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Read the Bible Smarter, Not Harder: Exploring the Stories Behind the Books

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There is an increasing recognition that we need to engage the Bible as a collection of books. But we haven't been taught to read or study the Bible on the book level. Almost all of our approaches to the Bible are based on chapters, verses, or sections. So how do we change this? The units of meaning in the Bible are not chapters, or verses, or topical sections, but the literary compositions that God inspired to create the Scriptures. If we want to know the meaning of God's word, we need to engage these compositions on their own terms. This means understanding why they were written, what kind of writing they are, how they are put together, and what major themes and ideas they develop and pursue. This book answers these questions for each of the books in the Bible by presenting expanded versions of the book introductions included inThe Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures from Biblica that presents the biblical books in their natural literary form, without chapters and verses.From the AuthorDuring my time as a pastor of a local church near a college, a group of students asked me if I would lead a weekly Bible study for them. "Sure," I said.  Then I asked myself, "How would I do that?" I decided, as a result of my studies in literature as an undergraduate at Harvard, and in light of the seminary degree and doctorate I'd recently completed in theology and Bible, that we should study whole biblical books at once. In this case we began with Daniel. I also decided that we should begin by asking about the book's circumstances of composition, literary genre, literary structure, and thematic development.  Shortly afterwards I came for the first time upon Mortimer Adler's marvelous volumeHow to Read a Book. He said we should always begin by looking for the answers to those same questions, which he put this way: When and why was this book written? What kind of writing is it? How is it put together, on its own terms? And what are the main ideas that run all through it? This was marvelous confirmation of the approach I wanted to take and it became the grid through which I approached all biblical books from then on.Fast forward several years to when I was a member of the design group that was helping the International Bible Society (now Biblica) develop a new format that would eventually becomeThe Books of the Bible. I was asked to write the first drafts of the book and section introductions. Instinctively I crafted each one with the four key questions in mind.Space limitations did not permit the full introductions to be included inThe Books of the Bible. But Biblica thought it would be valuable to make them available in a separate volume, and I'm grateful to them for doing this, for the sake of those who want even more depth and detail. InterVarsity Press has now picked up this volume and I hope it helps answer many questions, and raise others for further exploration, for those who will be reading the Bible the same way they would, well, read a book.From the Inside FlapEarly in his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T. S. Eliot speaks of fog rubbing its back against a windowpane, licking from pools with its tongue, leaping off a terrace, and curling up and falling asleep. These lines are difficult to make sense of at first. But when it's explained that Eliot is describing the fog as if it were a cat, they make a lot more sense. (Read them in the poem itself and you'll see.) If it's explained further that this great poet, playwright, and literary critic was also a cat lover, the lines begin to be fun to read as well. In fact, this erudite man of letters, who was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne, actually composed whimsical poems for his godchildren in which cats spoke about their lives and interactions with one another. These poems were gathered together and published asOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and this book became the basis for the Andrew Lloyd Webber

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You get a full 30 days to return your item to us. If it doesn't fit, it breaks, you've changed your mind or for no reason whatsoever simply send it back to us and we'll cheerfully refund you 100% of your order.

Returns are easy, simply contact us for a returns number and send your item to our returns centre for fast processing. We'll get you a replacement or refund in a snap!

In the unlikely event that you find your item cheaper at another online store, just let us know and we'll beat the competitor's pricing hands-down.

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There is an increasing recognition that we need to engage the Bible as a collection of books. But we haven't been taught to read or study the Bible on the book level. Almost all of our approaches to the Bible are based on chapters, verses, or sections. So how do we change this? The units of meaning in the Bible are not chapters, or verses, or topical sections, but the literary compositions that God inspired to create the Scriptures. If we want to know the meaning of God's word, we need to engage these compositions on their own terms. This means understanding why they were written, what kind of writing they are, how they are put together, and what major themes and ideas they develop and pursue. This book answers these questions for each of the books in the Bible by presenting expanded versions of the book introductions included inThe Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures from Biblica that presents the biblical books in their natural literary form, without chapters and verses.From the AuthorDuring my time as a pastor of a local church near a college, a group of students asked me if I would lead a weekly Bible study for them. "Sure," I said.  Then I asked myself, "How would I do that?" I decided, as a result of my studies in literature as an undergraduate at Harvard, and in light of the seminary degree and doctorate I'd recently completed in theology and Bible, that we should study whole biblical books at once. In this case we began with Daniel. I also decided that we should begin by asking about the book's circumstances of composition, literary genre, literary structure, and thematic development.  Shortly afterwards I came for the first time upon Mortimer Adler's marvelous volumeHow to Read a Book. He said we should always begin by looking for the answers to those same questions, which he put this way: When and why was this book written? What kind of writing is it? How is it put together, on its own terms? And what are the main ideas that run all through it? This was marvelous confirmation of the approach I wanted to take and it became the grid through which I approached all biblical books from then on.Fast forward several years to when I was a member of the design group that was helping the International Bible Society (now Biblica) develop a new format that would eventually becomeThe Books of the Bible. I was asked to write the first drafts of the book and section introductions. Instinctively I crafted each one with the four key questions in mind.Space limitations did not permit the full introductions to be included inThe Books of the Bible. But Biblica thought it would be valuable to make them available in a separate volume, and I'm grateful to them for doing this, for the sake of those who want even more depth and detail. InterVarsity Press has now picked up this volume and I hope it helps answer many questions, and raise others for further exploration, for those who will be reading the Bible the same way they would, well, read a book.From the Inside FlapEarly in his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T. S. Eliot speaks of fog rubbing its back against a windowpane, licking from pools with its tongue, leaping off a terrace, and curling up and falling asleep. These lines are difficult to make sense of at first. But when it's explained that Eliot is describing the fog as if it were a cat, they make a lot more sense. (Read them in the poem itself and you'll see.) If it's explained further that this great poet, playwright, and literary critic was also a cat lover, the lines begin to be fun to read as well. In fact, this erudite man of letters, who was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne, actually composed whimsical poems for his godchildren in which cats spoke about their lives and interactions with one another. These poems were gathered together and published asOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and this book became the basis for the Andrew Lloyd Webber

Shipping
This Item Ships to   

   

Please allow 10 days for your order to arrive. You will receive a tracking number for your order via email. To keep prices low we ship via the US Postal Service. This means sometimes you have to wait a little longer to get your order but it's always worth it!

Returns are easy, simply contact us and send your item to our returns centre for fast processing. We'll get you a replacement or refund in a snap!

Here are 5 more great reasons to buy from us:

so
   

You get a full 30 days to return your item to us. If it doesn't fit, it breaks, you've changed your mind or for no reason whatsoever simply send it back to us and we'll cheerfully refund you 100% of your order.

Returns are easy, simply contact us for a returns number and send your item to our returns centre for fast processing. We'll get you a replacement or refund in a snap!

In the unlikely event that you find your item cheaper at another online store, just let us know and we'll beat the competitor's pricing hands-down.

We insist that you love everything you buy from us. If you're unhappy for any reason whatsoever, just let us know and we'll bend over backwards to make things right again.

Ordering from Biblestore is 100% safe and secure so you can rest easy. Your personal details are never shared, sold or rented to anyone either.

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Read the Bible Smarter, Not Harder: Exploring the Stories Behind the Books

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