Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: Quick Start Guide to the Bible

When I signed up to receive this book for free in exchange for my review, I had anticipated a more exciting and colorful resource book.  I enjoy the academic study of the scriptures and love digging into the historical context and significance that surround books of the bible, its authors, and its stories.  From the cover shot, it appeared to be a great find- perhaps one with coordinating pictures of artifacts or paintings depicting the stories or authors.  However, I was left quite disappointed when I received a very plain 300 page paperback.

The Quick Start Guide to the Whole Bible:  Understanding the Big Picture Book by Book  by Dr. William Marty and Dr. Boyd Seevers is intended to give a brief synopsis of each book of the Bible in efforts to help readers and believers understand the significance of the book within the context of scripture.  Each book of the Bible is discussed with subheadings:  Setting, Summary, and Significance.  While boasted to be in conversational language I found it to be quite academic and lecture in nature.  Many large, 'religious', and intimidating words are used which reflect scripture, but I would hardly use in a conversation of scripture where "quick start" was the focus.  I appreciated that throughout the discussion of each book, there were specific verse references so one could look up what was being discussed or referenced to.  When reading a book like this, I believe a reader will see more of the connection the individual books of the Bible have.  The continuity was helpful.

In the end, I struggle to figure out who would read (intended audience) this and why (purpose).  While not completely intimidating, I would hesitate to give this to a new believer as I would rather see them grow through actually reading scripture, not a book about it.  As for study and growth purposes, I find this does not do much more than the introductory sections of many study bibles.  My Life Application study Bible has many of these notes and in a much more condensed and friendly form.  For a quick overview, its actually too long especially compared to the study bible model.  For a  study resource with new, in-depth knowledge its too much on the surface.

While well written and wonderfully organized, I would recommend readers into the direction of a study bible with similar resources or free resources online if they are looking for an overview of the who, what, where, and why's of the authors and stories of the Bible.

*Bethany House gave me a free copy of this book in return for my unbiased review through the book blogger review program.

No comments: