Monday, August 25

The Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible

The Quick-Start Guide to the Whole Bible is a pretty self-explanatory title. But just in case there are any questions about it, here’s a quick summary:

Dr. William H. Marty and Dr. Boyd Stevens take a look at each chapter of the Bible. They look at the setting and context of each book. Who wrote it? Where do the events take place? Is there any important historical context to know? The sections on setting tend to range from a paragraph to a little over a page. Then a summary is offered for book. The lengths of these vary, though on the whole the New Testament books tend to be a little longer than the Old Testament books. The final section in each chapter outlines the significance of the book, or at least of key events in the book. For example, in Paul’s letters, the key points that Paul was teaching our outlined.

As this book is a self-admitted ‘quick-start guide,’ none of these sections are comprehensive. However, I thought that the authors managed to give a solid overview of each section. I do wish they could’ve spent a little bit more time on the historical context of various books, especially the books of the prophets in the Old Testament and Paul’s letters in the New Testament. I also thought the summaries of books of the Gospel were a little too lengthy, though I understand that they probably felt a need to go into more detail there.

This book is definitely designed for those without a whole lot of knowledge about the Bible. Those that have taken Biblical studies courses, or who are well read on Biblical literature, may not find much use here. But those who would consider themselves ‘Bible beginners’ may find some value in this book.

I personally think this book would be most useful if read in conjunction with the correlating chapter. For example, read the section on the ‘setting’ first and then read the actual book in the Bible. Then, if you have any confusion read the quick-start summary. At the end of the section, read about the significance to see if how much of the reading you were able to understand. I’m sure there are other ways to approach this, but this is what I would recommend to my own friends and family.

4/5 Stars

I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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