Book Review: “A Family Guide to the Bible”

A Family Guide to the Bible by Christin Ditchfield is a good resource, especially for people who are unfamiliar with certain parts of the Bible, or the history behind each book. After some introductory material, including the history, message and authority of the Bible, there is a summary of each individual book, which has the author, audience and setting, as well as the story, interesting trivia, and important words to know.

The only part of this book that I really disliked is the way Ditchfield boiled each book down into one key verse. While these are probably a good starting point for memorization, I don’t think you can simplify each book of the Bible to that point, and in some cases, the key verse given is questionable regarding whether or not it is even the focal point of the book.

I particularly liked chapter six, on how to study the Bible. I think the author made an excellent point, in that families should chose one translation of the Bible, and stick with it for the sake of consistency (although it is also mentioned that using different translations for comparison can be useful). I wish that paraphrase translations of the Bible had not been mentioned in the “choosing a translation section”–I truly believe that those versions of the Bible have no place in serious Bible study.

This book could be a very helpful tool for families trying to get a grasp on the big picture of Scripture, although my personal preference is a good study Bible.

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