Finis Jennings Dake biography

Finis Jennings Dake: His Life and Ministry, by Leon Bible. Lawrenceville, GA: Dake Publishing, 2006.

Bible teacher Finis Jennings Dake (1902-87) is known throughout the Pentecostal world for his four-column Dake Annotated Reference Bible which contains numerous notes and commentaries on all the different verses of the Bible. In fact, Charisma Magazine has even referred to it as “the Pentecostal Study Bible.” A notable Pentecostal minister, Jimmy Swaggart, stated that “I owe my Bible education to this man” [Dake], whose works also include God’s Plan for Man (originally designed as a 3-year Bible course), Revelation Expounded, The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, and Bible Truths Unmasked among other publications.

Having been introduced to his various books in the early 1980s in Oslo, Norway, I was quite excited when I learned about Mr. Bible’s history on Dake’s life and ministry. The book contains more than 400 pages and is a gold mine of information pertaining to Dake’s life and ministry as an Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and independent Pentecostal pastor, as well as a Bible school teacher, radio minister and author.

Admittedly, this is no scholarly biography (despite footnotes and bibliography), but more of a devotional walk through the life of Dake as seen through the lenses of Dake himself and his immediate family. The author portrays himself as an avid Dake reader whose writings he has admired for more than 30 years, and the book is not only endorsed by but also published by Dake Publishing, Inc. However, due to Dake’s continued influence among Pentecostal and charismatic believers, he also deserves scholarly attention. I hope the author’s sympathetic presentation of Dake will spur contributions from the academic ranks to supplement this volume. Personally, I was intrigued to learn that Dake was so well schooled in E. W. Bullinger’s radical form of ultradispensationalism, and academic researchers might be interested in submitting the Dake writings to historical and theological scrutiny in order to find to what extent Dake has Pentecostalized dispensatonalist and ultradispensationalist writings and to what extent his writings might have an original flavor of their own.

Reviewed by Geir Lie, editor of Refleks : med karismatisk kristendom i fokus (Oslo, Norway)

Hardback, 441 pages, illustrated. $19.95 plus shipping. Order through Dake Publishing.

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Filed under Bible, Education, Theology

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