Monday, January 02, 2006
Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach have compiled some tools to help us dig deeper into the treasures of the Bible. One would hope that we know how to read well enough that we wouldn't need a book like this. Sadly we seem unable to read the Bible properly and thus this book is one of the best things you could read this year.
They remind us to think about authors purpose, context and structure as we read. Beynon confesses that in the past he has sought to find what a text says, without asking why. And what a difference it makes for us to find out not just the what, but also the why.
The excellent introductory chapter lays out a doctrine of the word. They explain that reading scripture is science and art, and that the point isn't just to comprehend a text. The Bible is the word of God speaking with authority to us! We must handle with care - let us not believe what it doesn't actually say, but rather find what God says in his word. At the end of the book they challenge us to draw things together into a summary sentence we can apply and share with those we meet.
Beynon and Sach write with warmth and clarity to equip us to handle God's word ourselves. Each of their tools are explained well, worked examples provided and then further examples for us to work through at the end of each chapter. Ed Shaw from Christ Church Clifton adds an afterword on how his church put these tools into practice. One of the big things I'm involved in with student leaders is training them how to read the Bible. This is a book I've been waiting for for sometime. Now we have it the church is richer.
Ant Adams wants us to read more scripture in 2006. Dig Deeper would be a good companion along the way.
Read an Extract at IVP
See also reviews by David Field and Tim Neale.