Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review: The Story of the Bible

Thomas Nelson was kind enough to send me a copy of The Story of the Bible by Larry Stone, a vice president of the company.  The large, 96 page book is glossy paged and full of photographs and art both ancient and modern.  Included with this hardcover book are numerous 'poster' style pull outs of copies of the ancient texts, documents, and Biblical translations.

I believe the highest and best use for this book would be as a textbook for highschool and college level 'Bible 101' type classes.  It is a great historical overview, and would allow a professor to go into further depth when necessary.  My favorite parts of the book were on the reformation and after Bible translators:  the work of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, and the like.  The stories of the men who risked their lives to make the scripture accessible to all people are amazing and make me hold the Bibles I own even dearer.  It is because of their bravery and unfailing commitment to sharing the gospel that I have three different translations of scipture sitting on my desk right now.  Stone does an excellent job in highlighting these stories as well explaining the background of modern day translations, interpretations, and work to take the Bible to every language in every nation.

I felt the first 5 chapters to be long, boring, and hard to read.  The paragraphs did not connect well, it was choppy and scattered.  It was painstaking to try and read through.  The information, while critical to understanding the authority and history of our Scripture, can be found in much easier forms and in more concise ways. 

I was hoping this would be a great 'coffee table' book to bring on conversation or to be a great resource in my bible studies.  I'm afraid it falls in neither category.  It is too long and wordy for a book to glance through and the pockets in which the extra documents are held are a nuisance and hard to get and return out of the pcokets.  I would have rather them be included into the pages of the book.  The book does not offer enough organization for bible study purposes.  Therefore, I qualify this as an excellent textbook and not designed well for the general reading public.

1 comment:

Lowell Lane said...

Hello Mrs. Spica,

I enjoyed reading your review of The Story of the Bible. I too reviewed the book for my blog. I must admit that I smiled when you mentioned it as a high school text or a college text. I agree it would be perfect for that purpose.

I am currently reading the book aloud to my 9, 11, and 13 year olds. They are not getting everything that I read. I don't get everything that I am reading. But, I think that we are gaining a deeper appreciation for what God has done to protect His word.

We're about to start Chapter 5. I too think that the book is much more interesting starting at the Reformation. It should be more interesting to them as well because the names will be familiar to them. We just finished studying this period in history.

Well, all this to say hello and I really enjoyed reading your take on this book. Have a terrific weekend. I'm off to read more of your blog.

Do drop in for a visit sometime.