In this volume, Darby introduces important themes of creation, sin, and the relationship between good and evil in the lives of key figures found in the first half of the Old Testament. He connects creation to God’s law and human responsibility—in these books, says Darby, we find God’s principles for maintaining relationships with individuals. In this way, God’s kingdom in the Old Testament not only resembles the Church in the present, but also God’s intentions for the future. Darby also explains the first two dispensations of the relationship between humanity and God without the law, and humanity’s relationship to God with the law. Darby’s commentary exhibits key tenets of dispensationalist thought, and lays the groundwork for interpreting the rest of the Bible.
Darby’s ecclesiological pessimism gave way to a new perspective on Scripture, which later became known as dispensationalism. In Darby’s view, the scope of history is divided into seven separate dispensations, each comprising a new stage of God’s revelation. Darby advanced the following dispensationalist scheme:
Darby left a lasting legacy for us today.
—Conservative Theological Journal
To see classical dispensationalist theology at its best, one must read Darby...
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Darby was a brilliant man...
—Moody Handbook of Theology