Who is Joseph Parker?
Joseph Parker was a London preacher who attracted thousands before the days of microphones. He was a friend of Charles Spurgeon, and the two even exchanged pulpits, although their style and focus in preaching were quite different. Parker exhausted his work week in preparing to preach. When asked what his hobbies were, he would surprise his questioner by thundering, “Preaching!”
His authored works number at least 45 volumes, most of which are over 400 pages. The chief of them is The People’s Bible series, which was first published from 1885 to 1895 in 25 volumes, and later republished as Preaching through the Bible.
About The People’s Bible
Joseph Parker’s method in preaching was not a cold verse-by-verse analysis. Instead, he would meditate all the week on a Bible book as a whole, trying to crystallize the most important themes and messages in Scripture as a whole. The resulting sermons are dynamic, meditative, rich in both language and conviction.
One who observed his process of preparation wrote the following:
“He is an extempore preacher, but not an extempore thinker…the subject…being considered for days. His topics are ruminated over, looked at on every side, and through and through until they become part of his spiritual self.”
One preaching magazine wrote: “The People’s Bible is not a commentary; it is rather a pastoral exposition, seeking out and applying the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures.”
Praise for Joseph Parker’s People’s Bible: Discourses upon Holy Scripture
“Dr. Parker has begun a stupendous work in this People’s Bible. He condenses wonderfully, and throws a splendor of diction over all that he pours forth. His track is his own, and the jewels which he lets fall in his progress are from his own caskets; this will give a permanent value to his works, when the productions of copyists will be forgotten.”
Rev. C. H. Spurgeon
“The sermons are very wonderful, but when he prays, he lifts you to heaven.”
Leonard Ravenhill, author of Why Revival Tarries
“He is by far the ablest man now standing in the English-speaking pulpit.”
Alexander Whyte, author of Bible Characters
“Dr. Parker occupies a lonely place among the preachers of our day. His position among preachers is the same as that of a poet among ordinary men of letters.”
Ian MacLaren, author of The Mind of the Master
“Dr. Parker is the foremost preacher in Europe.”
Joseph Cook, D.D., author and preacher
“The most outstanding preacher of his time.”
“Sermons rich in life and power, pungent, practical, faithful and fearless.”
The Christian Union, New York
“Most preachers’ texts are nails and their sermons tack-hammers. With Dr. Parker, his text is a bolt and his sermon a sledge-hammer.”
The Literary World, London