My dear friend and brother in Christ presented me with a very precious Christmas present (2017): The Comprehensive Bible published in 1827 by Bagster Press. I have had and still have a number of Reference Bibles; they are all different and all quite valuable for study: Scofield’s Reference Bible, my first; also Bullinger’s, Darby’s, Webster’s and Dake’s. All of these present their own unique studies and emphasis, and all full of good (and bad) teaching. The only study bible that I found useless (to be kind) was one called the Thompson Chain reference Bible. I have also used various Bible translations. The Authorized (KJV) is without any doubt, the translation against which all others are measured, but I have and do enjoy Darby’s translation, also the New English Bible, Moffat’s translation, and a very recent production called The Voice, which one could compare with the Living Bible but I frankly find The Voice to be altogether superior, even though I strongly disagree with the title chosen for this production. In the above brief survey (by no means exhaustive), I started with the best and ended with the least, and I am sure that some will notice the glaring omission of the NIV, which I consider to be just the latest in the series of translations starting with the Revised Version of 1881 that represent an actual war against the Word of God.
Bagster’s Comprehensive Bible represents the very summit of true Scriptural academic achievement by men who had no doubt that they were handling the very Word of God. They feared the very possibility of misrepresentation in the knowledge that they would be held accountable by God, himself. That being the case, the contributors and editors of this edition endeavored to give us as much of the true scholastic achievement as they could economically stuff into this rather large volume, starting with the 1769 editions of the Old and New Testaments; omitting the apocryphal books but including ALL of the best cross references that they could fit into their double, center column reference structure.
Anyone who has a reference Bible knows about the center column references and how helpful they are for Bible study, and those who have different reference Bibles may have noticed that not all center column reference systems are the same. The reason for this could simply be economic; it was not possible to fit all of the relevant cross references into a single column – so choices had to be made to omit some of the available cross references. Bagster’s Comprehensive Bible has 500,000 cross references and to accomplish this they used a double center column reference structure and they included ALL of the relevant cross references and also relevant and valid variant readings that they could fit into this Bible. In other words, this particular Bible represents the most Bible in one volume that I have ever seen. It is furthermore apparent to me that the labor was done by men who fear God and love his Word.
The INTRODUCTION to this Bible begins with an article with the title: “Of the Genuineness, Uncorrupted Preservation, Authenticity, and Inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures.” I have read many books and articles addressing these matters but this short 15 page article is the best referenced and most potent address to the subject that I have ever read. This article BELONGS in the introduction to what was appropriately named, The Comprehensive Bible. The case of the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures was here presented, made and closed! Any so-called agnostic or atheist that will honestly read this article will find at the end, Checkmate!
I have scanned in this article from The Comprehensive Bible, Introduction and saved it to present to you in a pdf format because it was the only way that I could preserve the footnotes and formatting, in which I was not 100% successful but for those who are interested, I will include links to the original 12 scanned pages, which is now 15 pages because I found the original 9 point font size, too small for these old eyes to work with.
So, for your enjoyment and edification, click on the “INTRODUCTION” link below and read this small nuclear explosion of God’s Light and Truth, written in 1827!
Richard, (JAC 1972)