I notice that there are many “Bible handbooks” that are authored by Protestants that seem to have erroneous, outdated information.
I picked up a copy of “Halley’s Bible Handbook: New Revised Edition” by Henry Halley, a Protestant minister. Mostly, I picked up a copy because someone on another forum had quoted a portion (I forgot which Old Testament book, I believe it was from Judges) that I knew wasn’t really supported by newer archaeological information (to which I responded and gave the reasons why). I was interested to see for myself what was included in this handbook.
For one thing, Halley’s view on Church history is incredibly backwards: He goes into the usual arguments of the so-called “Great Apostasy” and the “paganization” of the Church by Emperor Constantine. He’s also not a big fan of popes or Peter as the first pope. As quoted by him “The Roman Catholic tradition that Peter was the First Pope is fiction pure and simple. There is no New Testament hint, and no historical evidence whatever, that Peter was at any time Bishop of Rome” (PG. 768, Halley’s Bible Handbook). Then another page he claims that for the first 500 years there were no Popes, or at least, no Bishops that claimed the title. He even uses the outdated (let’s face it, non-professional) term to refer to Catholics as “Romanists.”
Granted this information is provided in the “end” of the book, not the main section where he discusses the historical, archaeological, and theological information that is provided in the OT and NT books. I am wondering if there is a bias that is present throughout his descriptions (as it is in his “church history” section) which morphs the archaeological/historical information to fit with his Protestant beliefs.
Bible Handbooks seem to be mostly useless; I would think that a Bible handbook would be more interesting if it just provided archaeological and historical background on specific settings not really a chapter-by-chapter commentary on what the author “thinks” they mean. I haven’t done a full-blown analysis of his handbook but those are the things that stick out to me and what I learned in archaeology courses.
Not really sure what the point of my post is, but I just had to get my thoughts out there.