How (Not) to Read the Bible is a great potential resource for several people. It would be good for someone who's considering Christian faith but finds the Bible to have too many problems to get past. Also for the Christian who has friends asking you questions about the Bible that you don't have good responses to. For all Christians, the author offers some great general reminders to help us study and interpret the Bible well.
He shares 4 principles for reading the Bible well and then applies them to challenging questions including what the Bible says about violence, slavery, science, women, shrimp, and more!
1. The Bible is a Library not a book. It is 66 books in different languages in different genres written over a huge period of time. We need to understand these factors in order to read the Bible well.
2. The Bible is Written for us but not to us. In order to really understand the Bible well, we need to enter the world (culture, place etc) of the original audience. When we grow in our understanding of how it would have spoken to them, we can grow in our understanding of what it means for us in all times and places.
3. Never Read a Single Bible Verse. Anyone can take a single verse and use it to say something that is not the point of what's being communicated. When we look at context, starting with the paragraph, section, book, etc. we get a fuller picture. Just as important is to see where the verse fits into the big picture story that the Bible is telling.
4. All the Bible Points to Jesus. According to the writers of the New Testament and Jesus himself, He is the clearest picture we have of what God is like. He has come to make the way for us and to both teach and demonstrate God's heart and intentions for us and our world.