Book Review: The Bible Home Instructor

The Bible Home Instructor, by Andrew N. Dugger (along with P.A. Nugent and Herbert Miles). Originally published in 1919-1920. Reprinted 1996, 182 pp.

Perhaps more than any other book, The Bible Home Instructor has led to the advancement of the Church of God, Seventh Day and its doctrinal teachings. Conceived by Church of God leader Andrew N. Dugger (1886-1975), the bookís purpose was to convince people of Church of God doctrines and increase membership. Zealously sold by religious colporteurs, the book led to the "surge of the 1920ís" when the Church of God, Seventh Day added a thousand or more members in one year. The book was probably an outgrowth of a shorter work, called The Bible Studentís Assistant, published in the early 1900ís.

A grouping of Bible testimony on numerous sacred subjects, the Instructor has over 200 illustrations. Some are the typical Protestant variety, others unique to the Church of God. There is the chart of Passion Week showing the Wednesday Crucifixion (and Palm Sabbath, in contradiction to the Protestant idea of Palm Sunday), page 166. The line drawings are unforgettable. They show up again frequently in later Church of God literature. We have reproduced a few of them at the end of the book.

Each of the scores of Bible readings for the home is a capsule of one doctrinal truth. There are a dozen or so questions, followed by scripture references, often quoted. For example, the topic of "Conversion" has twenty-nine questions, such as: "1. What is necessary to salvation? Matt. 18:3. 2. Is it the moral or the physical nature that is changed by conversion? Rom. 8:6,7. 3. What two steps are necessary to make this change? Acts 20:20, 21. 4. Of what is it necessary to repent? Acts 3:19. 5. What is sin? I John 3:4. 6. What does the Psalmist tell us is perfect, converting the soul? Psa. 19:7, etc." In this example, all the verses are quoted without comment, as is the usual practice in the book. The Bible answers the questions.

Many want to know how to conduct a family or group Bible study. There is no better object lesson than The Bible Home Instructor. In a group setting, have each person read a question and the scripture answering the question, adding comments if appropriate. This is sure to stimulate your Sabbath study time.

Carefully written, non-sensational and forthright, this book has continued to enlighten thousands throughout the years. Until the late 1960ís, the Instructor continued to be sold by Duggerís Mount Zion Reporter in Jerusalem. Although we disagree with a few minor points (such as total prohibition of alcohol), The Bible Home Instructor has taught thousands of Sabbath-keepers a great many Bible truths. We continue to publish it in order to preserve this rich historical legacy.

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