This is a very helpful book giving a historical overview through the whole Bible, from creation to the end of the first century AD. It helps people see the overall message of the Bible, showing where many of the familiar stories belong in God’s great plan of salvation. It is particularly designed for people who want increase their understanding of the Bible, and is an ideal resource for those who plan to commence formal study of the Bible.
The book begins with a summary of God’s plan of salvation from creation, through the fall, the death and resurrection of Jesus to his second coming. This gives a helpful framework for a biblical world-view.
The Old Testament section focusses on the main characters and events in the history of Israel. A chapter is devoted to each of the major periods of Old Testament history, describing the main events and characters in Israel, some of the major theological developments, and how Israel interacted with her neighbouring nations. Each of the books are set into the original place in history. The message of each of prophets is described at their most probable time in the history of Israel or Judah.
The first part of the the New Testament section looks first at the life and ministry of Jesus, describing relevant aspects of Jewish religion and culture, the main events of his ministry and his teaching on the kingdom of God.
The second part looks at the spread of the Gospel through the first century, describing Paul’s missionary journeys and summarising his letters, as well as noting the major challenges faced by the church. The message of each of the books is summarised, and each are set into their original historical context.
Many people have found this book a very useful tool in their Bible reading, to give them the “big-picture” - how all the Bible stories and events fit together into one great and continuing story.