Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review: Chronological Guide to the Bible

Okay, I have been completely AWOL from the Blog for FAR too long. What have I been doing? Well, toward the end of each pregnancy I get a surge of creative energy which was channeled into making some kind of order of the Bear Cave. Not completely successfully might I add, but some serious progress was made. Plus, I have been reading. I have set myself some reading goals and as part of that I am getting some books from Book Sneeze to review

I review for BookSneeze

I just promise to review a book for them on my blog and they send me a book for free, how awesome is that? So between cleaning, tidying, organising, knitting, gardening, preparing, gestating and reading - blogging took a back seat for a while! Seeing as the Bear Cub is due to make an appearance in, say, a week and a half, I shan't make any promises I can't hold up in the future either!

But on to the review!!

Chronological Guide to the Bible is a reference book to be used when studying your own Bible. It places the events of the Bible in chronological terms and closely as can be figured, making notes of where the scholars disagree on the exact sequence of events. It gives a chronological reading guide (which can be used with the Bible version of your choice) then gives an overview of each book. It then goes on to describe the historical context of the book and reflect on how events or descriptions of events may have been received by the Israelites at the time and the surrounding peoples. Where appropriate, there are handy timelines to help make sense of the chronology. The pages are all full colour and there is a lot of detail on each page.

For me at this stage of life (with my personal Bible study time being short, precious and sometimes totally interrupted) I probably will not use this to work through my Bible from cover to cover however it is a fantastic reference to dip into and get another perspective on an element that I am studying. For example, my personal studies at the moment are focusing on the book of James. In dipping into Chronological Guide I was able to find out about the historical context of the book quite easily which added to my own laid back but in depth study style. Later in life when things calm down, I may go through and do an in depth study using this book from cover to cover. I appreciate a book that has dual usage like that - appropriate not only for a sit down feast but also to dip into as a side dish. Perhaps my one complaint is that the print is not huge and at times the pages look quite busy which can be difficult on my distracted brain.

The Bear Cubs probably won't be ready for this book until they reach their teens, but I forsee the 'fact lovers' among them really enjoying the detailed look at the Bible that this book brings.

Overall, it is worth having on the shelf!!