Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review

So, I have gotten through my latest Thomas Nelson book "Chronological Guide to the Bible." I was excited about getting this one because I'm a Bible-geek. While I am impressed with the overall layout of the book and think it will be a useful tool, it is a somewhat difficult read. A lot of the introductory material is stilted in some of its language and I found myself having to re-read paragraphs to fully grasp their meaning. I did appreciate how the authors laid out the argument about what books were included in the canon and which were not and how the order came to be.

One thing I did like is the introductions for each Epoch and the answers to historical questions that are embedded throughout the book. The examples of how biblical history lines up with secular history are also interesting. The maps, graphs, charts, etc. throughout the book also add to its appeal.

I do question a couple of things regarding the book. First and foremost, any other chronological guide I've ever seen moves Job. That's part of what makes it chronological. This guide doesn't really do that. I'm not sure if the authors want to be different or what but their reasoning doesn't make full sense. Secondly, it would be nice to see the whole guide listed out somewhere that you could use as a reference. It's broken up by Epochs and some are only one line long. You could easily miss them.

The biggest hang-up for me was the price of this book. It is a pretty book full of glossy pictures but I would balk at paying $25 for a paperback study guide especially if I was buying the Chronological Study Bible at the same time. While it's a nice book and a good reference piece, it's not a must-have for me.

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