Item description for Understanding The Bible (Revised) by John R. W. Stott...
Overview Author John Stott examines the cultural, social, geographical, and historical background of the Bible, as he outlines the story with its central theme, and as he explains its message. The book now includes study questions, index, and maps.
Publishers Description This book answers foundational questions: Who wrote the Bible? What is its message? Why is it thought to be a 'holy' book? How does one read and interpret it? Best of all, though, you'll broaden your vision of Jesus Christ, the focal point of Scripture. How? By better understanding the geographical, religious, and historical concerns that shaped the world in which he lived. You'll see Jesus as never before: both as a man of his times and culture, and as the culmination of a divine providence that prepared the way for the ministry of the Messiah. Written by renowned preacher, writer, and apologist John Stott, this new, expanded edition includes - Questions at the beginning of each chapter to help you focus - New, up-to-date maps for the chapters on history and geography - An index to help you speedily access areas of interest.
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More About John R. W. Stott
The Reverend Dr. John Stott was Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place in London, England, and had a worldwide ministry as a Bible expositor, speaker, and writer.
John R. W. Stott was born in 1921.
John R. W. Stott has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Understanding The Bible (Revised)?
Grounding principles for sound exegesis. May 5, 2005
". . . we must be ready for the text to penetrate our defenses, challenge our assumptions, disturb our complacency and judge our compromises. Otherwise, if we come to Scripture with our mind already made up, all we are likely to hear is the reassuring echoes of our own cultural prejudice." (p151)
This is a very helpful and enjoyable book, and I am a bit surprised that is has so far garnered only a few superficial reviews in this forum. Stott provides a well-paced and well-supported overview of the harmony and message of the Old and New Testaments, a look at their respective cultural contexts and provides three basic principles for interpreting the Bible. My hardcover volume also features maps, charts, and photographs, which enrich both understanding and enjoyment. As Stott says, "Just as in a children's treasure hunt, one is sometimes fortunate enough to stumble immediately upon the treasure but, more usually, has to follow laboriously from clue to clue until at last the treasure is found, so it is with Bible reading. . . But a painstaking pursuit of the clues will ultimately lead every reader to that treasure whose worth is beyond price." (p19, 20)
Near the end of the sixth chapter, explaining the authority of the Bible, Stott says: ". . . to accept the authority of the Bible is a Christian thing to do. It is neither a religious eccentricity, nor a case of discreditable obscurantism, but the good sense of Christian faith and humility. It . . . may be called the 'Christian' view precisely because it is Christ's view. "To accept the divine origin of the Bible is not to pretend that there are no problems. To be candid, there are many problems . . ." He cites, as examples, the problems of pain and suffering, going on to say, ". . . it is essential that we wrestle honestly with biblical problems. It is not Christian to bury our heads in the sand, pretending that no problems exist. Nor is it Christian to manipulate Scripture in order to achieve a forced, artificial harmonization. No, we work at the problems with intellectual integrity. . . Jesus Christ taught it and exhibited it. . . To follow Christ is always sober, humble, Christian realism." (p135, 136)
The only dissenting comment I will muster is that I was slightly disappointed with Stott's casual dismissal of the exegetic works of Philo and Origen. Of course, I have seen this before. The complaints of their opponents are assumed without any attempt to give Philo and Origen their due consideration (page 146). As those who have actually read them will be aware, these expositors (and others of their approach, like Gregory of Nyssa, and to a lesser extent, Augustine) were intelligent, assiduous, exceptionally knowledgeable in both the text and the ancient philology, and centrally focused on reverence for both God and scripture. When Stott goes on to speak about "the general sense of Scripture" (i.e., "the principle of harmony") he addresses the great concern of both Philo and Origen. They did "meditate day and night" on God's Word, as the Psalm says, "like one who finds great spoil," that is, "gold" and "honey." One should not dismiss individuals who have proceeded to live this life while also holding up this type of a model for others. This is not to say Philo or Origen must be wholly accepted (neither of them asked to be, they were, after all, students of scripture in the purest sense), but on what serious basis can they be wholly dismissed? However, all in all, it's a rather small complaint. As regards "the general sense" and harmony of scripture, Stott's brief discussion of the exchange between John Knox and Mary Queen of Scotts is excellent.
Forced to read this...now my revenge! Apr 27, 2004
I had to read this as a textbook for the Southern Baptist Seminary Extension.
You'd think that a Southern Baptist course on Hermeneutics would choose a book that adhered to a 6 days of creation model. You'd be wrong.
This book also left a bad replacement theology taste in my mouth. Mr. Stott is thoroughly British...his overuse of the word "Palestine" proved that.
I recently saw a copy of the Hardback with color photos...I think I'd rather have bought that one.
For an alternative, Chuck Missler's "Learn the Bible in 24 Hours" is a better choice.
Enlightening overview Oct 20, 2003
If you can overlook the large picture of Charles Darwin on page 43, and perhaps an unnecessary attempt to accomodate some of Darwin's theories, you will find this to be a first-rate overview of the Bible, its message, and its proper interpretation and application.
excellent overview of how to study the Bible Jun 23, 2000
This is a very good basic overview of the right (Biblical) attitude to the Bible, how and when the study it and understand it. It is especially good in helping the reader to see the principles of natural, original and general meaning, and has some useful geographical stuff as well.
Definitely a worthwhile introduction to the topic, with challenges and incentives to read the Bible, while avoiding legalism.