No book in the western world has had such a compelling influence as the English Bible. No people took the Bible more seriously than the Puritans. The Bible ruled the Puritan mind, inflamed his imagination and demanded obedient belief in all its parts, including prophecy. Thus the biblical prophecies of a gloriously revivified Jewry restored to her ancient homeland began to powerfully evolve. At first, the idea was a spiritual-theological theme. A palpable dimension emerged in the ferment and struggles of the Puritan epoch; in 1948 the long process thus begun came to fruition: the nation of Israel was born.