Brilliant little book
By Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach
IVP. 160 pages. £6.99
ISBN 1 84474 103 8
It is one thing to believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but quite another to understand it rightly.
By no means does all evangelical preaching gives the listeners a good model for their own study of the Scriptures. And when Christians hear or read many conflicting interpretations and applications of passages of Scripture how are they to discern which are right and which are wrong? Can the Bible mean anything you want it to mean, as many suggest?
This is a brilliant little book. Its short, easy to read chapters explain 16 ‘tools’ which need to be used if we are to dig into the Bible and come up with the right meaning and application of whatever passage we are reading.
The tools include such things as the author’s purpose, the context, the genre, and the Bible timeline. The final ones are the ‘Who am I?’ and the ‘So what?’ tools. At the end of each chapter there is a ‘worked example’ demonstrating how a tool can be used in a particular passage and a ‘dig deeper’ exercise to give readers an opportunity to use the tool themselves.
This book should be put into the hands of as many Christians as possible. It is likely to encourage and enrich their personal Bible study. It should be a priority for Bible study group leaders, Sunday School teachers and all who aspire to communicate God’s Word clearly and faithfully to others. An appendix to the book gives an interesting example of how it has been used in one particular church situation.
For pastors, the book should perhaps have a two-fold health warning attached. It may prompt them to tear up some of their old sermons; and if members of their congregation get hold of it, they may begin asking that the Bible is handled better in the pulpit!
If you want a taster, read the extract published in the March issue of EN (surely you don’t throw old copies away!).
retired pastor now involved in itinerant ministry