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A Family Guide to the Bible Paperback – May 8, 2009
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"Christin Ditchfield has done it again! She has produced yet another resource that is filled with solid content and fresh insights, plus practical application for daily living. For those who are serious about going deeper in their understanding of the Bible and who want to anchor their families on the rock of God's truth, I enthusiastically recommend A Family Guide to the Bible."
—Alex McFarland, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary and Veritas Graduate School
"This is an incredible resource to help families get more familiar with the life-transforming message of the Bible. A Family Guide to the Bible will be a wonderful help to having people get to know the Bible and fall in love with the beauty of the Word of God."
—Jim Burns, President, HomeWord, author of Confident Parenting
"A Family Guide to the Bible is a helpful tool for parents who are serious about giving their children a comprehensive survey of scripture and a love for their God. Whether it is used for family reading or for individual study, this resource will help parents and children alike in their study of God's Word."
—Steve Murphy, Publisher, Homeschooling Today magazine
About the Author
Christin Ditchfield is an author, conference speaker, and internationally syndicated radio host. As a professional freelance writer, Christin has written dozens of best-selling gospel tracts and hundreds of articles for national and international magazines. She is the author of more than sixty-seven books and blogs at ChristinDitchfield.com.
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So concise, yet just the background I need. Not overwhelming as
some Biblical resources are. I even bought some for friends. It's
a great gift!
Providing an entry-level overview and examination of the Bible, both as a whole, and book-by-book, Ditchfield has written a resource that is invaluable both for new Christians and those entering into times of family devotion and worship for the first time. A particular blessing to "first generation" Christians, Ditchfield clearly illuminates the thread of the gospel throughout Old Testament and New.
Ditchfield opens with a history of the Bible -- dividing the 66 books into the typically held categories: Poetry, Historical, Prophetic ,etc. -- and also touches briefly upon the Apocryphal books. While not in-depth by any stretch of the imagination, this taste of the Bible's background is enough to get new Bible readers on their way. The authority of the Bible is then discussed in a separate short chapter, before delving into a broad-picture overview of the entire body of scripture.
Each book of the Bible then receives its own guide, containing some of the elements found in a good introduction (typically found in study Bibles) and some unique inclusions as well. Each book is introduced with a basic outline: The Book, The Author, The Audience, The Setting, and The Story. The next section -- The Message -- is incredibly valuable, summarizing the contents of the book. This section is replete with chapter and verse references built into the text itself for easy reference and is explicitly Christ-oriented, always keeping the gospel in mind as the book is read.
Each book is wrapped up with: More on This Story in the Bible, Words to Know, Did You Know?, and Making the Connection. Read together, Did You Know? and Making the Connection connect many themes found throughout the Bible, application of these in the believer's life, and point out the relevance of the ancient events upon modern society. These connections can take some time and extensive research to unveil through independent study and are incredibly valuable.
After all 66 books of the Bible are covered, Ditchfield also provides chapters covering a wide range of introductory subjects relevant to those wanting to dig into the Word. How To Study the Bible discusses: choosing a Bible translation, useful Bible study references to obtain for your home library, how to use those references, tips for personal and family devotions, and Bible reading plans -- in short all the questions I had as a new believer wanting to dig into the scriptures for the first time!
Ditchfield's selection of important stories and verses in the Bible is more comprehensive than many found commonly found in the back of Bibles by including verses for evangelism and what the Bible says about heaven. A standard selection of gray-scale Bible maps is included -- useful for those whose Bibles are bereft of maps, and a short list of further recommended resources is included for those wanting to flesh out their Bible study resource collection.
If only A Family Guide to the Bible had been in print when I first came to faith! It would have saved me from much stumbling, confusion, and the pestering questions I fired off at other believers as I tried to make sense of my new faith. As an introductory text, much of what Ditchfield presents will be familiar to those who've already had the opportunity to scour the scriptures for themselves, but for those of us who are just getting started, Ditchfield's work is a God-send.