracious plan of salvation, would be an invaluable aid in the presentation of the lessons.

When Pastor Werner Franzmann contemplated retirement, he offered his services to the Board for Parish Education. The board was pleased to accept his offer, because it knew that Pastor Franzmann has a deep appreciation of the Bible as the verbally inspired Word of God and also possesses extraordinary literary skills.

Pastor Franzmann's 40 years of ministry began and ended in the parish. In the intervening years, he taught at Michigan Lutheran Seminary and was the first full-time literary editor of the Northwestern Publishing House. There he planned, initiated, and edited Meditations, while at the same time serving as editor of The Northwestern Lutheran. The Lord has now granted him the grace and the strength in his retirement to prepare a number of parish education publications, among them the long awaited commentary.

The Plan

Since in teaching the truths of Scripture, a great deal of a teacher's time is spent teaching the Bible story, a Bible commentary properly explaining those stories is an invaluable aid. In order to cover all the historical accounts that the children in the elementary grades learn, the author used the Bible History for Christian Schools as a guide for his remarks. The Bible History Commentary: 0ld Testament, then, is not a chapter-by-chapter narrative on the entire Old Testament, but rather expounds its major historical sections.

The Book