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Every Leaf, Line, and Letter: Evangelicals and the Bible from the 1730s to the Present

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“I was filled with a pining desire to see Christ’s own words in the Bible. . . . I got along to the window where my Bible was and I opened it and . . . every leaf, line, and letter smiled in my face.” —The Spiritual Travels of Nathan Cole, 1765.

From its earliest days, Christians in the movement known as evangelicalism have had “a particular regard for the Bible,” to borrow a phrase from David Bebbington, the historian who framed its most influential definition. But this “biblicism” has taken many different forms from the 1730s to the 2020s. How has the eternal Word of God been received across various races, age groups, genders, nations, and eras?

This collection of historical studies focuses on evangelicals’ defining uses—and abuses—of Scripture, from Great Britain to the Global South, from the high pulpit to the Sunday School classroom, from private devotions to public causes.

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  • Focuses on evangelicals’ defining uses—and abuses—of Scripture
  • Examines how the eternal Word of God been received across various races, age groups, genders, nations, and eras
  • Introduction, Thomas S. Kidd

Part 1: The Eighteenth Century

  • British Exodus, American Empire: Evangelical Preachers and the Biblicisms of Revolution, Kristina Benham
  • Lectio Evangelica: Figural Interpretation and Early Evangelical Bible Reading, Bruce Hindmarsh
  • Faith, Free Will, and Biblical Reasoning in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards and John Erskine, Jonathan Yeager

Part 2: The Nineteenth Century

  • “Young People Are Actually Becoming Accurate Bible Theologians”: Children’s Bible Culture in Early Nineteenth-Century America, K. Elise Leal
  • Missouri, Denmark Vesey, Biblical Proslavery, and a Crisis for Sola Scriptura, Mark Noll
  • Josephine Butler’s Mystic Vision and her Love for the Jesus of the Gospels, Mary Riso

Part 3: The Twentieth Century

  • The Bible Crisis of British Evangelicalism in the 1920s, David Bebbington
  • Liberal Evangelicals and the Bible, Timothy Larsen
  • “The Only Way to Stop a Mob”: Francis Grimké’s Biblical Case for Lynching Resistance, Malcolm Foley
  • “As at the Beginning”: Charismatic Renewal and the Reanimation of Scripture in Britain and New Zealand in the “Long” 1960s, John Maiden

Part 4: Into the Twenty-First Century

  • The American Patriot’s Bible: Evangelicals, the Bible, and American Nationalism, Catherine A. Brekus
  • The Evangelical Christian Mind in History and Global Context, Brian Stanley
  • David Bebbington, University of Stirling
  • Kristina Benham, Baylor University
  • Catherine Brekus, Harvard Divinity School
  • Malcolm Foley, Truett Seminary
  • Bruce Hindmarsh, Regent College, Vancouver
  • Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University
  • Timothy Larsen, Wheaton College
  • K. Elise Leal, Whitworth University
  • John Maiden, The Open University, UK
  • Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame
  • Mary Riso, Gordon College
  • Brian Stanley, University of Edinburgh
  • Jonathan Yeager, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Evangelicals have always been people of ‘the book.’ Regardless of their levels of literacy, they have loved and tried to live by the contents of the Bible. Some have done so as highly learned theological exegetes. Most have been more simple hearers and doers of the Word. But no matter their ethnicity, race, gender, or social class, they have done their best, when at their best, to honor every ‘leaf, line, and letter’ of the Scriptures. This all-star cast of first-rate scholars and associates of David Bebbington, one of the most important evangelical scholars of our age, has compiled the best collection of short essays ever written on the diversity of evangelical uses of the Bible. This book is a must-read for serious students of evangelicalism, their study of the Scriptures, and the historiographical legacies of Bebbington himself.

—Douglas A. Sweeney, dean and professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.


Digital list price: $27.99
Save $9.00 (32%)

In production