Friday, July 3, 2009

General Epistles, Winford Claiborne

General Epistles, Winford Claiborne

While a student at Freed-Hardeman University, I was blessed to have the opportunity to study the general epistles directly from brother Claiborne in his General Epistles class. Brother Claiborne and I have developed a close friendship over the years but do not think this review has been impacted by personal bias. One of the many reasons for our enduring friendship is a love of books and serious study of the Scriptures.

I was captivated by the material presented in class and took copious notes. In fact, I have taught the adult Bible class on James, 1 Peter and 2 Peter relying largely on a review of my notes from class. I plan on using the material from this book for the epistles of John and Jude as well. When brother Claiborne began publishing books to support the International Gospel Hour, I reminded him that I was still interested in the rest of the material we did not cover in class due to time. (My class notes stop at 1 John 2:11.) Occasionally I would go further and tease brother Claiborne that he should produce this book so I would
get the full value for the tuition I paid for the class. When he told me that he had completed the book I became anxious for my copy. Bother Claiborne is a serious student of the Scriptures and his lecture on the general epistles was deep and meaningful. This book fulfills my request and then some! Thanks brother Claiborne!

For those who have his book CHRIST—Prophet, Priest & King, you will recognize the same outline form in this material as well. It includes treatment of the epistles of James; 1, 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John & Jude. As I read the pages of the book it takes me back to the days I had him in class. It is excellent for preparation of lessons to teach classes for high school, college and adult classes. I plan on recommending the book to Christian men who have yet to teach an adult-level Bible class because they do not have as much time to spend in preparation. This book allows a person to quickly grasp the material on a deeper level so as to enrich any class. In addition, the general epistles (sometimes called catholic epistles) are rich in lessons, which need to be preached from the pulpit. This book does an excellent job of presenting expository material for preaching. Plus, brother Claiborne provides examples from modern theologians that help enrich one’s study (including those who he takes serious issue with.) Those who are familiar with brother Claiborne will recognize his style in his chapter “Jude: An Addendum” where he details some false concepts some have espoused relating to the epistle of Jude. His methodic treatment in thoroughly refuting their error is so reminiscent of the times I have spent with him that I can literally hear his voice as I read through the material. I wholeheartedly agree with brother Sain’s words in the Preface,
“…Winford Claiborne is a dedicated student of God’s Word. Thus, when he speaks, whether orally or in print, he will know his subject well. And, with a fine command of the English language, he knows how to communicate effectively. Not everyone who hears him will agree with him, but all who listen will know what the truth is, and that he will not compromise the truth.” (Page 7)
This book is a product of teaching the material at the college level for at least fourteen years so it has been tried and tested! This is a book to be added to all libraries—members, preachers and churches. Do not miss this invaluable resource to help equip future teachers and preachers of God’s word!
***NOTE***This is a new book so you may need to order your copy directly from International Gospel Hour at All proceeds to to support preaching the gospel on the radio.

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