In the last post we discussed the importance of obtaining the version of the Bible that is right for you. Nothing will hinder your Bible reading more than attempting to read a version that you find difficult to understand.
Besides the right Bible, what other resource could make your Bible reading more enjoyable?
A Bible Handbook
One of the biggest complaints people have with reading the Bible is that they do not know what they are reading about. How does the stuff in the minor prophets jive with what is said in the major prophets, or anything else for that matter? Why do 1st and 2nd Chronicles contain basically the same information as 1st and 2nd Kings and what is the difference? What is all that stuff in the Song of Solomon about and why is it important? What kind of a bad trip did the writer of Ecclesiastes have that caused him to write with such a negative tone? These are good questions that deserve solid answers.
This is where a Bible Handbook can be of great assistance. A Bible Handbook is a simple and concise reference book that provides you with a good overview of the Bible and how its contents are interrelated. It will also break the Bible down and give you an understanding of the message of each book, and also a brief synopsis of each chapter.
One of my personal favourite is Halley’s Bible Handbook by Pastor H. H. Halley. It was born from Pastor Halley’s conviction that everyone should be a Bible reader. He originally developed it as a little 16 page give away booklet to help his congregation understand their Bibles. Today it has grown into a book of some 800 pages that includes concise Bible commentary, archaeological discoveries that support the truth of the Bible, important historical data, and a whole lot more. Even though it contains all this information, it is still small enough to easily carry with you.
Another Bible Handbook that I would highly recommend is Dr. Henrietta Mears’ What the Bible is All About. For years Dr. Mears was the Christian Education Director at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. A highly effective Bible teacher, her Sunday School program eventually involved some 4,000 students. She was also a mentor to men of God like Billy Graham and Bill Bright. The handbook she developed also contains essential facts and historical information, but also shows how every book in the Bible points to Jesus Christ and God’s plan to transform lives through Him.
Stephen Miller has also developed a great Bible Handbook called How to Get into the Bible. This illustrated volume is packed with information and would be great for new Christians and young people. It contains all kinds of informative material such as big scenes, starring roles, plot, what to look for, famous lines, timelines, and a whole lot more.
While there are other Bible Handbooks available, these are few I would suggest. Keeping a Bible Handbook handy (pun intended) will definitely make your Bible reading more enjoyable.
Have you benefited from any of the handbooks mentioned? Leave a comment below and share your story!