Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review: Chronological Guide to the Bible

My latest BookSneeze book is The Chronological Guide to the Bible.  A couple years ago, we read through a chronological Bible (not the one published by Thomas Nelson) for our daily Bible reading, and I really enjoyed that experience.  I loved the idea of a guide that I could use with any version of the Bible.

The introduction to this book was fascinating.  I especially appreciated that it was explicit in pointing out that this was not an attempt to disparage the traditional order of the Bible, but the rearrangement of the books (and parts of books) is meant to enhance your understanding of the historical context of the Bible.

After the intro, the rest of the book is divided into nine epochs: six covering the Old Testament, one covering history between the Old and New, one for the Messiah, and one for the Church Age.  Each epoch is further divided into as many as nine sections or as few as two.

Flipping to Epoch 5 (the time period we are studying right now), there is an introduction (The Fall of Two Nations) that addresses archaeology, the peoples (Assyrians and Babylonians), and Biblical literature.  The first real section is on the divided monarchy.  Like other sections, this includes a reading guide (specific books and chapters).  It also contains historical information on a half dozen time periods.  There are timelines.  And there are sections on things like "holy cows," Asherah, Canaanite religious rituals, and priests.  Most sections include maps too.

We are using this for our schoolwork.  I love the cultural tidbits, and the historical context.  This is far easier for me to use than some other resources I've attempted.

Disclaimer:  As Booksneeze Blogger, I did receive this book for free from Thomas Nelson.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.  
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Michelle Gibson said...

Wow that was fast! I still have your post pulled up when you received this. I was going to comment because I am reviewing this one too. I was going to ask you: since this is a guide to the Bible, if we are required to read it cover to cover? but I am guess you do not have to! This is my first review for Book Sneeze. =)

Debra said...

Yeah, I did do this one pretty fast... and I did end up reading it all... I brought it along to scouts a couple times, and just kinda sorta got sucked in. BUT... somewhere there are guidelines posted about their expectations, and with Bibles (and I assume this would count too) they don't expect you to read the whole thing, but to read enough to really get an idea as to what makes this tick.

My first Booksneeze review was a children's Bible, and I had to go digging to find that information. I figured it would be a long, long time before I finished it.