Originally Posted to Amazon.com November 1, 2005
It’s not enough to just read the Bible … you need to learn how …
Well, no. For one thing the Bible itself tells you that you need the Holy Spirit to help understand, so there is that.
But you also need to study to show yourself approved, meditate and approach it in a humble matter. The Bible was written over 2,000 years ago and in some portions even far longer. It is possible, just possible mind you, that there have been changes in language and culture that require some work on the reader’s part to understand what is being said the same way a hearer of that message would have understood it in their day.
That is where this book comes into play. This is both a good introductory text for the student who wants to enter into the realms of textual, historical, redactive, literary etc criticism. It is also written to be at the level of the average layman who wants to understand more for their own study and growth.
Evangelical Christians often get very nervous about this type of book. They see much that has served to diminish the Bible over the years as coming from the “liberal” religious, academic camps as seeking to diminish what the Bible plainly says.
As delicately as I can state it …… Evangelicals need to get over it and enter the field themselves. If the Bible is true, it must be true enough to stand tough scrutiny. The opinion of this reviewer is that it does stand that scrutiny, but as a student of the Bible you must expect over time that your understanding will change and grow. That is called discipleship and growth. It’s a good thing!
This book, better than most, comes to the Bible and maintains an attitude of respect toward the text itself consistent with what Evangelicals believe with regard to inspiration while introducing the student or curious Christian as to how to study the Bible and get more out of it that you ever did before.
Where great commentaries give you fish, this book teaches you how to fish and feed yourself intellectually and spiritually from the Bible.
Don’t be threatened by it. It is a good thing!
This is very worthwhile book for those who see the Bible as spiritually unique and also helpful for the student who simply wants to know how to understand it better.