Reading through the entire Bible is for some a daunting task. I know it took me months! And while I'd suggest that everyone attempt to read the entire Bible (KJV is my favorite) I can also recommend reading "The Story" as a quick way to familiarize yourself with all the main stories the Bible offers.
I never get tired of reading about Boaz and Ruth, David and Bathsheba and Daniel in the Lion's Den. This book also focuses on the life of Paul from the New Testament. The Gospels are also condensed into six chapters with the story flowing beautifully and no repeats. So you read about Jesus' life in a logical progression.
Because this reads like a novel it brings the biblical stories to life in a new and interesting way. There are however many omissions that had to be made in order to keep to a manageable book size. You won't find chapters on Jewish law or very many references to chronology. Revelation seems to have been shortened and many books of the Old Testament are not included like Psalms and Proverbs.
If you have read the entire Bible this will become apparent to you. So I'd suggest reading this book as it will give you new perspectives. I would not in any way suggest that you read this instead of reading the entire Bible because you will miss out on some important sections that might be very meaningful to you. This book will take you maybe a week to finish and will give you an overview of how much God loves the human race and what he has done to ensure that anyone who decides to believe in Jesus can have eternal life.
~The Rebecca Review
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The name for this book was poorly chosen. Having read the Bible through several times I have come to recognize that it does contain a large narrative that holds all the threads together. However, this book seems to miss the mark at every turn! A better name might be excerpts from the story or even Bible Clif-Notes. Brief, yet important sections are left out all together without even a mention, like the tower of Babel. Some of the editorial comments are often just a bit off the mark of reality and thus produce a revisionist element to the biblical text and some comments also appear to be in subtle contradiction to the text that is there. Many of the parts of the Biblical narrative that are literary gem stones are missing. Long story short! This book was poorly edited for its purpose. I love the concept, someone should actually do that. This book however, I'm afraid falls short.
It is not an easy task to reduce the size of the Bible to that of a typical novel. The Story, an excellent attempt at that task, is a sanitized and highly condensed version of the Bible. Early anomalous biblical stories (for example, God being concerned about primitive man reaching God's heavenly domain via a massive building project or Sons of God having relations with human females resulting in the birth of giants) are omitted. Most of the blood and gore including God-sanctioned genocides are omitted. Also most of the poetic section is omitted; nothing from Job, Ecclesiastes, or Song of Songs, and only a few Psalms and Proverbs are included. This is acceptable since the poetic section is somewhat tangential to the overall story. The included portions of the New Testament are summaries of the Gospels, Acts, some of Paul's epistles, and Revelation. I consider this a good book for one who is somewhat biblically illiterate desiring to understand Christianity from an evangelical point of view. However, for one seeking what it really means to be a follower of Christ, it is somewhat weak. For example, some of the most important portions of the Sermon on the Mount are omitted, and the entire Book of James is omitted. The omission of the Golden Rule may be the most serious flaw, especially in light of the fact that Jesus declares it to be the essence of the entire Law and Prophets. Also the essential aspect of relating to the least in society as Jesus explained in Matthew 25 is omitted. In summary, The Story is strong on encouraging one to become a Christian but somewhat weak on what that entails.
***** "The Story reveals the unfolding, grand narrative of the Scriptures. Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV, this rendering of the Bible allows its stories, poems, and teachings to come together in a single, compelling read."
I am relentlessly convinced that too many Christians are missing the big picture of the overall drama of human fall and salvation, how the Bible spiritual story fits into an integral narrative. As kids we heard tales of Noah and his ark, Jonah and the whale, as youngsters sat through Sunday School, and in adulthood we listened to sermons about salvation history, and the time of fullfillment. Those who continue to carry their daily devotions, may start relating to the biblical message assembling the puzzle pieces.
It astonishes me that as many others of my Christian and Jewish friends alike, who grew up in religious families, may have never got an overall grasp of what the Old Testament, or the New Testament messages are? How they integrate in a vivid story of God's love for his creation that the Bible continues to tell, much less, how to react with it, as a good Samaritan. In modern terms, of Jim Davies words, "To see the Bible with fresh depth through the 3D glasses of drama, doctrine, and directions?" So, after some weeks of study, they may come away with the ten Laws of the Decalogue, or sections of Old Testament history, or few gospel or epistle verses, and even pieces of Apocrepha. But do they fit together, and how would they integrate the verses, books, and the testaments together to clear the puzzle: The book of Old and New?
Reading the Bible is one thing, understanding it is another, but living it is eternal life, here, and now.Read more ›
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