Recently, I read The Scofield Bible: Its History and Impact on the Evangelical Church by R. Todd Mangum and Mark S. Sweetnam. Both scholars have done their research well in this book.
Unlike other books that have attempted to write on the person C. I. Scofield, which is typically biased in approach, this book is a scholarly, fair balanced treatment. The writers note:
“Our discussion of Scolfield and his Bible is designed neither to participate in the construction of a myth of super-human perfection of either Scolfield or The Scolfield Reference Bible nor are we interested in attempting a character assassination. We aim for a fair evaluation of Scolfield’s life and work: our purpose is not to praise or to blame, but to understand” (p. 4)
I have learned a ton in this book about the life of Cyrus Ingerson Scolfield, the theological roots of The Scofield Reference Bible, the theology within it, its impact on British and American dispensational circles, and its continuing effect.
The Scofield Bible: Its History and Impact on the Evangelical Church
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909). It is hard to believe in our era of study Bibles for most every demographic group that the Scofield Bible was the first of its kind. The Scofield Reference Bible was uniquely responsible for popularizing dispensational theology, eventually making dispensationalism the theology assumed by everyday English-speaking Christians for much of the twentieth century. This book, written by American Todd Mangum and Irish scholar Mark Sweetnam, explores the origins and impact of the Scofield Reference Bible on both sides of the Atlantic. Readable and fair, it provides insight into the approach, intentions and theology of the Scofield Bible, valuable to both fans and critics of the Scofield Bible. It also provides rare insight into the life story of C. I. Scofield himself, which has become a subject of interest and controversy in recent years.
About the Authors
Todd Mangum is Associate Professor of Theology and Dean of the Faculty at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. He received the John F. Walvoord Award for Outstanding Work in Eschatology from Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned his Ph.D. in Theological Studies in 2001. Dr. Mangum’s book, The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift is widely acclaimed as providing a definitive history on the debate between dispensationalists and covenant theologians. He has also written numerous articles seeking to repair breaches among various segments of Bible-believing Christianity, and advancing a generously orthodox, missional approach to theology and ministry in the postmodern, post-Christian context. Dr. Mangum is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention. He resides with his wife, Linda, and three sons. In May 2009, he serves as best man at the wedding of his oldest son, Caleb.