Friday, October 3, 2014

Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible {a Bethany House Blogger review}

Over the past few weeks, I've had the chance to work through the Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible by Dr. William H. Marty and Dr. Boyd Seevers.

I'm always interested in a book that helps me to get a better feel for the Bible.  Or that helps me to talk about the Bible with my kids.

This book accomplishes both.

The publisher description on this title:
Reading the Bible can be intimidating. Made up of sixty-six "books" ranging in subject matter from history to instruction, from poetry to prophecy, this all-time bestseller is frequently misunderstood, even by those who read it regularly.

In this easy-to-read handbook, two respected Bible professors will help you make sense of the Bible, book-by-book. Using a conversational tone, they cut right to the heart of the matter, focusing on two main questions: "What does it say?" and "Why does it matter?"

Whether you're a seasoned reader of Scripture or reading it for the first time, you're sure to come away with a better understanding of what the Bible is all about and why it is the most important book you'll ever read.
One thing I really liked about this book is that there is an Old Testament expert writing that portion, and a New Testament expert for the last portion of the book -- and yet it flows nicely, and you don't sense totally different writing styles or anything like that.  It is well edited, so that this is a cohesive whole.

In the Old Testament portion of the book, the longest chapter is Genesis (7 pages).  Most chapters are around 3-4 pages, but the minor prophets tend to be about a page and a half.  The New Testament chapters tend to be a bit longer, with some of the gospels being around 14 pages.

Each Bible book is covered in three sections:
  • Setting: pertinent background information about the book, place, author or whatever
  • Summary: just what it sounds like, a basic summary of the contents of the book.  The "What does it say?" mentioned in the synopsis above.
  • Significance: this is the why part.  "What does it mean?" is answered for both the original audience, and for us today
And all of this is done in fairly normal English.  Not complex academic language.  It is probably a bit simplistic for the serious Bible student, but for my family, it works.

I can read this to my 8 and 10 year olds, and they grasp it.  My teens can read it and get something from it.  I learn from it.

Sounds about perfect.

Disclosure:  Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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