Reviews by Others
I prefer to let the testimony of others do the promotion for this book. Identified below are all of the received comments. Some portions have been omitted due to the length of their review:
- Rev. Barbara Di Gilio (Mayim Hayim Ministries): "Joshua's Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Chiasms of Joshua by Thomas B. Clarke is a revealing book.
For the most part, the book is deep but easy to read.
I did find that I had to reread a few chapters to get all the juice out of it that I could.
This book is a study in the book of Joshua, a book that teaches us to war like Joshua did.
The book Joshua's Spiritual Warfare will be a new teaching for many people, itwas for me. This book opens a new way of looking at the writings in the Bible by looking at what is called the chiastic (ky'-as-tic) approach, and then applying it in the area of 'Spiritual Warfare.' Very enlightening to me. To tell you the truth, it answered some questions I've had for years now. While normally we read the Scriptures from a top to bottom approach, the chiastic approach offers the reader a more reflective perceptive of the Scriptures.
Being a person who always reads a book from a Hebraic perspective, trying to understand what a 'chiasm' was, was something new for me. But once I grasped it, I was off and running.
… [explanation of chiastic structure omitted] …
Some of the many questions this book answers are:
- Why Aaron built the golden calf (jealousy)
- How the Lord used the hornet to obtain victory (fear)
- Why the Lord made Joshua to be successful (lifestyle)
- How Joshua heard from the Lord (rhema)
- Why the emphasis on the Deuteronomic covenant (seven commands)
- Why the Jordan River stopped flowing (faith)
- What was significant about the Jordan River for the Israelites (transformed)
- Who the Commander of the Army of the Lord was at the battle of Jericho (Christ)
- Why the walls fell at Jericho (presence of the Lord)
- What was the motive of the Gibeonites (be saved)
- Why Caleb was given Hebron rather than the mountainous land (integrity)
- Why Manasseh and Ephraim were not fully successful (discontentedness)
- Why the northern tribes were not fully successful (complacency)
- Why the eastern tribes correctly built the altar (testimony)
I would highly recommend this book to you."
- Dr. Lee Simmons (Missio Global Ministries): "In Thomas Clarke's book Joshua's Spiritual Warfare, the author clearly demonstrates God's plan for spiritual victory.
Clarke's unique style, using the chiastic approach, greatly assists in gleaning spiritual warfare principles from Joshua.
I have found the book not only intriguing and highly interesting, but most vitally a significant weapon to fight the good fight of faith and enter into all of God's good and wonderful provisions and promises.
Such work is desperately needed in such spiritually desolate times.
It is anointed and has great rhema insight."
- John Fuhler: "The subject of Joshua's Spiritual Warfare struck me with the very first sentence which I read, in which you emphasize the function of the chiasms in biblical books.
I have studied Greek and Latin formally, and Hebrew informally, so, of course, the figure is well known to me.
However, I don't believe anyone ever successfully conveyed the structural function of chiasm to me.
And, as such, I find your material very interesting."
- Sue Kenney: "A fascinating book, both for its material on chiasms and for its study of the book of Joshua.
Since I love both literary expositions and Bible studies, I was doubly blessed by this book.
But I will state straightaway that this is NOT an easy book;
it takes time and mental effort to digest the wealth of information Mr. Clarke has packed into his tome.
I believe, though, that it is well worth the effort.
… [explanation of chiastic structure omitted] …
Mr. Clarke goes through the book of Joshua very methodically, chapter by chapter, passage by passage. He has found over sixty chiasms in the book, some running on for several chapters (what he calls 'outer tier') and some only a few verses ('inner tier'), and some in between ('middle tier'). Each chiasm, however long or short, points out a particular principle of our spiritual walk, especially in relation to the spiritual warfare we each must fight. These principles are loosely sorted into various categories in the end of the book, categories such as 'Authority of Christ,' 'Deliverance,' 'Dependence on the Lord,' and 'Fighting the Battle.' Many of these principles apply to far more in our spiritual walks than just spiritual warfare, which is as it should be, since our lives are not spent in unceasing battle; God gives us times of rest and times of building as well.
Mr. Clarke is not only methodical, he is very detailed. He has obviously done extensive research on his topic, even investigating in person many of the locations mentioned in Joshua when he and his wife were visiting the Middle East in 1999. He uses several personal illustrations but never strays far from the biblical foundation. He is careful to place the book of Joshua within its larger biblical context, and to elucidate the character of Joshua, which is key to many of the events in the book. And the principles he derives from the chiasms are clear and practical.
One thing missing from this book was a bibliography of the sources he used, which were varied and numerous. He footnoted extensively, but I missed having the bibliography to refer back to when there were several dozen pages between one citation from a particular source and the second one. But to offset that lack were a number of other features, including his inclusion of several locations identified by latitude and longitude, viewable if you have Google Earth available to you, which add to an understanding of the topography faced by Joshua and the children of Israel as they progressed through the land of Canaan. I also appreciated the listing of principles at the end of the book, sorted into their various categories.
In summation, it was a good book, with an intriguing new perspective on the book of Joshua and the principles of spiritual warfare therein contained. It is not an easy read, but is good for slower, more contemplative perusal. If you want a detailed study of Joshua, with attention to the deeper principles behind the mere facts of conquest, then this is a book for you."
- Eric Meyer: "Your book is one that I treasure. … While any worthy Bible scholar may have heard of chiasms, I can tell you from a student's perspective that I have never had anyone teach the use of this device.
As you are probably aware from your own research, there just does not seem to be much interest in describing the use of this poetic device,
certainly not the way you have. …
I have not found anything like your book that discusses the chiasms in an entire book of the Bible.
Can you point me to any favorite texts of yours on the subject?"
- Pastor Luke Geraty (Think Theology):
"What is immediately clear is that Clarke has studied the book of Joshua and put in a lot of time researching and interacting with the text.
His time has led him to believe there are a variety of patterns known as chiasms throughout the book and that these chiasms are actually integral to understanding the 'big idea' of the book
and how it applies in the lives of Christians today.
So here's the skinny. Clarke sees the book of Joshua as basically a 'handbook' on spiritual warfare. Much of what he writes can be very helpful for Christians to reflect on and learn from. Throughout the book, 'big ideas' are placed in brackets and will help those who are overwhelmed by technical points related to the structure. For example, we find Clarke fleshing out of the book of Joshua that:
- What we see in the physical is often a representation of what is happening in the spiritual (pp. 44-45)
- After an intense spiritual battle, the Lord gives us His rest (pp.47-48; I would also state that during the spiritual battle we are also given His rest)
- Issues of spiritual warfare should be dealt with quickly (pp.76-79)
- Overindulgence, even when done in the name of the Lord, can leave a curse that lasts for generations (pp. 123-24)
- The problem with self-righteousness is that it causes us to assume a God-like importance (188-89)
What I found as most admirable about Clarke's book is that he does a far better job of holding the tension of a historical-grammatical and a Christocentric hermeneutic. That's rather hard to do when interpreting the Old Testament. I've no doubt seen that when it is done there are times that we overstep our boundaries. In other words, Christ is seen or typologically pictured when that was far from the original author's intention.
Overall I found the book to be interesting, whether I agreed or not. The approach to Joshua is simply fascinating and I'm inclined to think that chiasms are often overlooked, so I'm thankful that Clarke has done his best to take this approach.
… [See Geraty's review for portions omitted] …
Overall, the book was an interesting read and helpful and should be considered when dealing with Joshua and how one applies it in our current context, a time when 'we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places' (Eph 6:12). My objections to certain issues were mostly theological and would require a lot more space to interact with. Regardless of those differences, I'm glad Clarke has taken the time to provide us with a detailed analysis of what he's found in the book of Joshua!"
- Tom Moser: "The literary style of Joshua is hard to appreciate until one understand the chiasmus. Joshua is not the only book in the Bible to employ chiasmus and parallels and Clarke has done a great job of developing them and explaining how they bring a death of meaning and symmetry to the text. The book is very helpful for any serious study of Joshua."
- HDB III: "This is a book for writers of fundamentalist sermons with a veneer of scholarship. Consider the first sentence of Chapter 8, for example: 'The liberation of Ai is similar in purpose and structure to how believers are delivered from the power of the devil today.'
The author goes on to reveal 'analogies' -- complete with little arrows. For example:
The King of Ai --- Ruling spirit, one of the devil's angels that controls the other demons.
People of Ai --- Demons
City of Ai --- Born again believer
The author is also excited to find wonderfully intricate "structures" in Joshua 8 and throughout the book of Joshua -- structures of this kind:
The book is, then, an unintended parody of the kind of Structuralist literary criticism that was popular in English Departments 40 years ago."
- Sharon Oppedisano "I've come to appreciate chiasms more and more through study facilitated by this book.
In the beginning, I thought they were interesting in a more academic sense, but as I progressed I'd be looking for the meat of the message in each chiasm.
God's messages to me in Joshua became more real and alive!
Jesus being the rock at the end (Joshua 24:27) was the crowning diadem of the book!
Jesus, the Rock of all Ages, is our witness and our strength in spiritual warfare."
- Pastor Fred Hofeldt M.D. (Judeo-Christian Israel Alliance):
"My wife, Laurel, and I have spent nearly 14 years studying to understand the Hebraic roots of our Christian faith.
Early in our exposure to Hebraic customs and writings, we became of aware of chiastic Hebrew poetry.
Simply stated, it is a Hebrew writing style which echoes God's authenticating message system, using two witnesses to testify to His Biblical truths in Hebrew parallelism.
In our teaching of chiastic Hebrew poetry, we discovered, after reading Thomas Clarke's book, Joshua's Spiritual Warfare, that we are at an elementary level.Tom has taken us to another dimension in understanding chiastic Hebrew. His chiastic presentation of the Book of Joshua demonstrates the intricate design of the Holy Spirit. This book is most intriguing to read, as it unravels a spiritually deeper understanding into God's Word. These complex chiastic verses – many times 4-5 tier chiasms or larger – are outlined as to their occurrences in the text, and their composite structure is presented in a diagram format concluding with its spiritual warfare application.
Throughout the text, the author very cleverly in his teaching of Joshua's conquest of the Promise Land includes a geography lesson using your computer's 'Google Earth.' You are given the ordinance [sic] to locate the area under discussion by simply typing the longitude and latitude as given.
This very informative text is easy to read. It is written in a style that keeps you intrigued and interested. The complex nature of the chiasms is best retained in your memory if you read small portions on a regular reading schedule. I have done this by reading several pages or a chapter before bedtime. If you desire a greater – in-depth – understanding in God's Word, become skilled in using this chiastic tool. It is the methodology of the Hebrew writers. Those that strive to understand and love Hebrew poetry will find this book very beneficial."
- RB Mc: "Amazing insight into deeper meanings and insight into confusing passages of the Bible."
- Diane Stewart: "An impressive work!"
- Jennifer T: "I never knew how useful Joshua was, especially in dealing with spiritual warfare, until I read this book.
The author explains what a chiasm is and shows how helpful it is in studying God's Word.
Clarke got my mind rolling as he explained what the Lord is trying to show us through the chiasms that are scattered all over this scripture.
After reading Clarke's book, I have a much better understanding of Joshua, I am able to look at verses all throughout the Bible using the chiastic approach,
and I am much more familiar with the history and geography of Israel and its surroundings.
Clarke's insights are so thought provoking that it encourages me to study more scriptures using this approach."
- Karen: "This book will give you new understanding on the book of Joshua.
It has changed my life and helped me become a better student of the Bible."
- Val Frania: "Joshua's Spiritual Warfare is a book written by Thomas B. Clarke.
This book is not for the casual reader, and though I found the book a little hard to read, I determined to take my time and weed through it to glean the most important information he had to share.
Chiastic structure, the subject of his book, intrigues me.
My first experience with chiastic structure was in a Beth Moore Bible study.
In Joshua's Spiritual Warfare, he has focused on the patterns in Joshua and used them to point out what God says about spiritual warfare and how they can be managed by the use of His Scripture.
Mr. Clarke read my post about how Beth Moore pointed out chiastic structure in the book of Esther and offered his book to me for review. If you are the type of person who likes to study the Word by delving deeper than most, and enjoy dividing the Word of God word by word, thought by thought, then this might be the book for you. I was disappointed that it was not solely KJV, though he did make reference many times to it. He used mostly the NIV, which most don't consider to be a good translation. That said as my disclaimer, I do believe his comparisons to be very helpful.
… [Full text of Val Frania's review is available on Amazon] …
I will definitely be looking for chiastic structure in future Bible study."
- Susan: "Definitely love the cover! The author is very well organized with a professional layout … A lot of well-balanced Scripture is used. Author's structure is very easy to follow with good quotes, graphs, and tables. Overall it is a well thought out book, easy to read and follow, but deep into spiritual warfare."