About Bible in briefWhat's it all about ?
“I don’t read the Bible, because it is too long and too complicated.”
That’s true. It is very long and very complicated. Not surprising since it was written over more than a thousand years by dozens of different writers. And the con-tents are arranged by types of literature, not chronologically.
“The Bible in Brief” offers a way of getting a real understanding of the Bible in just six months of daily readings. You do not have to do it all in one go. Each month has a different topic and each week has a different topic. So you can start wherever you like. “The Bible in Brief” is meant for anyone who would like to know what is in the Bible, whether you are religious or not. As well as individual use, it can also be studied in small groups.
How does it work?
Choose a week of readings you want to explore, and go through four stages:
- Read the chapter recommended once or twice.
- Reflect for a minute or so, finding a sentence or phrase that means something to you.
- Respond to the question – they’re not easy ones, they need some thought.
- Record your own thoughts about the question, either in writing in the book or in taking part in a discussion forum on line.
What if I don’t understand stuff?
There are a variety of helps in the book:
- a starting section which gives a brief outline of the Bible
- an introduction to each month’s topic
- notes wherever there are difficult words, like “Christ”, also where longer explanations are needed, e.g. for Romans 3.
- 4 sketch maps, archaeological drawings and a timeline for the prophets.
- a variety of “Bonus Features” at the book such as how different Christians approach the Bible, how to use chapters and verses, film recommendations etc.
The Other Side – a unique resource
The Bible was not written in a vacuum. Israel was surrounded by powerful cultured civilisations with a multiplicity of gods. Jesus lived in society stuffed with religious debate.
After each month are some pages with extracts from what others at the time were saying, in order to put the Bible into context.
Month 1 Babylonian Creation epic and story of the Flood
Month 2 Historical accounts from the surrounding empires
Month 3 Prayers from pagan religions
Month 4 the Apocrypha: what happened between the end of the Old Testament and the coming of Jesus
Month 5 Jewish religious parties and what they said at the time of Jesus
Month 6 Roman reactions – how the Roman authorities reacted to this new religion of Christianity