Your new book, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook: New Testament Digital Edition, will be released soon. What part of the writing process did you enjoy most?
Dr. Harris: Every project is different, but with both the OT edition and now NT edition of The Bible Expositor’s Handbook, the only source used is the Bible. So, under those circumstances, and knowing that I am limited to 15 chapters, it is a matter of praying through, seeking God’s will, and taking my time on what each chapter of the book would contain. It was both joyful and worshipful. I got tired at times, but I very often couldn’t wait to hurry up and go to sleep so I could get up early the next morning and start where I left off. I wrote it as if this would be my last thing I ever wrote, such as Paul did in 2 Timothy or Peter did in 2 Peter.
As an added plus, God gave me Dr. Bill Barrick as my content editor for this NT edition. It was just a joy and delight to have his godly expertise and encouragement. The book is definitely better (as am I) by having him be a major part in the book’s composition.
What is the need for this book? Why should people read it?
Dr. Harris: Because it continues the story of Jesus that we started in the OT edition, but also because this is a book where you have not had to read the OT edition beforehand. I’ve tried to compile almost 40 years of teaching Bible Exposition classes and writing books on the Glory of God. Especially as the haters of God and His Word grow more dominant, I hope The Bible Expositor’s Handbook–NT edition will be a breath of fresh Spirit-filled air, so to speak. Readers will definitely see the unity, harmony and continuity of God’s Word woven throughout with Scripture explaining Scripture. Especially when taken with the OT edition, this is a book that someone who has studied the Bible could read by themselves, or someone could do with a small group or a larger group. Each chapter ends with a summary, review section, and questions.
How does The Bible Expositor’s Handbook: New Testament Digital Edition complement your previous release, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook: Old Testament Digital Edition?
Dr. Harris: We pick up in midstream, but also do so with the first chapter of the NT edition being entitled “We’ve Been Expecting You,” based on prophecies of the OT about the Messiah. For those who did not read the OT edition, we give a brief review of all 15 chapters. For those who read the OT edition, hopefully this is “stirring them up by way of remembrance.” We see in the first chapter, that the New Testament is not the place where God starts telling the truth. The OT edition set the table for the NT edition, and we see God repeatedly being true to His Word over and over again.
Who can read this book? Is it just for seminary students?
Dr. Harris: One of the things I wrote in the OT edition is that I have written this for people who believe the Bible. I don’t fight the fight against the liberal critics that other people do as part of their ministry. I think anyone who loves God and His Word from about 8th grade upward can read this and hopefully benefit from it. I wrote this for people who just want to know God and His Word better. I’ve tried to give a lot of encouragement, through God’s Word, to stand fast. I think people will come away from reading this book more confident about what the Bible teaches and how to study it.
Last but not least, where do you recommend people buy this book, once released?
Dr. Harris: The Bible Expositor’s Handbook, has three parts to it. The Bible Expositor’s Handbook—Digital Old Testament Edition was released last year, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook—Digital New Testament Edition is due out February 2018. In 2019 the publisher is printing a combined printed edition of the two books in one volume.
Now, there are different ways to get the books. There is a more complete version from B&H Academic, and you need to run it off their program (like you would run something off LOGOS Bible Software). You can also purchase a Kindle edition that basically has the book, but not the other features.
The digital editions of the books (especially the B&H Academic version) was new for me and can be somewhat daunting, but they certainly do have their benefits. The B&H Academic version has video introductions and conclusions for each chapter, and other video and audio links to it, as well as The Master’s Seminary Journal article links. Also, one of the greatest features about it is that once you have the B&H Academic version, it is not on your computer or other device, it stays on B&H’s server. That means that wherever you have access to the Internet in the world, you can long in and use “the Handbook.” Also, for soldiers, missionaries, or anyone else, it goes around the world the day it is released, with no packing of books or gathering stuff together to shift.