Lake Street United Methodist Church has been blessed by the ministry of Dr. Birney Dibble for many years and in many ways, but especially as a Bible teacher. His scholarship and teaching skill have opened the Bible to many. Throughout his years of teaching, he documented his research and kept careful notes for further reference – as one would expect of a retired surgeon. Those notes are preserved here, so that others may access them as well.

Old Testament

The Apocrypha

The New Testament


A Note about these notes:

For the framework of his notes, Dr. Dibble used the Interpreter’s Bible, then its replacement, the New Interpreter’s Bible, adding to that from his own eclectic reading. You will find in these pages quotes from Lewis, Yancey, Vermes, Sayers, Christie, L’Amour, Hemingway, Graham, Shakespeare, and Asimov, among dozens of others. Dr. Dibble references Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and atheist sources. There is even an occasional cryptic jibe or comment by the old doc himself.

Birney Dibble grew up overseas, the child of missionaries, and after 23 years in surgical practice in Eau Claire, he returned to that world, spending 20 years in short-term missions in seven different countries, especially in Africa. In addition, Dr. Dibble is a writer in his own right, having published almost 200 articles and short stories, both religious and secular, in such magazines as Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Saturday Evening Post, Field and Stream, Good Old Days, and Grit. Moreover, he has published three novels and six non-fiction books. Among these are: Outlaw for God: The Esther Bacon Story, a biography of an iconoclastic nurse who broke the power of the witch doctors with patience and love and In This Land of Eve: A Year with an American Surgeon in East Africa.

But his magnum opus is a book comparing the Koran with the Bible, The Same God? Comparing the Bible with the Koran. For two years he painstakingly read, re-read, and once again re-read the Koran, culling and recording the scattered references to important topics and people, and sorting all those references by topic. Then for another year he took each Koranic belief, story, and character and matched it side by side, chapter and verse, with its counterpart (agreeing or disagreeing) in the Bible.

Dr. Birney Dibble, compiler of these notes, vigorously denies being a “scholar of the Bible.” He says, “I consider myself to be a student of those scholars who by reason of their training are qualified to interpret the scriptures. If sometimes I sound like a scholar, it’s only because I’m parroting one of them!” Dr. Dibble’s protest may safely be ignored: gathering and evaluating the work of previous scholars to present again for a new context is, of course, exactly what “qualified” scholars do.

These notes, compiled over a lifetime of study and teaching, are available now thanks to the tireless work of Lake Street United Methodist Church member Dr. Leonard Larsen, who has reformatted the notes for this Lake Street United Methodist Church web site. Dr. Dibble and the church are both grateful for Len’s labors. It is our hope as a congregation that you will gain as much from these notes as those of us who have listened to Dr. Dibble share their contents in Bible classes.