One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church
One could spend a lifetime studying each verse of the Bible. Robert Lloyd Russell, in his book One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church, helps the reader better understand the parable known as the Pearl of Great Price found in Matthew 13: 45-46. His goal is to demystify a passage that is often misinterpreted or overlooked. In Russell’s analysis, the one precious pearl is analogous to God’s universal Church. Made up of short chapters (between two to five pages each), the book is divided into two parts; Part One is a broad discussion of Matthew 13, and Part Two includes analogies that the symbol of the pearl provides to the modern reader.
The chapters can be used in Bible study and Sunday school for both adults and children and can be used for the basis of sermons or as a devotional. At the end of each chapter are questions, summaries, and key concepts for further study and consideration. Russell’s book is a useful source for personal or group study. He begins with a discussion on the Two Adams (first Adam was the fallen Adam of the Garden of Eden and the last Adam is Jesus Christ). He compares and contrasts the birth, life and death of the Two Adams as a way to prepare for the discussion of the one pearl of great price.
The main drawback is that the analysis is a bit repetitive. Russell is sure to make each point multiple times. But perhaps that naturally comes when an entire book is about just two verses of the New Testament. A plus is that anyone who picks up the book can use it as a study guide because of its simplicity and clarity. It certainly encourages deeper analysis of other verses or phrases found in the Bible.