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Quotes About the Bible and History


J. M. Houston

Geography and the Bible

"The phenomena of environment were depended on God alone (Psalms 104:27-30). Indeed, the Hebrews had no word for "nature," no conception of anything but the ultimate control of God, to whom all things were responsible (Hos. 2:21-22). Modern environmental sciences may be much clearer than the Hebrews were on the immediate creative and regulative physical powers operating in the physical world, but the Hebrews' recognition of God, as the ultimate agent of creation, gave them insight into a realm which science makes no pretense to know.

Geography shares with history in being a study of the particular, of places and events. The Bible is a time-charged book, revealing redemption in a series of specific events, and the physical environment is also viewed decisively and concretely. The landscapes of the Bible are as real and authentic as the events which it describes.

Indeed, our knowledge of the Near East in its historical origins, and the development of its environment, is perhaps, thanks to the Bible, the best documented in all the world. It has been the land of three great faiths. It has been the scene of man's invention of writing. And the Bible is the most reliable and comprehensive document of antiquity.

To understand it properly it is essential to have some idea of the land where the Bible was born and to know its relationship to neighboring countries."

J. M. Houston, Contributor "Pictorial Bible Atlas" 8th Ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1981) p. 3