The following is a review and post written by my darling husband!
I have been a student of the Bible for about two years and make it a goal to dig deeper into the Word in a variety of ways: through One Year Bible daily Bible reading, Verse by Verse ministries audio Bible during my commute, and learning memory verses. So I was excited when I was recently asked to review The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook. This handbook has a load of full-color pages, color photos and illustrations, cool maps and charts, and articles by leading evangelical scholars. It is intended to help the reader grasp God’s word and understand how each book of the Bible fits together into God’s overarching purpose. It will help you more effectively interpret the Bible and apply it to your life. Below are my key takeaways.
This is not a Bible
I thought I would be reviewing a Bible, but I found out pretty quickly once getting into the book of Genesis that I, in fact, was not reviewing a Bible. Instead, this is a reference guide to the Bible — as indicated in the title, it is a Bible Handbook. This can be seen as a supplement and guide to reading your Bible, but not a replacement. I will point out that by the nature of being a summary of the Bible, it is inevitable that certain details are lost in the process.
High Level – 50,000 Ft. View
This handbook does a good job of summarizing the Bible. This would help someone new to the faith or young in the faith to grasp the vision of the overall message of the Bible and to see how the books of the Bible fit together. Each book of the Bible is almost like a cliffs-notes version of the book. Some examples of this book that I particularly enjoyed are The Grand Story of the Bible showing how the grand story is summarized into Opening, Problem, Resolution, Climax, and Closing as well as How the Bible is Organized which shows and explains the sections of the Bible (Old Testament: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Wisdom Books, Prophets, New Testament: The Gospels, Book of Acts, Letters of Paul, General Letters, and Revelation.)
This handbook also does an excellent job of arranging facts, maps, and charts of information, simplifying what would otherwise be complex. A great example of this is found in the The Beginning and The End section which gives a chart matching up events in Genesis (“The Beginning”) and Revelation (“The End”) showing how the beginning elements in Genesis find their conclusion in Revelation. An example would be: Sinful people are banished from the presence of God in Genesis 3:24; But God lives among his people in Revelation, effectively restoring them to His presence (Revelation 21:3, 7, 22; 22:4.) Digging deeper, for each book of the Bible, this handbook covers important historical context as well as information on the author of the book, the audience, the heart of the message being communicated, and any interesting / unique facts about the book. It includes letters from Bible scholars throughout. It also has Part II and Part III sections which respectively cover How the Bible Came to Be and Digging Deeper into the Bible.
In summary, this is a great and unique companion resource for the Word of God. It is easy to read and understand and is well organized. I am excited to own a copy and plan on referencing it.
Grab a copy of The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook for $29.97 at Family Christian right now!
And you might just be able to use this to do it…
$50 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate Giveaway
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