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by A. Victoria Chance

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
Publisher: Self

Chance’s step-by-step introduction to biblical scripture breaks down ambiguous, abstract concepts—like righteousness and faith—into friendly, interpretable bits.

In this short, snappy prelude to the central texts in Christianity, Chance offers counsel and personal interpretations of relevant passages. Understanding that the messages of the Old and New Testament require an understanding of language’s flexibility, Chance is adept at offering line-by-line “translations” of significant moments in the Bible. Divided into seven sections—with names like “The Armor of God” and “The Helmet of Salvation”—Chance’s guide offers advice to aid not only first-time readers of the Bible but also converts seeking a practical approach to implement the holy book’s teachings. To this end, the book is rife with illustrations and quickly digestible lists summarizing key points and useful tips to help embed biblical teachings into readers’ daily lives. Though the author remains committed to Christian doctrine, she also offers her own moral beliefs alongside quoted excerpts, providing an additional level of analysis to the topics she discusses. Chance’s relatively slim title may only be useful to readers looking for a quick, straightforward version of a religious self-help text. Still, the book’s adherence to scripture—and extensive citations of it—will please devout Christians as well as believers looking for new interpretations. The images and artwork Chance includes are intriguing, if not always drawn directly from scripture, and dubious illustrations implying that the world will end in 2012 are left unexplained.

Believers and nonbelievers alike will appreciate this light, modern-day approach to understanding the Bible.