Literature and History of New Testament Times
By: John Gresham Machen (1881-1937)
There is a tendency in the modern Church to neglect the study of Bible history. Such neglect will inevitably result in a loss of power. The gospel is a record of something that has happened, and uncertainty about the gospel is fatal weakness. Furthermore the historical study of the apostolic age—that age when divine revelation established the great principles of the Church's life—is the best corrective for a thousand vagaries. Much can be learned from modern pedagogy; but after all what is absolutely fundamental, both for teacher and for student, is an orderly acquaintance with the Bible facts.
The Teacher's Manual, therefore, is intended not merely to offer suggestions as to methods of teaching, but primarily to supplement the teacher's knowledge. A teacher who knows only what he actually imparts to the class is inevitably dull. The true teacher brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.