Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Whole Bible Story - a book review

I really dislike giving negative reviews of books, especially when it's a book that has been "gifted" to me by a publisher. Unfortunately, I have to warn people away from The Whole Bible Story. An equally distressing fact is that I lost the note card I was using to write down places where the author presented information contradictory from the Bible.

The three biggest contradictions that I can recall:

1 - The author writes that "because the people had worn flashy jewelry and clothes while worshiping the golden calf, Moses said they were prohibited from ever dressing like that again" (pg 49). This instance is referring to Exodus 33:5 and 6 where God tells Moses to "'say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.' And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb."

Nowhere in this text does God or Moses say it is a permanent ban on jewelry and flashy clothing. As a matter of fact, God talks in Isaiah about dressing Israel in jewels as a sign of His favor.

2 - The author implies that the Bible itself commands a change of worship from Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday. Nowhere in the Bible does God or the early Christian church advocate such a change. The change to Sunday worship began several hundred years after Christ died (Council of Laodicea, Canon 29, 363–364 AD).

From the book: "In Troas, the church met on Sundays to honor the day that Jesus rose from the dead. They shared a meal together, which included the celebration of the Lord's Table, also known as Communion" (pg 281).

This meal, and Paul's sermon, was actually on the Sabbath and last until after midnight on Saturday evening/Sunday morning. The Bible does not state that Sunday is the Sabbath, nor does it state that worship should be on Sunday to honor the day Jesus rose from the dead. The Sabbath was instituted at Creation, as a memorial to the work God completed. It was established as an everlasting covenant with God's people, not a day that could be changed at will by man.

3 - The author states that "David eventually married Saul's oldest daughter, but he fell in love with Saul's other daughter, Michal" (pg 94).

However, the Bible says: "but it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife" (1 Samuel 18:19). The Bible never states that Merab and David were married, only that they were supposed to have been.

The premise of this book is interesting - "The purpose of this book is to tell the story of the Bible" (pg 11). It is not a paraphrase or a translation. It merely attempts to tell the story of the Bible while leaving out Old Testament laws, Psalms, Proverbs, the epistles, and the book of Revelation. The purpose of the book is to allow someone who is not familiar with the Bible stories to become acquainted with them while avoiding getting bogged down in some of the "more difficult" sections. That's all well and good, but in stripping the Bible of the Psalms, the epistles, and other books, The Whole Bible Story lacks a soul. The reading was extremely dry, "just the facts, ma'am."

Thank you, Bethany House, for allowing me to read and review this book. However, I cannot in good conscience recommend it.


Cory said...

I so appriciate a good book review. Thank You!

Cory said...

Thank You for sharing your review. I like to read things that jive with my beliefs and understanding of the Bible too. So much out there is misleading.