Jerusalem In Five Pages

Cities of the New Testament, by E. M. Blaiklock (Pickering and Inglis, 1965, 128 pp., 15s.), is reviewed by David F. Wright, lecturer in ecclesiastical history, New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Professor E. M. Blaiklock holds the chair of classics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and for this reason we are not surprised that when he turns to the New Testament his forte lies in the elucidation of its historical and cultural background. In his latest work twenty-three cities are covered from this standpoint, sixteen in the order of Paul’s journeyings from Antioch to Rome and six as the addressees of the John of Revelation. The two groups are separated by Alexandria, which, though acknowledged to have “only a precarious place in this list of cities” (albeit the author believes Apollos to have been converted there), curiously receives the longest treatment of all.

Details of historical origins, prehistorical legends, local pagan cults, local trade and industry, archaeological discoveries—such is the staple diet that Professor Blaiklock offers, though he is often ready to serve up some of the quainter fruits in his vast storehouse of classical learning. He is always on the lookout for independent corroboration of the New Testament narratives and owes a considerable indebtedness to the pioneer work of Sir William Ramsay. There is a great deal here to illuminate the Acts and the Epistles for the Bible student, and to set them firmly amid the living flesh and blood of the first-century world.

Yet this reviewer admits to some disappointment both in the basic outlines of the work and in some of the details. Space does not seem to have been allotted on the basis of importance; hence the ...

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