Today I am recommending one of my favorite books. It was required reading for an elective course in seminary. I didn’t think much of this little book at first since I was swimming in heavier theological reading assigned for my other courses. However, after reading this book my wife and I bought copies of it to many of our family members. When someone asks me for a book recommendation I always lead with it. Why? Well because this book provides the reader with an overview of the Bible which is something many Christians desperately need. Having an overview of the structure of the Bible is incredibly helpful because it gives us a framework for interpreting individual passages.
Think of a mall directory. When you look at one you see not only the whole facility but the where you are in relation to everything else. That is what this book does. It helps you understand where you are at in the Bible and how that relates to the whole of the Bible. Are we reading about David and Goliath? How should the time period and place in the old covenant structure affect how we understand that story? Are we reading about Daniel in the lion’s den? How does that story fit into the overall structure of the story of the people of God and the prophetic promises of God to his people in exile? Are we reading about the Holy Spirit coming down at Pentecost? How does that relate to the prophets in the Old Testament and the New Covenant established in Christ? Roberts is able to organize so much of this data according to central themes that run through the whole Bible most notably the Kingdom of God. I love his definition of the Kingdom of God so much that when I reference the concept I almost always use his definition of it: God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule and blessing.
If you have been in church for years it is likely you have been learning lots of stuff about the Bible and studying various parts of the Bible. But have you studied the Bible as a whole to see how everything fits together? That is what this book does for you in only 150(ish) pages. Buy it, read it and give it away to someone else. There is even a free course to take you through the book over at TGC! I should be getting a kickback from IVP for how hard I’m selling this. You get the idea.
I would love to hear what books you have found helpful in your understanding of the Bible as well. Jump over to the contact page and shoot me a message. Happy reading!