Customer Reviews for

The Chronological Guide to the Bible

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted March 18, 2010

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    The Chronological Guide to the Bible

    The Chronological Guide to the Bible
    I had the opportunity to read and review the full color bible guide, the Chronological Guide to the Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This study guide is a study guide/ encyclopedia/ history book hybrid, with its main focus on biblical history, society and culture. Divided into nine chronological epochs, the chapters of this book may be read consecutively in order or individually. Rather than having a chapter based on each individual bible book, the bible is broken down into consecutive historical periods, analogous to a history book. The books of the bible are summarized and discussed within the historical, socio-economic period in which they occur.
    Additional content such as mini articles, photos, maps and timelines are inserted within the text. These articles provide to the modern reader, background material for the bible stories and heroes. Such material most likely would be familiar to the ancient reader, yet not to the modern reader. Its inclusion is very enlightening and provides the reader with a much better understanding of the ancient society and cultures of the bible. This bible guide is well suited for the secular student as well as the bible enthusiast.
    I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the bible as well as in ancient history. One thing to keep in mind is that this book is not intended to be a spiritually motivational book. Nor is it a text on theology. The material of this book is replicated from the supplementary material from the Thomas Nelson Chronological Study bible. Therefore if you own that particular study bible you will not find new material in this study guide.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

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    The Chronological Guide to the Bible

    The Chronological Guide to the Bible by Thomas Nelson is an adaptation of The Chronological Study Bible. Therefore, if you own that book you most likely will not see any new info in this guide. The Chronological Guide to the Bible lists nine different ages or epochs of the Bible. It gives timelines, short articles, maps, outlines and scripture reading lists in chronological order for each epoch.

    Putting together the Bible text in chronological order would be a daunting task especially in the Old Testament. This is where The Chronological Guide to the Bible helps your Bible study the most. For example, if you are studying 1, 2 Samuel and want to read all biblical accounts during that time this guide is helpful. In addition, the timelines and maps are also beneficial. The articles are lacking depth but they fulfill their purpose. If you enjoy Biblical history and want a starting point to study the Scriptures in chronological order then look no further. However, as with all Bible study resources I would recommend using discernment while reading.

    * Disclosure: I received a free copy of this Bible for being a member of Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze.com (http://BookSneeze.com) Book Review Blogger program.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2010

    Review of this book.

    was quite happy when I first received this book. The copy was beautiful and every single page was glossy and colourful. (What girl doesn't like a bit of shiny in her life?!) There were parts of this book that I loved, and parts that I didn't. I would not recommend it to a new/non Christian. The book, does hold up to it's promise of providing insight into the culture and way off life during the Biblical Times. There is a lot of great information which helps to give new insights to many bible stories which is fantastic. It also contains a Chronological Reading Guide for the Bible and outlines for every bible book.

    The think I did not like about it was that it too often sides with other outside sources over the bible. There seems to be times when it tries to make belief in the bible seem wrong. It'll claim for example, that "such and such biblical king never existed at the time stated in the bible", sometimes for the reason that they "haven't found any records with that name on it." (Without mentioning the possibility of these records still being buried somewhere or being destroyed. ) They will try to give much proof that such and such a king did not exist and then add as an afterthought something like, 'of course maybe he did exist but wasn't really a king.' When I look it up in the bible, said person was never said to be a king in any translation, just "a rich man of power". This kind of situation happened many times over.

    The other thing I had a problem with (or maybe it's an expansion of the first thing), is that if there is any comparison between Christianity and other religions it focuses on it to the point where some would come to think that Christianity is nothing but a mere copy and not a true religion. It ignores the differences between the two religions and ignores the fact that many of these were the same religion early early on but broke off in different directions, keeping some of the same beliefs. (I'd have to cite you far too much of the book to give an example, so you'll have to trust me on this one.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    Valuable Resource

    I recently studied my way through Chronological Guide to the Bible: Explore God's Word in Historical Order. The book was a useful guide that I know I will turn to again and again for future reference.

    Chronoloigal Guide to the Bible has many features worth mentioning that make it a great resource for anyone who is serious about Bible study. First, the books of the Bible are organized according to the time in which they were written. Explanations are given as to how the order of books was determined and various theories are presented. The contributors are quick to note conflicting evidence and explain in detail how they have come to the conclusion they are presenting.

    In addition, the guide is filled with historical, cultural, and political information that deepens one's understanding of the Scriptures. For example, extensive information is given regarding Pagan practices and how those cultural traditions shaped the interaction of God and his people. Deeper understanding is also gained by historical information provided on important people that appear in the Bible. Many Egyptian, Greek and Roman rulers are outlines in the guide.

    Finally, eye opening information regarding the early church is also shared. Timelines, Archaeology and the Past, and Peoples and Groups are just a few of the many headings you will find throughout the book. Each gives valuable information that will bring additional understanding to the Biblical text.

    The Chronological Guide to the Bible would be an excellent resource for anyone who teaches. It can also be used in daily devotions and study to help one better comprehend the life-changing message found in God's Word.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very Helpful!

    Chronological Bibles are a great idea. They sort the Scriptures into chronological order which allows the reader to gain a better understanding of the big picture of the Bible. One of the drawbacks to chronological Bibles is that the reader is pinned down to that specific Bible. They have to read it in that version and make notes in that copy.

    Thomas Nelson has brilliantly designed The Chronological Guide to the Bible. This book works with any translation of the Bible, so you can use your own copy of Scripture to read in chronological order! The book divides Scripture into nine epochs of time. Not only does it point you to the chronological order of Scripture, but it includes a numerous amount of study notes, illustrations, and graphs. It is like all of the assets of a study Bible that can be used with your Bible! I love all the history in this book. Often times when I read Scripture, I wonder about the historical context. The Chronological Guide to the Bible makes the Scriptures come alive!

    This book was provided for my review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    Great Guide for Study

    I have recently finished reading The Chronological Guide to the Bible. This is a non-fiction book that can be utilized with any translation of the Bible. As the title describes, the book is a guide to the Bible. It works similar to a Manners and Customs book or a commentary on various portions from the scripture. The goal of the book is to put the information in chronological order. I do have to say that I appreciated that in the introduction it is mentioned that they cannot know for sure if the books were written the exact order that they are presented. They do a good job at categorizing the information and making it approachable. As a book of the bible is introduced, it is given a brief outline for the book itself. There were many bits of information that I had never thought about before, and others that I found fascinating. All in all, I had been looking for a book like this for several years, and was very happy to find it in a high quality full color book. The only addition I would have appreciated would be an index that would allow someone to find specific portions quicker. I first and foremost appreciated the information in the book, and could have enjoyed it just as well if it had not been in "chronological order."

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Info but Confusing Format

    True to its title, "Chronological Guide to the Bible" goes through Biblical events in chronological order, providing historical insight and background. Unfortunately, rearranging things to fit a historical order makes for a confusing format. The book's cover claims it "works with any translation," but with its confusing format and lack of organization, readers will find it difficult to look up the many suggested passages or navigate their way through the book when looking for specific events.

    Divided into nine epochs, the book includes book summaries and outlines, time lines, maps, reading guides, and random side bars (if you can even call them that). Colored pictures and informational facts make the read a bit easier, but the overall layout is too random and has too much white space.

    That said, "Chronological Guide to the Bible" still makes an interesting reference book if the reader is willing to wade into the book and find its hidden gems. If the reader has time, he may also read the book straight through, which allows the book to flow more easily.


    I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze.com in return for my honest review.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

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    Historical Insight as well as a chronological reading guide

    For longer than I care to admit I've been wanting to read the Bible in chronological order but I always get distracted when working from a list. Chronological Guide to the Bible offers a very easy way to get engaged with the history, time period, customs, geology, laws, and civilizations that existed during the Biblical time periods. Divided into nine epochs, each period is examined while providing a chronological reading guide. I also think that the authors listened to reader feedback from their Chronological Study Bible and introduced this for people who have a strong preference for one Bible translation over another. This can be used with any translation.
    The authors also offer records from non-Biblical sources that either support, add to, or offer a different perspective from the Bible. Combined with Nelson's Complete Book of BIble Maps and Charts, 3rd Edition and a Bible almanac, I'm really getting so much more out of the Bible than in the past.
    I received this book from BookSneeze for review.

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  • Posted March 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Chronological Guide to the Bible

    Shaken Up Again!

    Everything I said about the Chronological Study Bible (Thomas Nelson) I can /could say about the Chronological Guide to the Bible. Its chockfull of cultural information, time capsules and explanations of difficult subjects.

    It's easy to use. It's well illustrated. Imagine the Psalms sprinkled throughout the Old Testament or the Gospels intermingled and printed in order of happening events.

    Scholars, pastors, teachers and serious writers will find it invaluable because it eliminates the need for several other study books, but everyday folk like me will appreciate it too.

    There I said it again. BUT the best ting about this study guide is that I can use it with my favourite version of my favourite Bible. This is the big difference between it and the Chronological Study Bible. Grand as the Bible is, it must be used in that particular version.

    So here I sit with my guide in one hand and my Amplified Version in another and I know what was going on in the worlds when a certain passage of scripture was written. (Where scholars disagree, the guide is quite careful to say so and make an honest attempt at the correct answer). I can check out the order of Biblical history.
    I can admire the fine quality paper and clear print. Honestly I can find nothing to put me off this publication at all. You will like it.

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

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    Attractive but Unhelpful

    In an attempt to be all things to all people, Thomas Nelson's The Chronological Guide to the Bible widely misses the mark. The book uses the same chronological progression popularized in the Chronological Study Bible and coupled it with additional information intended to allow the reader to, "See the people, places, and events of the Bible come alive." The book divides biblical history into nine epochs. Each epoch is introduced with a brief historical overview. It goes on to include individual introductions for the biblical books of that time period, as well as outlines, overviews, timelines and relevant historical and archaeological tidbits. The format, design and layout of the book are beautiful. The exceptional graphic design is worthy of far more than the paperback binding.

    If format, design and layout were the criteria used for judging this book, it would be worthy of the highest recommendation. But ultimately, books must be judged on their content-especially biblical reference books. And the content of this book is weak. In an attempt to appeal to the broadest audience possible, the editors chose to present most matters of biblical authorship and dating as open to question. "In the case of debated issues this biblical guide avoids presenting a single, biased, perspective. Rather it treats evenhandedly the entire spectrum of credible opinion on disputed matters-both the views of traditional, conservative Bible students and those of modern, critical scholarship." The only dates and data that are represented concretely is the particular interpretation of archaeological data they present. The entire spectrum of credible opinion is not considered and particular interpretations of archaeological data are presented as indisputable facts. Meanwhile, everything from the route of the Exodus to single authorship of Isaiah to dating The Revelation is called into question. Many informational inclusions are incomplete and misleading at best. For example, the Gilgamesh Epic is presented as being very similar to the flood account in Genesis, when they are in fact completely dissimilar. Likewise, the book of Job is compared to Mesopotamian "Jobs" when in actuality, the stories are opposite in meaning. Those are but two of the many examples of inaccurate or misleading historical "facts" placed alongside the "debatable" historicity of Scripture. In its quest for unbiased evenhandedness, this book is helpful to few and, due to its biased inaccuracies, has the potential for harm.

    Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. In no way did that influence my opinion of the book or my review.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Love it!

    I am always on the look out for a book that can help me in my journey through the Bible. This book is one I like and am going to use for years to come!

    I like that it works with any translation. It has nine enoch's and they have pictures, go into detail of important date and such from every book of the bible. This book has detailed outlines and helps to explain in a way that you can clearly understand.

    It is not misleading, very good for people who are just starting to read the Bible, who are continuing through the Bible, or who are reading again for the millionth time.

    I like the detailed explanation of events that this book gives. Sometimes I hear in church, read online, or read in the Bible about an event and I have no idea what is going on, even after I pick up my bible and read it. This is very helpful in this part for me, I love that if I am like "what?", even after I have checked out the Bible, this can explain it more to me. Like a friend helping to slowly explain it to you!

    This book is from Thomas Nelson and was provided for review as part of their BookSneeze program.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Review: The Chronological Guide to the Bible

    I was pretty excited when I saw that Thomas Nelson was offering a free review copy of The Chronological Guide to the Bible. I had seen Chronological Bibles out there, but had steered clear from them in the past.

    Two things jumped out at me right away. The first was:

    This chronological guide's attempt to rearrange the Bible text in the order of the events it narrates may be a bit unsettling at first for some Bible readers, as though it is a violation of the integrity of the Bible. The goal of this chronological guide is not to replace the time-honored canonical arrangement, but instead to honor the time as the setting in which the biblical record is recorded. (vii)

    I found this honesty to be refreshing.

    The second was:

    In the case of debated issues this biblical guide avoids presenting a single, biased perspective. Rather, it treats evenhandedly the entire spectrum of credible options on disputed matters-both the views of traditional, conservative Bible students and those of modern, critical scholarship. No attempt is made to persuade the readers that one particular view is correct; that determination is ultimately their prayerful and thoughtful responsibility. (vii)

    Case in point, when looking at the Exodus, the contributors present cases for two dates of the Exodus: one in the 15th century (approximately 1446 BCE) and the other in the 13th century (approximately 1275 BCE). Reason for each date are given, but no final determination is given. (20)

    I did not feel that the theological leanings of the contributors was being pushed on me at any time throughout the book. I find this book to be an excellent resource that has many practical applications for those in a congregational context.

    I give this 4 out of 5 stars.

    Disclaimer:
    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    The Bible in Chronological Order

    I love history. So, I thought this would be an interesting book. The author who wrote the introduction is very clear on how most scholars can't agree on any one chronological look at the biblical texts. He also explains the time periods and a very small sampling of that time. I highly suggest reading the introduction, it will give the reader a more thorough understanding of the history and archeological tense of the book. If you aren't an early history history buff; you will still be able to read and use this book with a good amount of understanding. It is divided into 9 Epochs or sections, each with a quick over view and historical and archeological findings from the area and time period. I found these to be extremely helpful and really get you engaged into the next time period. The scholars compare biblical text to other texts of the same time period and even talk about the layout in comparison to other historical texts.

    There are historical paintings, images, timelines and drawings through out the book. My only complaint...is they have a early exodus and a late exodus time line for various people and series of events...ie Abraham on pages 12 & 13 but is not explained until page 21. I was very confused by this and even my husband a Seminary student was lost. (He is a very good student by the way) Once we found the explanation it made helped a lot but you have to jump ahead to the next "Epoch".

    I enjoy this book as a reference and as a reference it should be used with additional references so that you, the reader can make the best educated decisions and choices.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    Studying the Bible in order

    I read the entire Old Testament last year and found it very interesting to read through the books all at once. I was curious what it would be like to read the the books on the kings and the books by the prophets all in chronological order. This Guide is a great companion to provide some context. It can be used to guide your reading order with any Bible.

    The book itself is small, but high quality. I love those thick glossy reference book pages with vivid colors. The introductions do a great job of explaining how one goes about putting the Bible in chronological order. Issues and concerns are well addressed so the user knows what they are getting. Each section is about a different epoch and describes the state of the earth, a list of and description of the books of the Bible that relate events during that epoch, and major points of history and of the biblical accounts. There is also a chronological reading guide for each epoch or sub-epoch. These are placed in each chapter. My one recommendation would be to repeat all of those as an appendix.

    The level of detail is really wonderful, and the format makes it very approachable with time lines, lists, and well delineated sections of informational paragraphs. In reading the first few epochs, I found the text a little heavy on showing how other cultures had rituals or explanations that were very similar to the Bible. I agree with the facts and think the finding is interesting. But sometimes the book seemed to interpret the biblical event as just another instance of this, rather than as relating the people of God acting as God directed. This doesn't happen too often, and other sections are much clearer in this respect.

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