Monday, July 22, 2013

All the Plants of the Bible by Winifred Walker

book cover
All the Plants of the Bible
by Winifred Walker

Hardcover: 244 pages
Publisher: Harper & Row
Released: 1957

Source: Borrowed from the library.

My Review:
All the Plants of the Bible is an illustrated Bible reference book about plants mentioned in the Bible. Each entry has two pages. On the right-hand side, there is a full page drawing of the plant showing its stem, leaves, flowers, and fruit/seed. On the left-hand side, we're told about the plant. This included the plant's name in English, in Hebrew or Greek, the official Latin name for it, and a verse from the Bible referring to the plant. The author also described what the plant looks like, what it was used for (if it was used), and where it grew or was imported from.

I found the information very interesting, but I'm not sure of the accuracy of all the information. For example, the author said that the apple mentioned in the Bible is now thought to be an apricot, but she didn't explain why or even who said that. We're told that some plants, like the aloe, meant one type of plant in the Old Testament and a different type of plant in the New Testament, but then we're given no further explanation was to why she thinks this.

Furthermore, she didn't appear to take the Bible very seriously. According to her, the "Burning Bush" that Moses saw simply had red leaves throughout it. And the Bible's recorded history about the Flood of Noah's time was dismissed as a bit of harmless flooding because it hadn't "spoiled the [olive] trees." But the Bible doesn't say the olive trees weren't spoiled, just that the dove brought back an olive leaf. So some of the plant information and identifications may be inaccurate due to the author's assumptions.

The plants covered in this book are: Algum Tree, Almond, Almug, Aloes (N.T.), Aloes (O.T.), Anise (dill), Apple (apricot), Aspalathus, Balm (balsam), Balm, Barley, Bdellium, Beans, Bitter Herbs, Box Tree, Bramble, Bulrush, Burning Bush, Camphire, Cassia, Cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, Chestnut (plane tree), Cinnamon, Cockle, Coriander, Cotton, Cucumber, Cummin, Cypress, Desire (caper), Dove's Dung (Star of Bethlehem), Ebony, Fig Tree, Fir (Aleppo pine), Fitches, Flax, Frankincense, Galbanum, Gall, Garlek, Goodly Fruit, Gourd, Green Bay Tree, Hemlock, Hyssop (N.T.), Hyssop (O.T.), Ivy, Judas Tree, Juniper, Leeks, Lentiles, Lilies, Lilies of the Field, Lily, Locusts, Mallows, Mandrake, Manna, Mastic Tree, Melon (watermelon), Mint, Mustard, Myrrh (N.T.), Myrrh (O.T.), Myrtle, Nettles, Nuts (walnut), Nuts (pistachio), Oak (holly oak), Oak (Valonia oak), Oil Tree, Olive, Onion, Onycha, Palm, Pannag (millet), Pine, Pomegranate, Popular, Reed, Rie (spelt), Rolling Thing (rose of Jericho), Rose (oleander), Rose, Rose (narcissus), Rose of Sharon, Rue, Rush, Saffron, Scarlet, Shittah Tree, Spices, Spikenard, Stacte (storax), Strange Vine, Sweet Cane (sugar cane), Sycamine (mulberry), Sycomore, Tares (darnel), Thistle, Crown of Thorns, Thorns, Thorns, Thyine Wood, Turpentine Tree (teil tree), Vine (grape), Vine of Sodom, Water Lily, Wheat, Wild Gord, Willow (aspen), Willow, Wormwood.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

No comments: