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Bible Matrix Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: WestBow Press, A Division of Thomas Nelson (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449702635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449702632
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...this book distills into popular form a great deal that we have been teaching at Biblical Horizons over the last 20 years." --James B. Jordan, Biblical Horizons book catalogue

From the Author

From the book:
The Bible is a very strange book to modern minds. Even the passages we know very well contain a great number of oddities and we allow them to grow familiar without gaining an understanding of why they are there.
Those brave enough to regularly read the Old Testament often find themselves wondering what on earth is going on. "Just keep reading your Bible" our pastors tell us. Do you ever get the feeling they don't have a big grip on it either? "Just stick to the basics. The rest doesn't matter."
A few years ago, I discovered the not-very-well-known theologian James B. Jordan. I didn't understand everything he said, but I did realize that this was partly because he spoke just like the Bible: matter-of-fact, flesh-and-blood, and every now and then, outright bizarre.
He got me thinking, and I found that even the most curious things he spoke of became continuous threads. Jordan identifies what he calls the "universals"--themes that are repeated, not unlike a musical motif. After listening to many of his lectures, I began to recognize these themes myself, much as you would recognize the signature music when a hero or villain appears once again in a movie. Except the Bible does it a lot better.
The most amazing discovery, to me, was Jordan's understanding of the Creation Week as a common literary structure in the Bible. There is no better way to research something than to write a book about it, so I started one. I intended to show how this 7-point pattern structured the major events of the Bible. I got to Abraham and found that the pattern was operating not only at a grand, over-arching level but also at levels within the larger cycles. And all in perfect harmony.
This incredible structuring means that the Bible is a "fractal," a rough geometrical shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a smaller version of the whole.
Although the Bible's literature often appears disorganized to us, it has in fact been extremely carefully crafted. Yet for the last hundred years or so, many scholars have treated the Scriptures as a shoddy, primitive jumble.
Analysis of the Bible's literary structures has proven these scholars wrong. It has shown that this Book is smarter than we are. We have been harsh critics of something we didn't understand -- like drinkers of cheap beer ridiculing the wine fair.
Now, before you class me with the people who spend their time searching for hidden codes in the Bible (often while they calmly ignore its very clear and intended messages), this renewed interest in literary structure has some very solid benefits for Christians. This is not about hunting for mysterious patterns; it is about learning how to read the Bible in the way it was meant to be read.

More About the Author

Mike Bull is a graphic designer who lives and works in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. His passion is understanding and teaching the Bible.

Customer Reviews

Michael Bull gives the reader a framework for understanding both the Scriptures and the world.
Rick Capezza
Overall, "Bible Matrix" is a very satisfying introduction to the typology and chiasm of Sacred Scripture.
Andre Rook
I found myself having to read, ponder, and reread in order to work my way into what was written.
Daniel J. Isadore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Isadore on December 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In many circles of theological education today, the prevailing notion is that unless you have 4 Ph. D's, mastery of 17 languages, and an obsession with every sort of criticism under the sun, there is no way to even begin to understand the Bible. In Bible Matrix, author Michael Bull lays this erroneous belief to rest once and for all. Bull's conviction is that the Bible speaks its own language. Hence, the reason we have such a hard time understanding it is not because we haven't climbed enough academic or social ladders, but rather because we are too quick to impose our modern worldviews on it (p.15). In Bible Matrix, Bull helps us to unlearn the warped science of imposition by helping us taste and see the hermeneutic that Scripture itself lays forth. With an artist's eye and a disciple's heart, Bull demonstrates that the sevenfold pattern found in the Creation week (Creation-Division-Ascension-Testing-Maturity-Conquest-Glorification) is the key to unlocking the text of Holy Writ from Genesis to Revelation.

Bible Matrix is amazingly concise, traversing the entirety of Scripture in 221 succinct pages. The book begins with a brief introduction to typological/symbolic interpretation (don't make the mistake of thinking that this opposes the historical), moves on to an overview of the pattern that Bull sees embedded in all of Scripture, and then enters into a more or less character-by-character (Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc.) examination of the entire Bible. He ends with a pithy reiteration of the big picture of the book, as well as a vision for worship and an exhortation.

If you aren't familiar with Bull's blog (or the work of James B. Jordan, Peter Leithart or Douglas Wilson), the book can be a bit of a challenge to work through.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andre Rook on July 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The church today is plagued with implicit Marcionism. Marcion, a heretic in the 2nd century, believed that Christianity did not need the foundation of the Old Testament, among other things. Today, many churches agree with Marcion in practice. And practice inevitably affects principle. The Old Testament today is seen as an irrelevant and over-lengthy text, relegated to the deepest dungeons of seminaries. The Old Testament is merely a prologue to the New Testament, and who reads prologues anymore?

Michael Bull is no Marcionite, and he believes the best weapon against this ancient heresy, as well as apathy toward Scripture in general, is to unveil the artistry and beauty of God's designed Word. That's right, God designed the Scriptures, as an architect designs a skyscraper, but unlike man's attempt to build himself up to reach God, the Scripture is God's building, a reverse Babel, reaching down to us. And it is masterfully constructed. Reading the Bible as doctrine manual or moral textbook can only bring a limited amount of satisfaction, but Bull teaches us to read the Bible as art, God's art.

As Bull instructs, the Bible uses an ancient literary device called chiasm, and in the case of Scripture, hundreds of these sevenfold patterns emerge. This is the pattern of growth and maturity that God utilizes to reiterate, time and time again, his sovereignty over all things, history included. Creation, division, ascension, testing, maturity, conquest, and glorification: the Bible is full of this pattern, divine comedy after divine comedy. Allow Bull to walk you through this, and you will be thankful for the journey. The Bible is gloriously patterned, indeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. McIntosh on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Michael Bull draws heavily upon the biblical insights of James Jordan. (This is noted immediately as the book is dedicated to Jordan). This is a very good thing, since Jordan's studies on literary structures and symbolism in the Bible are crucial for obtaining a consistent interpretative framework of the whole counsel of God. As a reader of Jordan myself, I expected Bible Matrix to be full of great information, but nothing I hadn't been exposed to already. Several chapters in I realized how wrong I was! Mr. Bull takes the foundational structures that men like Jordan and Peter Leithart have long advocated, and applies them to various biblical themes/stories that many people may have not considered before. Chapter 4: Festivals is a great example. We generally find the intricate details of the Old Testament to be tiresome and end up ignoring them altogether, not seeing their significance or coherency. Bull lays out the 7 Feasts of Israel and shows how they fit into the same outline - or "matrix" - that flows throughout all of Scripture. This not only helps one to understand the details of Israel's traditions more fully, but we ultimately see how they all point forward to Christ the Messiah, and consequently the Church, since we are united to his body as his bride. This is a very invigorating book and I recommend it to anyone wishing to dive deeper into the richness of biblical theology. Good for personal growth, but also for helping the church at large to breathe the Scriptures so we can consistently defend the Bible from shallow attacks and progress towards fulfilling the Great Commission.
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