Synthetic Bible Studies originally appeared as weekly lessons in a religious journal, and were so widely blessed to ministers and Bible students generally, that they were gathered together in this more permanent form; the matter still retaining however the personal and familiar style of a teacher addressing a class of other teachers, which had been adopted in the newspaper articles.
The design is not that readers should study this book, but study the Bible by its aid. To that end it was hoped to be found useful in the conduct of Bible classes in churches, Young People's Societies and Young Men and Young Women's Christian Associations, where people are hungering for the Word of GOD. As a matter of fact, however, pastors have borne witness to its value in their pulpit preparation, and in awakening an interest in Bible study that has told in the increase of church attendance, and the revival of the work of GOD in other lines. In some instances congregations have supplied themselves with copies for general study.
COMMENTS OF THE PRESS
Comments of the press on the first edition of Synthetic Bible Studies: -
The Homiletic Review says the method of Bible study it exemplifies is "the best that has been presented to the public."
The Pittsburgh Christian Advocate: "We know of no other way in which one can so easily and satisfactorily get a comprehensive view of the Bible as in this way."
The Quarterly Review (United Brethren): "We know of nothing better of its kind for the use of higher classes in the Sunday School, and for Theological Seminary's Bible study in English, and for the minister's private study."
The Record of Christian Work: "It is many years since a Bible study help has been given to the world of which so many commendatory things may be said."
The Baltimore Methodist: "This is an age of Bible study, and the many 'helps' published to make this study interesting and profitable are numerous. We venture to affirm, however, that none equal the present method, both for practical and exegetical work. Dr. Gray has given us a book which every student, teacher and preacher of the Bible ought to possess. Such books cannot be measured by money value, but only by the impetus given to Bible study and the solid character built up thereby."
Watchword and Truth: "Anyone wishing help in scripture study can do no better than purchase this book. It is admirable, evangelical, accurate and helpful. No wonder the first edition is completely exhausted before the newspapers of the land have had a chance to review the book. We predict for it an enormous sale of many thousands."
Herald and Presbyter: "This is a very attractive book. Anyone who wishes to study the Bible systematically will find it invaluable. It would be an excellent guide for a series of Sabbath evening lectures. It gives a bird's-eye view of the whole Bible, and enables one to see it to be a beautiful whole. It should certainly be a very welcome book to every minister and Bible student."
Christian Endeavor World: "A study of the Bible by books so as to gain a definite, comprehensive knowledge of the special contents of each is something that many are seeking. Dr. James M. Gray has been doing much for the past few years in promoting systematic reading and study of the Bible, and has aroused great interest in the matter. His course, 'Synthetic Bible Studies,' will receive and deserve a hearty welcome as it now appears in a book form."