How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: Fourth Edition

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Zondervan Academic, Jun 24, 2014 - Religion - 304 pages

Get the most out of your Bible.

Understanding the Bible isn’t for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It’s meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your twenty-first-century life.

More than three quarters of a million people have turned to How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth to inform their reading of the Bible. This fourth edition features revisions that keep pace with current scholarship, resources, and culture. Changes include:

  • Updated language for better readability
  • Scripture references now appear only in brackets at the end of a sentence or paragraph, helping you read the Bible as you would read any book—without the numbers
  • A new authors’ preface
  • Redesigned and updated diagrams
  • Updated list of recommended commentaries and resources

Covering everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical writing, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is used all around the world. In clear, simple language, it helps you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible—their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today—so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God’s Word.


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This is an excellent place to start a study of the "best practices" for reading scripture. The authors rely heavily on examples from scripture, so I expect the book will be far more challenging for those unfamiliar with the excerpts they call out. It provides direction for further studies. The book is structured well. I would have preferred the sub-sections were enumerated so the context of each subsection could be more easily understood. Author starts with some assumptions specific to believers. He rolls into two important definitions: exegesis and hermeneutics. He starts with the challenges of creating a translation and then specific advice for each literary form found in scripture. I found nearly 100 tips--some describe the nature of different literary forms (law, poetry, epistles). Here are some of the best general advice the book offers:
* A text can never mean what it never meant to the author.
* Always ask two questions: (1) What does he say? (2) Why does he say it?
* Laymen must rely on experts to understand implied context that would be obvious to the author and his original audience.
* Readers much consider the literary form of the scripture being read.
* Not all of God's word is intended for all of God's people. (So many confusing issues are resolved through this axiom.)
Each in the chapter for epistles the author attempts to segregate "letters" from "epistles". This very short subsection was exceptionally confusing and lacked purpose. If you notice this, skip the subsection. The rest of the book is gold.


One Story Many Dimensions
Do You Get the Point?
Covenant Stipulations for Israel
Enforcing the Covenant in Israel
Israels Prayers and Ours
Then and
Images of Judgment and Hope
The Evaluation and Use of Commentaries

The Hermeneutical Questions
Their Proper
The Question of Historical Precedent
Scripture Index Names Index

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About the author (2014)

Gordon D. Fee (PhD, University of Southern California) is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Douglas Stuart is Professor of Old Testament and Chair of the Division of Biblical Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He holds the B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Among his earlier writings are Studies in Early Hebrew Meter, Old Testament Exegesis: A Primer for Students and Pastors, and Favorite Old Testament Passages.

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