What is not frequently talked about is the fact that the various books in the bibles, that we used commonly, are not consistently arranged in their chronological order. Perhaps, beside being certain that the first book is Genesis and the last book is Revelation, we can only be certain that the other books in between the two are not arranged in chronological order. At this point in time, it is a good reminder to understand that while the Scripture is inspired, the order of the books is not. So there is no "the way" of arranging the books, lest we idolized the chronological fashion. Nevertheless, I submit that the chronological arrangement is a reasonable methodology and helpful addition, which will hopefully enrich the readers of their wealth of heritage in the lineage of faith. Interestingly, there seems to be a surge of interest in reading the Scripture chronogically recently and The Chronological Guide to the Bible by Thomas Nelson is among those works of chronological nature.
Looking at the size of this guide, it certainly cannot cover all grounds. But this also means that it will serve as a good introductory material, especially for new believers. Since it can be used with any translation, not to mention the colorful illustrations and materials which are pleasing to the eyes, it is a perfect gift for friends who may not be using the same translation. However, the book would be better if it can come with hardcover as the pages can be rather thin. But I hope this will not push up the price further, as the current price is already high priced in my opinion. And it is also hard to read this guide with the Scripture side by side because one will be flipping the Scripture back and forth. Unless one doesn't mind the flipping exercise, it will serve better as a standalone reading.
Overall, given that there are already existing commentaries, introductions, surveys and overviews of the Scripture and its historical, cultural and archaeological setting, not to mention the tons of study bibles and specialty bibles (is this a sign of the christian market being over-commercialized - if there should be one in the first place?), I will recommend going straight for one of the chronological bibles such as The Chronological Study Bible, NKJV (Thomas Nelson) or The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order (NIV) by F. LaGard Smith for more worth of value.
This review is part of BookSneeze, of which I have received a free review copy from the publisher.
Posted by Elvin Labels: Book
December 23, 2010