I requested a copy of The Whole Bible Story Illustrated Edition: Everything That Happens in the Bible in Plain English by Dr. William H. Marty from Baker Books’ BakerBookBloggers program so I could check it out for a review. It is a very well written overview of the narrative (story) portion of the Bible. I did enjoy reading it, but my concern is that someone might be tempted to use it as a substitute for reading the entire Bible. I do appreciate the author verbalizing this very concern in the preface and introduction sections within the book. This book really does have a valid place to help some people in certain circumstances.
I would give this book a 8.4 out of my normal 10 point rating scale. On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a strong 4 star rating.
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Baker Books 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 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I am honestly struggling on how to rate this book. Based on content alone it is very good. Based on my fear that some people might use this as a substitute for reading the entire Bible itself, I would rate it a little lower as I know of some people who would use this book in that substitutionary manner.
So I feel that I have to review this book on what it is. It is an overview of the narrative stories held within the Bible. This is based on the story of the Bible, so it will not include anything about the non-narrative portions (like Psalms, Proverbs, the Epistles, etc.). So don’t expect this to be an outline of every book in the Bible. Rather, this book was written to tell the story of the Bible and hopefully to motivate people to read the Bible.
I do sincerely appreciate the author’s honesty in the Preface to the Illustrated Edition when he states that he wasn’t initially sure as to why people wouldn’t want to read the Bible to get an understanding of the whole story line rather than an abbreviated story of the Bible. But he does give a compelling reason as to the reason for writing the book (albeit very specific circumstances) where someone is interested in getting a Bible but doesn’t know where to start or understand that the story of the Bible isn’t really in chronological order in most Bibles. This book could provide that overview that some people need to be able to make the dots connect so they understand the progressive story of the Bible.
I would say that the author does do a very good job of giving the whole story line of the Bible in an easy to understand format. However, I feel that this book is (or should be) geared toward those whom really have no exposure to the Bible or don’t understand the story line at all. I get the impression that the author feels that way as well based on some comments in the Introduction in the book
While written very well and illustrated with very good quality images, my fear is that people will use this book and not read the Bible – using it almost as those old CliffsNotes that summarize a novel for example. Thus, my previous comment to the audience being people who have had little or no exposure to the Bible.
One of the things that is nice is how at the end of each of the chapters within this book, there is a section for a Chapter Summary that summarizes each chapter into roughly a single page. I suppose for someone who has never read the Bible before, these Chapter Summaries could prove beneficial.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Baker Books and all opinions are my own.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK:
Type of Book: Biblical Studies
Author: Dr. William H. Marty
Publisher: Baker Books (Baker Publishing Group) #BakerBooksBloggers @ReadBakerBooks.
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0801098642
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com. They have it for $10.49– suggested retail from the publisher is $16.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.
If you would like to purchase this book, please support my blog and purchase by clicking any of the links to Christianbook.com on this page like the one below. Or if you would like to purchase it as an e-book for $9.60, you can click HERE to do that.
|The Whole Bible Story, illustrated edition: Everything that Happens in the Bible in Plain English
By Dr. William H. Marty / Baker BooksThe Bible tells a story, and the events of the Bible are exciting and awe inspiring. But often the story can get lost among the laws, genealogies, and poetry. In The Whole Bible Story, Dr. William Marty retells the entire story of the Bible in one easy-to-read, chronological account. All the stories you remember, and many of those you don’t, are part of one grand narrative. It’s the page-turning story of God’s pursuit of you–one you’ll want to read again and again. Now with full-color photographs of Biblical events and locations.
•Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9 inches
Goal of Book:
The author’s goal is simply to tell the story of the Bible in a way that hopefully will motivate people to read the Bible. I can see certain situations where it would do this, but with that said, my hope is that people don’t read this as a substitute for reading and studying the whole Bible.
My Favorite Part:
I think that this is written very well and can provide a valuable understanding of the story of the Bible for some people. The Chapter Summaries are nicely written to provide a very quick summary of that particular section of Scripture.
While this book is written very well, I’m not completely convinced that I would recommend it to every single person due to my fears of it becoming a substitute for reading the whole Bible for some people. With that said, this would be a very valuable book for someone who is actively wanting to know about the story of the Bible but doesn’t know where to start. I suppose this could be used as an evangelical gift given the right circumstances.
Preface to the Illustrated Edition
Chapter 1 – From Creation to Babel
Chapter 2 – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s Sons
Chapter 3 – Moses and the Exodus
Chapter 4 – Wandering in the Wilderness
Chapter 5 – The Wilderness and the Death of Moses
Chapter 6 – The Promised Land
Chapter 7 – The Time of the Judges
Chapter 8 – The Kingdom Unites
Chapter 9 – David and Solomon
Chapter 10 – A Kingdom Divided: Northern Kingdom
Chapter 11 – A Kingdom Divided: Southern Kingdom
Chapter 12 – God’s People in Exile
Chapter 13 – Birth and Childhood of Jesus
Chapter 14 – Jesus’ Early Ministry
Chapter 15 – Great Galilean Ministry
Chapter 16 – Later Judean Ministry, Perean Ministry and Journey to Jerusalem
Chapter 17 – The Crucifixtion of Jesus
Chapter 18 – Burial and Resurrection
Chapter 19 – The Story of the Church
About the Publisher:
From the Publisher’s website: Baker Books has a vision for building up the body of Christ through books that are relevant, intelligent, and engaging. We publish titles for lay Christians on topics such as discipleship, apologetics, spirituality, relationships, marriage, parenting, and the intersection of Christianity and culture. We also publish books and ministry resources for pastors and church leaders, concentrating on topics such as preaching, worship, pastoral ministries, counseling, biblical reference, and leadership.
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