A Bible Study Investigation into Our Relationship to God and into “the Time of the End”, by Trevor Pope, is a focused look at one view in the wide arena of end-times prophecy and thought.
In the book, Pope shares his thoughts on the teachings of Jesse Hemery, a Bible scholar who was the first president of the International Bible Studies Association. Readers aren’t told much about Pope’s credentials, so the authority of the text seems to reside in Hemery’s qualifications. As a result, Pope begins the book with a foreword that tells about Hemery’s life and work and sets out that the volume to follow is primarily the words of Hemery with added commentary by Pope.
The book’s lengthy subtitle gives readers an accurate sense of both the academic style of the text and the wordiness of some of the sentences.
The volume is organized well, beginning with a fairly brief chapter on the relationship between God and humans. This chapter gives readers a quick overview of the Bible and tracks how the relationship between the creator and the beings he created changed and grew over time. Though much of this section will not be new information to established Christians, it sets a solid foundation for the rest of the book, which deals with the belief that the end of time will renew that relationship.
Subsequent chapters trace biblical end-times prophecy from the book of Daniel, Christ’s teachings, and the book of Revelation. The last section, oddly titled “General Summary,” gives Hemery and Pope’s views about what events will precede the return of Christ, how Christians need to prepare themselves, and just who are considered “God’s people.” The section feels much more specific than the title would imply and is more of a culmination than a recap.
Following this conclusion of the main body of the text, there is a nearly one-hundred-page section of additional notes on related topics. Pope is wise not to include these notes as part of the main text, as they would spread the focus far too much. However, this material is of benefit to readers looking for more information about scripture and scholarship related to the end times.
Pope seems to be more focused on explaining his and Hemery’s beliefs in depth than on proving those beliefs in relation to other material. As such, the book won’t likely win over many newcomers to the subject; Pope even states that the volume is meant for those who are already convinced of the truth of the Bible.
In the realm of end-times predictions, A Bible Study Investigation into Our Relationship to God will appeal most strongly to people who agree with Pope and Hemery about what will happen before Christ’s return—forty-two months of resolution of “enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.”