My discovery of this little book came out of necessity. As a discipler, I wanted to find a simple introduction to the Bible. I’ve learned as you probably have that many new believers come from an unchurched background and thus have very little knowledge of Bible. Even some people who’ve been raised in a church know very little about the Bible, perhaps only what they’ve heard in a sermon or picked up in a Bible study, and unfortunately many Bible studies emphasize the application of the passage with very little stress on its original meaning.
I was looking for a Bible introduction that’s informative, but easy to read, one that gives background information to help understand the Bible in its original context. And of course, I wanted a book written by someone who believes the whole Bible to be the inspired Word of God “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” I asked a couple of friends if they had such a book to recommend. One of them loaned me his copy of this 240 page book. I enjoyed it so much that I almost read it all in one sitting.
The Everyday Guide contains a summary of the overall story of the Bible. It also has individual book summaries, names and places, time lines, definitions, and much more. It’s written in a way that presupposes no prior knowledge of the Bible. For example, the author explains something as simple as how and why the Bible is divided into chapters and verses. Despite being very basic the book taught me some new things. I was fascinated by the research the author had done on the time line of the Bible in relation to concurrent secular history. In addition, I enjoyed learning about the foods and clothing of Bible times, as well as other cultural information that makes reading the Bible more enjoyable and understandable.
In my opinion, this book would be helpful for North American teens and adults, but because of all the American expressions and examples in it, probably not as useful for those of other cultures.
If you’re a long-time student of the Bible, you’ll probably find a few things in the book you don’t agree with. However, after you read it, I think you’ll agree with me that it’s informative, lively, and even amusing – a book to recommend to someone with little previous knowledge of the Bible.