Sunday, 22 September 2013


Reviewed for the British Church Newspaper. 

Title of book: The Blood Works - The Meaning of the Word 'blood' in Scripture 
Author: Alan Stibbs  Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
Publisher’s Address or address where book may be obtained: Christian Focus Publications, Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire IV20 1TW, Scotland, UK Tel: 01862 871011
Year of publication: 2011  Number of Pages: 64
Hdbk or pbk: paperback Price: £3.99 ISBN: 9781845507268

This short book, originally written in 1962, is actually a chapter from a larger book, but comes complete in and off itself. Although the subject dealt with is somewhat technical, yet it is not overly so and the book will still be readable to most Christians. It’s author, who was a good friend of Martyn Lloyd Jones, was an Evangelical Anglican theologian. Contrary to the  popular image which such a “job description” produces, Alan Stibbs engages here in an orthodox controversy concerning that most fundamental doctrine i.e. the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. He tells us that he is specifically refuting a common notion (as advocated by Westcott) that blood in scripture merely denotes life flowing from death, but rather life poured out in death. The early part of the book gives us a quick tour through some references to the blood in both testaments using concise yet sufficient language.  All point to the Biblical view, as taken by Stibbs, which alone safeguards the atonement of Christ. We ought always to remember that without the shedding of blood, there is no atonement (Hebrews 9:22) and if that is the case, then we are yet in our sins and must remain so.  These are themes which Alan Stibbs opens up so wonderfully for us.

The Blood Works includes a short but well written foreword by Michael Ovey who is Principal, Oak Hill Theological College, London. Personally, I found this foreword very stirring and an incentive to read on in the book, as did the glowing recommendations in the blurb from Anglicans like John Woodhouse (Sydney) and Dick Lucas. This book transcends denominational barriers and differences to unite all Christians around the Cross. As Michael Reeves wrote in his recommendation:  

"Alan Stibbs has an irresistible argument here, and it is one that is essential for Christian assurance. Where this message rings out, be sure to see pastoral comfort, be sure to hear cries of 'Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" 

Well, what can you say after that?


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