Flora and fauna of the Bible
A beautifully illustrated study of all the most important plants and animals mentioned in the Bible
Flora and Fauna of the Bible
By Peter Goodfellow
John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd
Reviewed by Pieter Lalleman
This book is a labour of love by a Methodist lay preacher, teacher of English and naturalist. Peter Goodfellow discusses the plants and the animals of the Bible, quoting the texts in which they appear in full. The book is printed on quality paper and contains beautiful drawings of each species, no photos; but of most trees we only get a branch, not the full tree. The author adds lots of other facts as well, which shows his love for the Bible, and his style is preachy.
Sometimes these facts suggest more certainty than we have, such as when Isaiah’ life years are given as 749-681 BC (p.43). The inclination to preach is evident, for example, in that Goodfellow includes a discussion of ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ of Galatians 5. But this does raise the question why there is no attention paid to facts such as that God is repeatedly compared to a lion.
There is no index of texts, only one of subjects, and there are some factual mistakes as well. In 2013 Goodfellow published a similar book on the birds of the Bible. Both books fill a gap because, unlike what I thought, Bible handbooks are rather incomplete in these subject areas. Yet I suggest you buy this book primarily for the illustrations and for devotional reading.
The Revd Dr Pieter J. Lalleman teaches Bible at Spurgeon's College