THE BRIGHT CLOUD by J. R. Macphail


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This is an unusual book about the Bible. It tells the Bible story, in brief compass, but it breaks into the narrative again and again to discuss the views on God and man, good and evil, time and eternity, which the original story teller book for granted, and which are very different from those which generally prevail today. Christian doctrine, the author makes clear, does not rest on ideas that men have thought out, but on particular events, and the Bible is the original record of those events. So he starts with the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles, that part of Biblical history which lies nearest to us; then back to the Old Testament, next the first three Gospels, and finally St. John's Gospel. The theme of the whole book is ""seeing the Bible in the light of the Transfiguration of Christ; so the framework is the account of the Transfiguration in the Synoptic Gospels, and ending with the Gospel in which the Transfiguration is omitted, ""because the teaching and life of Jesus, and especially his death and resurrection are transfigured altogether"". It is related of the Transfiguration of Christ that ""a bright cloud overshadowed"" the disciples. So, as Mr. Macphail shows, we have glimpses of the brightness of the divine glory, mixed with the cloudiness inseparable from the limits of human understanding. This book, however, does stretch the limits of human understanding by calling our constant attention to the source of the brightness of the cloud, God as revealed in Jesus Christ. It is vigorously written, and gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the Bible as the word of God which is not so easily to be found when the Bible is read without such aids as this. By no means a substitute for the Bible, this study should send the reader back to the Bible with new eyes for the invisibles.

Publisher: Oxford