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Book Review: Understanding Scripture, An Overview of the Bible's Origin, Reliability, and Meaning Edited by Wayne Grudem, C. John Collins, and Thomas R. Schreiner

Understanding Scripture was written with the aim of helping not only the average Bible reader understand the Bible a little better, but a pastor or Bible study leader as well. Seven sections (19 chapters) are delivered with brief lessons on: "Interpreting the Bible, Reading the Bible, The Canon of Scripture, The Reliability of Manuscripts, Archeology and the Bible, The Original Languages of the Bible, Old Testament and New."
No chapter is lengthy nor exhaustive in information. Each chapter is written by a different author. Some of the authors may be well known to you such as J. I. Packer, or John Piper, or Daniel B. Wallace. 

It was difficult to choose which chapter I liked better over another. Every chapter was filled with solid information that I felt I was fully engaged and enjoyed reading. It was a consistent joy to read from a variety of different authors, each with their own talents, teaching style, themes, and the differing levels of vibrancy they had on their knowledgeable subject.

Leland Ryken wrote "Reading the Bible as Literature." I must state, he has become one of my favorite authors on the Bible. His topic is usually on the literary form and style of the Bible. He writes with cheerfulness and an infectious teaching ability that is catching. Another words, I can tell he has a love for his subject and it transfers over to the reader.

"Interpreting the Bible: An Introduction" by Daniel Doriani, was full of wise questions for the reader to ask  while reading the Bible.
"Applying Scripture means accepting and fulfilling God-given duties, seeking a godly character, pursuing goals that the Lord blesses, and seeing the world his way. This produces four questions readers can ask themselves that often lead to helpful application: What should I do? Who should I be (or who should I realize that I am, in Christ)? Where should I go? How can I see?" pg. 18.
This chapter was beneficial on knowing and applying Scripture.

"Reading The Bible Theologically" by J. I. Packer. Theology is a word that often puts people off, because it is thought of as an occupation meant for only the highly educated and learned men and women in seminary.
Packer though gave an outstanding definition for us:
"To read the Bible 'theologically' means to read the Bible with a focus on God: his being, his character, his words and works, his purpose, presence, power, promises, and precepts." pg. 29.
"The goal of theological Bible reading is not just to know truth about God (though one's quest for godliness must start there) but to know God personally in a relationship that honors him-which means serving Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, the world's real though unrecognized Lord, who came to earth, died, rose and ascended for his people, and has given them the Holy Spirit. To have him fill believers' horizons and rule their lives in his father's name is the authentic form-the foundation, blueprint, scaffolding, and construction-of Christian godliness, to which theological Bible reading is a God-intended means." pg. 35.

I loved this book and strongly recommend it!

This book was given to me for free from Crossway for reading/reviewing.

Published by Crossway February 29, 2012
208 pages
Non-fiction/Bible History/Textual Criticism/Bible Interpretation/Canon of Scripture/Bible Reading/Biblical Archeology
Link @ publisher:
At this link you can read an excerpt from book.
Paperback $9.49
eBook $9.59


twiga92 said…
This sounds good! I like books about reading the Bible and understanding it better.