Review of Books to Understand the Bible

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Reading the Bible

The first time I picked up a bible I was about 15 years old. I wasn’t sure what it was and had absolutely no idea how to read it. So what did I do? I started from page one and read it like a book. I figured I had read classical literature and it is a book. Safe to say I stayed in Genesis for a while and started to skip around. I came upon 1 Kings 3:16-28. At this point I really had no idea what I was reading and figured I would give it one more try to see if there was something in this very interesting book that I could understand.

I was very unaware of God while growing up and by the time I was introduced I had a bad case of the stubborn head. This particular story in 1 Kings left me in awe and I still remember that feeling very well. Though I didn’t know it at the time this was the story that kept me coming back for more.

With no understanding of any other piece of the bible that I had read I decided that I would just flip to a random page and start reading. I came upon 1 Kings 3:16 and was captivated by the subtitle of that section: Solomon’s Wise Judgement. I wasn’t sure who Solomon was but I had always been interested in wisdom.

Just a quick recap of the story: there were to women that went to King Solomon with two babies. One baby was deceased and the other was alive. The two needed the help of the King to settle who the live baby belonged to since they both claimed that they were the mother.

What happened next had me awestruck. King Solomon asked for a sword so that they could split the live baby between the two. The woman with the baby said yes while the other said to let the first keep the child if it was to come to that point. King Solomon declared the true mother as the one who said no because a true mother would not want harm to come to their child.

I couldn’t believe it! This wisdom was amazing! I needed to learn more and to read and understand more. Which leads me to this next review on books that helped me on how to understand the bible. I believe knowledge in the background is a great help in reading the bible because of the change in the time. I hope they help you like they did me!!


Understanding the Bible by John R.W. Stott

Understanding the Bible

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 228

Format: Hardcover, paperback, kindle, audio, CD

Publisher: Zondervan

Price: $49.99 (hardcover) $6.99 (Kindle)

Review: Dr. Stott starts with explaining the purpose of the Bible. Before that he explains his reasons for writing this book in the preface (I don’t know about you but I love reading the preface before the story). He states that our greatest need is more of Jesus and also lets us know exactly what he would be sharing with us.

The chapters include: The Purpose of the Bible, The Land of the Bible, The Story of the Bible (Old Testament), The Story of the Bible (New Testament), The Message of the Bible, The Authority of the Bible, The Interpretation of the Bible, and The Use of the Bible.

Within each chapter Dr. Stott brings us an easy understanding of the bible and he gives us one key to understanding the bible as a whole.

Why should you read it? Each chapter begins with questions to think about while reading that section. Dr. Stott also breaks the chapters into smaller and easy to read parts. I love the reflective nature of the book and that scripture is inserted to create more of an understanding. I also thought it was neat that you could listen to the audio version free with a trial from audible.

The hardcover is more expensive but the kindle version can also be found here.

 

30 Days to Understanding the Bible By Max Anders

30 Days to Understanding the Bible
Publication Date: 2018

Number of Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, Kindle

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Price: $13.38 (paperback) $9.99 (Kindle)

Review: Let me begin by saying that Max Anders is an incredible author! This would be the first of two of his books that I have read and I have loved both. The chapters are not very long and it is very possible to read the entire book in a 30 day time frame.

The chapters are split into 7 sections titled: The Story of the Old Testament, The Story of the New Testament, Ten Great Doctrines of the Bible, NanoSummary of the Bible, How to Master the Bible So Well that the Bible Masters You, Teaching Plan, and my favorite: Bonus Chapters.

I was captured on chapter one with the interesting story that was presented about the electrical engineer and again with Max Anders personal experience.

Why should you read it? After reading 30 Days to Understanding the Bible you will be able to recite what you learned in great detail. I love the learning style used in this book because Max Anders left some “fill in the blank” sections to help with repetition.

The Kindle price I found was the same on multiple sites but the paperback version was cheaper than both hardcover and kindle right here!

Understanding the Whole Bible By Dr. Jonathan WeltonUnderstanding the Whole Bible

Publication Date: 2015

Number of Pages: 456

Format: Hardcover, Kindle

Publisher: Welton Academy

Price: $23.49 (Kindle) $70.00 (Hardcover)

Review: I want to start off by saying that this is a book recommended to me and that I have heard nothing but good reviews. I have not had the pleasure to read it yet but will update this review when I do!

From the little bit that I have seen it covers everything. It goes over theology and takes you down the path to understand the different ways of reading the bible. I wouldn’t consider this a light read but it gives you everything that you would need to understand the bible as a whole.

Why should you read it? There are difficult questions that are answered by Dr. Jonathan Welton, which include:

Why did Christ have to suffer?

Can a God Who Forgives Sin Be Righteous?

Why Did God Call for Animal Sacrifice?

The reasons I need to get the book are that Dr. Jonathan challenges the way we think and gives us an understanding of some rather difficult areas in a clear way.

I am grateful heart
Thank you for reading through my review! I enjoy studying and reading the Bible along with books that help me understand and learn from the Bible. I believe that it is important to continue to learn and to be further our understanding where we don’t have it. Of course the best way to do so is to ask God for the answers that we are looking for.

In the story from my teenage years I was about to give up because I felt that the Bible was to hard to read so I asked for help and understanding. I then landed on 1 Kings. Would I say that works everytime? Absolutely not. It works when we genuinely ask God and not when we decide that we are going to figure things out on our own.

Which book stood out to you? Any suggestions that I didn’t include?

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