Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible: A Guide to Reading the Bible Well

Edited by Wayne Grudem, C. John Collins, Thomas Schreiner

Having a proper understanding of the Bible as you read it is of extreme importance.  The bible is “breathed out by God”.  This means that when you open up your bible, you are not opening up a book mealy written by man, but a book written by God.  The words of the scripture make you “wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” and “complete, equipped for every good work”.  (2 Timothy 3:15, 17).  This is why Paul says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth”. (2 Timothy 2:15) The proper understanding of scripture is a matter of eternal life and death. If you don’t understand the Bible as the author intended, it will not make you “complete, equipped for every good work.  But there are challenges to reading the bible.  God chose to speak in a certain cultural context using certain literally genres.  Without understanding the context of the writers, the nature of the genre, or the big picture of the bible, the Christian will often be left to his own imagination, interpreting the text in a way that is unfaithful and often dangerous.

This helpful book is for the Christian who wants to grow in his understanding and knowledge of God’s perfect Word.   Faithfulness is not easy, yet the reward is more than worth it.  That is why this book is worth its weight in gold.  A newer Christian will struggle to follow along at times, but it is well worth the read.  The book starts with an overview of the Bible’s story line which is worth the price of the book by itself and then is split up into three main parts, Part 1 The Old Testament, Part 2 Background to the New Testament, and Part 3 New Testament and a fourth section having helpful timelines. Each chapter is written in an accessible way by bible scholars who are experts in the chapter’s topic.  Each author is biblical faithful and does an amazing job highlighting the beauty of the scriptures both in its unity and in its diversity.  By reading this book carefully, you will understand each section of the bible with more clarity and will be more equipped to deal with the challenging parts of the bible with more joy and ease.

This book review was written by Pastor Jonathan Ahlgren

Buy the book here.