The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible

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Overview

"Campbell and Bell have done a masterful job of introducing readers to the Bible."
—James T. Dyet, author of over 30 bible study courses

This revised edition continues to walk both experienced Bible readers and those seeking it out for the first time through a chronological, story-by-story and person-by-person experience. Complete with maps of journeys and explanations of the acts and epistles, this book ...

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Overview

"Campbell and Bell have done a masterful job of introducing readers to the Bible."
—James T. Dyet, author of over 30 bible study courses

This revised edition continues to walk both experienced Bible readers and those seeking it out for the first time through a chronological, story-by-story and person-by-person experience. Complete with maps of journeys and explanations of the acts and epistles, this book includes:


• The journeys of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, and the law from Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, and Kings, including David and Goliath, Gideon and Samson, and King Solomon
• The captives, the women, the poets, the prophets, and more through the Old Testament
• The story of Jesus as told in the four Gospels
• The acts of the Apostles as they spread the word of the new church; the letters from Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude on a variety of topics; and John's apocalyptic Revelation
• The Apocrypha including Maccabees 1 and 2 along with other books included for other practices
• An all new reference glossary featuring names and places with descriptions and cross-references to their discussion in the Bible

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028643823
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

James S. Bell, Jr., owner of Whitestone Communications, has served as executive editor of Moody Press and director of religious publishing at Doubleday. He has authored four Complete Idiot's Guides including the Complete Idiot's Guide to Prayer.
Stan Campbell is author of the eight-book BibleLog series, the New Testament Quick Studies series, and a host of other Bible-related youth products. He is also the co-author of Complete Idiot's Guide to the Book of Revelation.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Before You Begin 1
1 The B-I-B-L-E, Is That a Book for Me? 3
Check Your Bible IQ 4
What's in It for Me? 7
Has Bible Content Changed over the Years? 9
How Did We Get Our Bible from a Bunch of Manuscripts? 9
Choosing the Best Bible from All the Good Books 12
2 Claims and Disclaimers 15
Seeing the Whole Elephant 15
Why Put Up with All These Problems? 19
The Layout of the Bible 20
Stocking Your Bible Toolbox 21
Part 2 The Old Testament 23
3 In the Beginning 25
What Was Before the Beginning? (Genesis 1:1) 25
A Good Day's Work (Genesis 1:1--2:3) 26
Adam and Eve in a Brave Nude World (Genesis 2:4-25) 27
Fall Comes to Eden (Genesis 3) 27
Brother Against Brother (Genesis 4:1-16) 29
A Population Explosion (Genesis 4:17-5) 30
Looks Like Rain ... (Genesis 6-7) 31
Rain, Rain, Go Away (Genesis 8:1-9:17) 32
What Do You Do with a Drunken Ex-Sailor? (Genesis 9:18-29) 32
No Comprende: Conversations at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10-11) 33
4 Abraham: A Not-So-Accidental Tourist 35
Go West, Old Man (Genesis 11:27-12:9) 36
Take My Wife--I Mean, Sister ... Please! (Genesis 12:10-20) 38
Lots of Trouble from Lot and His Lot (Genesis 13-14) 39
Gone Today, Heir Tomorrow (Genesis 15) 40
Sarah Problem Here? (Genesis 16) 41
The Sign of (Ouch!) Faith (Genesis 17) 42
Let's Make a Deal (Genesis 18) 42
Hot Time in the Cities (Genesis 19:1-29) 43
A Family Affair (Genesis 19:23-29) 45
All I Want Is the Heir That I Breed (Genesis 20-22) 45
5 Isaac and Jacob: Lessons in Family Dysfunction 49
Isaac's Mail-Order Bride (Genesis 23-25:18) 49
Birthright Gumbo (Genesis 25:19-34) 50
Like Father, Like Son (Genesis 26) 51
The Old Man and Deceit (Genesis 27-28:9) 53
Stairway to Heaven (Genesis 28:10-22) 54
The Wrong "Honey" on the Honeymoon (Genesis 29:1-30) 54
Baby, Baby, Baby, Etc. (Genesis 29:31-30:23) 55
An Early Experiment in Genetic Engineering (Genesis 30:25-43) 56
On the Road Again (Genesis 31) 57
Getting All Out of Joint (Genesis 32) 58
He Saw Esau (Genesis 33, 35-36) 59
6 Joseph: Not Your Average Joe 61
Dream a Little Dream of Me (Genesis 37:1-11) 61
Ten Angry Men (Genesis 37:12-36) 62
"Mrs. Potiphar, I'm a Joe--Not a John" (Genesis 39) 63
A Baker, a Cupbearer, and a Hangman (Genesis 40) 63
Dreaming of the Cows 'n' the Corn (Genesis 41:1-40) 64
From Ex-Con to CEO (Genesis 41:41-57) 64
I Never Forget a Face--Much Less Ten of Them (Genesis 42) 65
Ben There, Done That (Genesis 43-44) 66
Family Reunion (Genesis 45-47:12) 67
A Fair Deal from Pharaoh? (Genesis 47:13-26) 68
The Last of the Patriarchs (Genesis 47:28-50:26) 69
7 Moses: God's Reluctant Hero 71
Four Centuries of Decline, from Joe to Moe (Exodus 1) 71
Rollin' on the River (Exodus 2:1-10) 72
Hit and Run (Exodus 2:11-25) 73
Why? Because the Talking Bush Said So! (Exodus 3-4) 73
Bricks Without Straw (Exodus 5-6) 74
The Plague's the Thing (Exodus 7-11) 75
The First Passover (Exodus 11-12:30) 76
An Order of 600,000 Israelite Families--to Go! (Exodus 12:31-13) 77
Stalk Like an Egyptian (Exodus 14-15:21) 77
Manna Come and Me Want to Go Home (Exodus 15:22-17:7) 78
Smoke on the Mountain and Fire in the Sky (Exodus 19-31) 80
Unholy Cow! (Exodus 32-34) 81
The Group Regroups (Exodus 35-40) 82
Jealousy and Leprosy: Two Contagious Diseases (Numbers 10-12) 83
Spy vs. Spy (Numbers 13-14) 83
Generation Next (Numbers 27-35) 84
8 The Good, the Bad, and the Lovely 87
Next in Command (Joshua 1) 88
Hiding Out in the Red-Light District (Joshua 2) 88
The Miraculous Water Crossing You Hardly Ever Hear About (Joshua 3-5:12) 89
Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho--but First, Some Laps (Joshua 5:13-8) 90
If You Can't Beat Them, Psyche Them Out (Joshua 9) 91
The First Daylight Savings Time (Joshua 10-12) 92
Movin' In (Joshua 13-24) 93
The Apathy of Defeat (Judges 1-2) 94
Here Come the Judges! (Judges 3-16) 94
No Longer Ruthless (Ruth 1-4) 99
9 That's Saul, Folks! 101
Prayer? So That's Where Babies Come From! (1 Samuel 1-2:11) 101
Problems with the Priest Hoods (1 Samuel 2:12-26) 102
Speak Three Times from the Ceiling If You Want Me (1 Samuel 3) 102
Raiders of the Lord's Ark (1 Samuel 4-7) 103
King Me! (1 Samuel 8-10) 104
Give in to You? My Eye! (1 Samuel 10-12) 105
Who Is This "Phyllis Stein," and Why Are There So Many of Her? (1 Samuel 13-14) 106
The Bleat Goes On (1 Samuel 15) 107
Harping on Saul's Problem (1 Samuel 16-17) 108
Fee-Fi-Foe-Fight, I Want the Blood of an Israelite (1 Samuel 17) 108
Banned, on the Run (1 Samuel 18-23) 109
A Little Longer Live the King! (1 Samuel 24-26) 111
A Short Ghost Story (1 Samuel 27-31) 112
10 David: Now for Some King Completely Different 115
Here Comes the New Boss, Not Like the Old Boss (2 Samuel 1-4) 115
King at Last! (2 Samuel 5) 117
Disembarking the Ark (2 Samuel 6) 118
Israel: Growing by Leaps and Boundaries (2 Samuel 8-10) 119
My Kingdom for a House (2 Samuel 7) 120
Splish, Splash, I Was Taking a Bath ... (2 Samuel 11) 120
Not Ewe, Too! (2 Samuel 12) 121
Rape, Revenge, and Regrets (2 Samuel 13) 123
The Hair Apparent (2 Samuel 14-16:14) 124
Plants, Plots, and Perverse Pleasures (2 Samuel 16:15-17:29) 125
A Really, Really Bad Hair Day (2 Samuel 18) 125
Back in Business (2 Samuel 19:9-21) 126
11 The Riches-to-Rags Story of Israel and Judah 129
Solomon's Successful Succession (1 Kings 1) 129
Wisdom? In Your Dreams! (1 Kings 2-4) 130
Temple Temps (1 Kings 5-9) 132
Queen for a Stay (1 Kings 10) 133
The Odds Against Success Are About a Thousand to One (1 Kings 11) 133
Split Decision (1 Kings 12) 134
Down Come the Ravens, Up Goes the Chariot (1 Kings 17-19; 2 Kings 1-2) 141
He's a Real No-Hair Man (1 Kings 19:19-21; 2 Kings 2-8:15) 142
12 Making the Best of a Bad Situation 145
The Long Walk Home (Ezra 1-2) 146
Sayonara, Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1-2:10) 149
If You Knew Susa Like Esther Knew Susa (Esther 1-2:18) 151
The Plot Thickens (Esther 2:19-4) 152
Queen Save the Godly (Esther 5-7) 153
A Good Job Description (Job 1:1-4) 155
With Friends Like These ... (Job 3-37) 156
Another Voice Heard (Job 38-41) 157
Another Happy Ending (Job 42) 157
13 Old Testament Lit. 101 159
Psing Us a Psong, You're the Psalmist 159
Solomon Says 163
Ecclesiastes: The Book of Meaning--and Meaninglessness 166
The Song of Songs (Parental Warning: Explicit Lyrics) 168
14 Tell-a-Vision Personalities 171
Isaiah: Hot Lips, Warm Heart 171
Don't Cry for Me, Jeremiah 174
How Deserted Lies the City 177
Ezekiel: This Wheel's on Fire 178
Daniel Is Traveling Tonight on the Plain 181
I Don't Like the Look of This Graffiti 182
You Can't Hide Your Lion Eyes 182
Spending Some Time in the Minors 184
Part 3 The New Testament
15 God's Baby Gift 191
Where Are We Going? 191
What Have We Missed? 192
Unplanned Parenthood (Luke 1) 194
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Matthew 2; Luke 2) 196
How John Became "the Baptist" (Matthew 3; Luke 3; John 1:29-34) 199
The Devil Couldn't Make Him Do It (Matthew 4:1-11) 200
The Dusty Dozen (Matthew 4:18-22, 9:9; Luke 10:2-4; John 1:35-51) 201
One Reason Why You Can't Go Home Again (Luke 4:14-30) 202
Nic at Night (John 3:1-21) 203
A Chat Around the Water Cooler (John 4:1-42) 204
Can Someone Get This Lady a Robe? (John 8:1-11) 206
16 We're Going to Need to See Some ID 209
Demons, Diseases, and Disabilities 210
It's Not Hard to Rule Mother Nature 212
We're Trying to Divide This Food, but It Keeps Multiplying (Matthew 14:13-21) 214
I Was Dead for a While, but I'm Much Better Now (Mark 5:21-43) 216
Another Stinking Resurrection (John 11) 216
Some Relationships Require a Miracle 218
A Drop in the Miracle Bucket 219
17 Did I Hear That Right? 221
Up the Mountain for Some Higher Education (Matthew 5-7) 222
Coming Down with a Code 225
The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) 227
The Prodigal Son and Other Lost Things (Luke 15) 228
Hellfire and Damnation 230
New Wine and Hard Teachings 232
Jesus' Not-So-Secret Identity 234
The Loved One That Got Away (Mark 10:17-23) 235
18 Arose by Any Other Name ... 237
The Big Question 238
Glow (but Don't Tell It) on the Mountain (Luke 9:28-36) 238
An Entrance Fit for a King (Luke 19:28-44) 239
Jesus the Bouncer (Mark 11:15-18) 239
Final Countdown 240
A Meal Worthy of a da Vinci Painting 241
Disciples Squabble, Then They All Fall Down 242
Trial, Trial Again 244
Cross Purposes 246
Friends in High Places 248
Alive Again 248
Getting the Story Straight 249
For Pete's (and Thom's) Sake 250
19 The Church Hits the Road 253
Onward and Upward (Acts 1) 254
On a Wind and a Prayer (Acts 2:1-41) 254
Peter Principal (Acts 2:42-5) 255
The Subordinate Seven (Acts 6-8) 256
Blinded by the Light (Acts 9:1-31) 258
Peter, Peter, Reptile Eater (Acts 9:21-12) 258
Road Trip #1 (Acts 13-15:35) 259
Road Trip #2 (Acts 15:36-21:36) 261
Road Trip #3 (Acts 21:37-28) 266
20 You've Got Mail! 269
Holy Microcosm! 270
Buon Giorno, Roma (Romans 1-3) 271
The Choice of a New Generation (Romans 9-11) 275
1,000 Prostitutes--No Waiting (1 Corinthians 1:1-8) 276
Five Intelligible Words (1 Corinthians 14) 280
All Rise (1 Corinthians 15-16) 281
Same Church, Different Problems (2 Corinthians 1-5) 282
Paul vs. the Super-Apostles: A Grudge Match (2 Corinthians 10-13) 282
21 More of the Apostle's Epistles 285
Galatian Salutations 286
An Emphasis on Ephesus 287
Philippians: Don't Worry, Be Joyful 289
Colossians: Who's Number One? 290
1 and 2 Thessalonians: Guess Who's Coming (Back) to See Us? 291
Paul as Mentor (1 and 2 Timothy; Titus) 293
Philemon: A Runaway Slave Makes a Round Trip 296
22 Still More People Doing the Write Thing 297
Hebrews: Everything Old Is New Again 298
James: Uncommonly Common Sense 301
Peter's Priority Mail 303
Dear John Letters 306
Jude Says Hey 308
Yours Truly 309
23 It's the End of the World as We Know It 311
Club Med Meets Century One (Revelation 1) 312
Rate-a-Church (Revelation 2-3) 313
Up, Up, and Away (Revelation 4-5) 314
Scroll with the Punches (Revelation 6-7) 316
The Trumpet Septer You Never Want to Hear (Revelation 8-9) 317
God's Witness Protection Program (Revelation 10-11:14) 318
The Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:15-14) 319
Bowled Over (Revelation 16-18) 322
Rider on the Storm (Revelation 19-20) 323
Trying to Make Sense of It All 324
Heaven: New and Improved (Revelation 21-22) 325
The End? Or Just the Beginning? 327
Appendixes
A The Books of the Bible 329
B Where Can You Go from Here? 333
C Reading the Bible in One Year 337
Index 351
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Not for Idiots, not just for Christians, but for everyone who wants to be Biblicaly literate and enjoy the process of becoming so.

    Many times I have set out to read the Bible from cover to cover. I almost always got bogged down in Deuteromony.

    A basic knowledge of the Bible is necessary to be culurally literate. In everyday language, biblical phrases and stories abound. This book makes it possible for people of all ages and faiths to read and enjoy the essence of the Bible. It reads like a narrative but adds litte asides of interesting cultural, linguistic or geographical tidbits tha enhance the story.

    I particularly enjoy the section titles that seem to capture the key point of the story in a few clever and sometimes delightfully sarcastic words. This alone keeps the reader going.

    Although some parts of the Bible are not included in the narraive, they are not key to understanding the message and the writer points to them for those who want to pursue more thorough study.

    The writer includes a preview and a "key points to remember" for each section. This is a very helpful technique. The author did an exellent job of picking out the essential learnings so that the reader is not overwhelmed. Kind of like the study guide for an imaginary test.

    This book can be used as a stand alone, or read alongside the Bible itself. It is not a translation of Biblial text, nor is it intended to be a study guide. It is not a paraphrase. It is more of a story of the stories of the Bible. Therefore it is a perfect venue for seasoned Bible study veterans who want to relax and take a bird's eye view. It is also suitable for readers who want to know about the Bible as literature and might even be great tool for a college literature class. Those who embrace Christianity as their faith but who are somtimes embarrased by lack of knowledge of the Bible might find this to be a great resource. Young people would find it easy reading while the tongue-in-cheek remarks and witty subtitles make it interesting. I highly recommend this book to people of all faiths and all ages.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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