This review appeared in the Jul-Sep 2006 vol. 163 no. 3 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
The Uttermost Part of the Earth: A Guide to Places in the BibleWm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids March 1, 2005
Sometimes students of the Bible seem oblivious to the immense span of time and cultural history that provides its setting. It is difficult to comprehend the full extent of the biblical context throughout centuries of time and vast regions, perfectly orchestrated by God and for His divine, interwoven purpose. Losch relates biblical locations with their respective histories, and provides a useful tool for gathering an array of cultural and historical contexts for a variety of biblical passages. The book consists of an alphabetical survey of seventy-eight places mentioned in the Bible, with each location described in its ancient setting as well as how it appears today. This book is replete with interlocking pieces of history that maximize an understanding of the whole biblical account when read in its entirety, thus providing a feeling for the whole of its contents and a grasp of the importance and location of cultural, geographic, and historical information. Each summary is brief, but the footnotes add much to the body of the book.
Unfortunately Losch takes an allegorical approach to Scripture. Therefore in understanding “Armageddon” allegorically he says that its actual geographical location is irrelevant (p. 30). While many symbols do in fact exist in Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible, a literal hermeneutic makes it difficult to accept Losch’s conclusions in this respect.
Overall this book provides a helpful literary tour of biblical places.
—Sherry D. Klein with Eugene H. Merrill