Book Review: “The Whole Bible Story: Everything that Happens in the Bible in Plain English” by Dr. William H. Marty (2011)

Many of us have spent our lives under the teaching of the Word and have always striven to faithfully read it on a personal basis. A problem that often occurs in situations like this, however, is that we tend to learn the Word only as a collection of doctrines or stories and we ultimately lose the big picture. What Dr. Marty has developed in The Whole Bible Story succeeds as an almost novel-like presentation of the historical events of Scripture in chronological order, giving his readers the beginning-to-end understanding of the Bible that often gets lost in year-long read-throughs of Scripture.

While skipping lengthy prophecies, poetry, sermons, and epistles, Marty develops the Bible story (or “true history,” rather) through nineteen chapters: twelve for the events of the Old Testament, and seven for those of the New. He opens each chapter by introducing the characters and events depicted, and he closes each with a brief summary. These nineteen summaries of summaries, in fact, offer an even more succinct overview of biblical history for any reader who needs a simple refresher on the order of Biblical events.

While I enjoyed Marty’s writing in this book and greatly appreciated the larger perspective on Scripture that it gave me, I do see one small problem with the book. I fear that some may take this book, as simple as it is, as a replacement for God’s true Word and slow down their reading of the Truth. Events are certainly important, and this overview can certainly prove beneficial, but while it discusses the events of the Bible, it is not the Bible. Without the true words of God the Father, and without the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that permeates every book and verse of Scripture, this book is nothing more than an entertaining historical review.

[Note: I received this book free for review from Bethany House]

©2011 E.T.

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