A book that attempts to summarize the Bible from the Garden of Eden to the first church.
Betz, working from a 13-page document her mother created called “The Bible Overview,” tries to help readers understand the basic structure of the Scriptures and explain how she sees Jesus Christ as the link between its many sections. She begins by addressing what the Bible is, how it was written, and why, expanding on scriptural notions of divine inspiration and God’s connection with mankind. From there, she begins to build the “skeleton” of the Bible. She divides it into 12 historical periods and finds that most of its books fit into one of three categories: history, poetry, or prophecy. While sketching out these huge time spans, Betz summarizes the histories of biblical figures such as Noah, Moses, David, and her main focus, Jesus. After providing essential details, she returns to each section to “strengthen the structure by adding detail or meat to each historical period.” She also cites biblical or historical scholars, particularly when addressing the gap of time between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the life of Jesus, for which she provides the most detail. The appendix’s helpful charts and graphs offer biblical histories and lineages at a glance. For the most part, Betz fleshes out each section with her own interpretations and understandings: “The story of Samson,” she writes, “teaches us that God recognizes that we will fail. What is important to Him is how we choose to react to our failure.” The majority of her conclusions seem meant to provide brief, inspiring insights, not in-depth analysis. Many Christian readers will find Betz’s humor and relaxed tone to be personable and relatable, and they’ll identify with her conclusions and thoughts. Although this isn’t a rigorous historical study, Betz does offer up an easy, enjoyable way for Christians to reacquaint themselves with the basics of the Bible.
An impressively succinct biblical overview for Christian readers, written with warmth and concise insight.