Whole Bible Story, The: Everything That Happens in the Bible in Plain English

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Sometimes readers just want to know what happens next. Dr. William Marty presents the entire narrative of the Bible in chronological order from creation to the New Testament Church. The action moves smoothly from story to story without slowing down for law, poetry, prophecy, or instruction. The Whole Bible Story is perfect for new Christians looking to understand the overall flow of the Bible or seasoned believers wanting a refresher course. It can be read straight through or used as a reference tool for better ...
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The Whole Bible Story: Everything That Happens in the Bible in Plain English

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Sometimes readers just want to know what happens next. Dr. William Marty presents the entire narrative of the Bible in chronological order from creation to the New Testament Church. The action moves smoothly from story to story without slowing down for law, poetry, prophecy, or instruction. The Whole Bible Story is perfect for new Christians looking to understand the overall flow of the Bible or seasoned believers wanting a refresher course. It can be read straight through or used as a reference tool for better understanding of specific biblical events.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764208294
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 378,809
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. William H. Marty (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and has published two textbooks, Surveying the New Testament and Survey of the Old Testament. He is unique among Bible college professors in that he teaches and writes on both the New and Old Testaments. Dr. Marty lives with his wife in Chicago.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 From Creation to Babel 13

Creation (Genesis 1-2) 13

The Fall (Genesis 3) 14

The Sons of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4-6) 16

Noah (Genesis 6-9) 17

The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) 21

Chapter 2 Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's Sons 23

Abraham (Genesis 11-25) 23

Isaac (Genesis 25) 29

Jacob (Genesis 25-36) 31

Joseph (Genesis 37-50) 33

Chapter 3 Moses and the Exodus 38

Moses (Exodus 1-6) 38

The Plagues and the Exodus (Exodus 7-15) 39

Chapter 4 Wandering in the Wilderness 44

The Lord's Provision (Exodus 15-18) 44

Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-31) 46

The Golden Idol (Exodus 32) 48

Moses and the Glory of the Lord (Exodus 33-34) 49

The Tabernacle (Exodus 35-40) 51

Chapter 5 The Wilderness and the Death of Moses 54

Preparations for the Journey-From Mount Sinai to Kadesh (Numbers 1-11) 54

On the Way to Kadesh-A Spirit of Complaining (Numbers 11-12) 56

At Kadesh-Rebellion (Numbers 13-14) 56

On the Way to Moab-Spiritual Defeat and Military Victory (Numbers 14-21) 57

Balaam-A Prophet for Hire (Numbers 22-25) 59

A Second Census (Numbers 26-36) 61

Moses' Final Messages to Israel (Deuteronomy 1-33) 64

Moses' Death (Deuteronomy 34) 65

Chapter 6 The Promised Land 67

The Conquest (Joshua 1-22) 68

Rededication to the Lord (Joshua 23-24) 72

Chapter 7 The Time of the Judges 75

Israel's Failure and God's Faithfulness (Judges 1-2) 75

Early Leaders (Judges 3-5) 76

Gideon (Judges 6-12) 78

Samson (Judges 13-21) 82

Ruth (Ruth) 86

Chapter 8 The Kingdom Unites 88

Samuel (1 Samuel 1-8) 88

Saul (1 Samuel 9-15) 90

Saul and David (1 Samuel 16-31) 92

Chapter 9 David and Solomon 101

The Rule of David (2 Samuel; 1 Chronicles) 101

The Rule of Solomon (1 Kings 1-11; 2 Chronicles 1-9) 108

Chapter 10 A Kingdom Divided: Northern Kingdom 115

The Division of the Kingdom (1 Kings 12-14) 115

The History of Israel-Kings and Prophets of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 14-2 Kings 17; Jonah) 118

Chapter 11 A Kingdom Divided: Southern Kingdom 138

The Division of the Kingdom (1 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 10-12) 138

The History of Judah-Kings and Prophets of the Southern Kingdom (1 Kings 15-2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 13-36) 139

Chapter 12 God's People in Exile 157

Daniel and His Friends (Daniel) 157

Rebuilding the Temple (Ezra) 162

Esther (Esther) 165

Nehemiah and the Walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah) 170

Chapter 13 Birth and Childhood of Jesus 178

Preparing for Jesus' Birth (Matthew 1; Luke 1) 178

Jesus' Birth (Luke 2) 181

Jesus' Childhood (Matthew 2; Luke 2) 183

Chapter 14 Jesus' Early Ministry 186

(The Four Gospels)

Chapter 15 Great Galilean Ministry 195

(The Four Gospels)

Teaching and Healing 195

Facing Opposition 198

Expanding the Ministry 209

Complaints and Miracles 212

"Who Am I?" 215

Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection 217

Chapter 16 Later Judean Ministry, Perean Ministry, and Journey to Jerusalem 220

(The Four Gospels)

Confusion and Division 220

Ministering in Judea 224

Perean Ministry 228

On the Way to Jerusalem 229

Chapter 17 The Crucifixion of Jesus 234

(The Four Gospels)

Sunday: Triumphal Entry 234

Monday: Cleansing the Temple 235

Tuesday: A Day of Controversy 236

Wednesday (No recorded activity) 240

Thursday: Passover and Teaching in the Upper Room 240

The Arrest 243

Jewish Interrogation and Trial 244

Roman Interrogation and Trial 247

The Crucifixion 249

Chapter 18 Burial and Resurrection 253

(The Four Gospels)

Burial 253

The Empty Tomb 254

Jesus' Resurrection Appearances 255

Chapter 19 The Story of the Church (Acts) 261

The Gift of the Spirit (Acts 1-2) 262

Trouble on the Inside and Threats From the Outside (Acts 3-6) 264

Stephen (Acts 6-8) 266

Philip (Acts 8) 266

Saul/Paul (Acts 9) 267

Peter and the Gentiles (Acts 9-12) 269

First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14) 271

The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) 273

Second Missionary Journey-To Europe (Acts 15-18) 274

Third Missionary Journey-From Antioch to Ephesus (Acts 18-19) 279

Third Missionary Journey-From Ephesus to Jerusalem (Acts 20-21) 281

Riot and Arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21-23) 283

A Roman Prisoner (Acts 24-28) 286

Epilogue 298


The Story Ends … or Is This Just the Beginning? 299

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Good Read!

    The Whole Bible Story, Everything that Happens in the Bible in Plain English by Dr. William H. Marty is not a Bible but a narrative taken straight from the Bible. Dr. Marty has taken the Bible and left out the laws, genealogies, prophecies, poetry, and instructions and given us it's story. The story from creation from salvation comes alive in this easy to read book. This book is all of the Bible stories we learned as children and maybe some we missed.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a very easy read and just got me back to basics of the story of God and his amazing works. I thought the Bible stories came alive and kept me engaged. It was fun to revisist some Bible stories I have not read in a long time. I would encourage anyone looking for something to read or someone new to the Bible and the Christian faith to read this book.

    Disclaimer: I was provided this book by the publishers at Bethany House for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely mine.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

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    No Replacement for God's Word

    Many of us have spent our lives under the teaching of the Word and have always strived to faithfully read it on a personal basis. A problem that often occurs in situations like this, however, is that we tend to learn the Word only as a collection of doctrines or stories and we ultimately lose the big picture. What Dr. Marty has developed in The Whole Bible Story succeeds as an almost novel-like presentation of the historical events of Scripture in chronological order, giving his readers the beginning-to-end understanding of the Bible that often gets lost in year-long read-throughs of Scripture.

    While skipping lengthy prophecies, poetry, sermons, and epistles, Marty develops the Bible story (or "true history," rather) through nineteen chapters: twelve for the events of the Old Testament, and seven for those of the New. He opens each chapter by introducing the characters and events depicted, and he closes each with a brief summary. These nineteen summaries of summaries, in fact, offer an even more succinct overview of biblical history for any reader who needs a simple refresher on the order of Biblical events.

    While I enjoyed Marty's writing in this book and greatly appreciated the larger perspective on Scripture that it gave me, I do see one small problem with the book. I fear that some may take this book, as simple as it is, as a replacement for God's true Word and slow down their reading of the Truth. Events are certainly important, and this overview can certainly prove beneficial, but while it discusses the events of the Bible, it is not the Bible. Without the true words of God the Father, and without the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that permeates every book and verse of Scripture, this book is nothing more than an entertaining historical review.

    [Note: I received this book free for review from Bethany House]

    ©2011 E.T.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

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    Not Worth Your Time

    For the last few months, I've been on a minor quest to find a good book to give people that will introduce them to how to read the Bible in a meaningful way. So when I saw this book, I got excited. In the introduction, Dr. Marty claims his purpose is

    to tell the story of the Bible. It is not a paraphrase of the Bible's sixty-six books. This book skips important information. It is an effort to synthesize the storyline of the Old and New Testaments minus the laws, messages, prophecies, and parables. With very little commentary, I'm trying to give 'just the facts' - to tell the story as it is recorded.

    It sounds like a noble goal, but Marty's task is flawed from the start. When you strip away the larger story of the scriptures, you lose the heart of the story. You lose the context that gives the stories meaning. Marty mostly succeeds in giving us "just the facts", but in the process he renders the book useless to a beginner. It's the Heath Brothers' "Curse of Knowledge" - for Marty (who is professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute), "just the facts" are enough. He has a lifetime of studying the cultures and customs of the Biblical peoples that provides him with enough context that the facts have meaning. But for those who are not so lucky?

    The events of the Bible - "just the facts" - don't have enough meaning to be meaningful. That's why the Bible needs to be read in context and in community.
    I got the sense that Marty realized this - at least subconsciously - as he wrote. Sometimes, he did add interpretation. For instance, in Genesis 3, a snake tempts Eve. But Marty 'helpfully' interprets the snake as Satan. This is not a fact in Genesis 3; this is an interpretation. Which Marty is more than welcome to do (it's his book, after all) but he does this so inconsistently that it's unhelpful.

    And while the Old Testament section of the book was not great, Marty's approach is at least tolerable. It's not until he gets to the New Testament that the book falls apart. Marty assumes that all four of the Gospels are equally historically informative. He pays no attention to the Gospel writers' theological concerns, merely strips out the "facts" and smashes them all together.

    The result is an unfortunate violence to the Gospels. For instance: John moves Jesus' Temple Cleansing to the beginning of his gospel so that the whole of Jesus' ministry takes place in the context of a Holy Week. Not in Marty's book! Now Jesus just (very improbably) cleanses the Temple twice. And when he does conflate stories, Marty doesn't evince any method to choosing which Gospel author he's following. Sometimes John, sometimes Mark or Matthew and even occasionally Luke. The result is a jumbled and confusing narrative of Jesus' life (not teachings!) and death (his accounting of Holy Week is especially convoluted).

    The last time a church leader tried to do this with the Gospels, the Church roundly rejected it. We'd do well to let Marty's book fall into the same historical category - interesting, maybe a nice try, but ultimately irrelevant and useless.

    I was disappointed with this book - Marty's methodology only serves to reinforce the importance of a holistic approach to the Biblical story.

    Bottom Line: This book's not worth your time. By stripping the Bible down to 'just the facts', Marty has stolen from the Scriptures their heart and vitality. And that's not useful to anyone.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    Fitting The Pieces Together

    My Bible weighs in at a whopping 1,708 pages. Contained within those pages are numerous (and hard to pronounce) names, places, and events that can overwhelm those who are reading them for the first time. Most often it is suggested that a new believer should start with the Gospel of John or his first book, but even then it can be hard to pick up the story mid-stream. So what can we do to help them fill in those blanks and fit the many pieces together?

    This is where Dr. William H. Marty's book The Whole Bible Story: Everything That Happens in The Bible in Plain English comes in. Marty saw the frustration many new believers experienced when approaching the Bible for the first time. His goal was to write the events of the bible out in story form, allowing the reader to gain a quick overview of these events within the context of the overall storyline. Not a commentary per say, but a bible story, much like the ones we've read to our children, only for adults.

    I'm left with mixed feelings on the success of his endeavor. He does cover the historical events, and there is much to be gained in reading this as an overview of the bible and to help one fit the pieces together, but I think there is a real need to thread these events together with more than just a timeline. A new believer would be helped by understanding the narrative by more than just the chronological order. The author intended to leave out commentary and let the events speak for themselves, but a few well placed explanations could have gone a long way in showing the relevance of many of the individual points. I would have loved to have seen this written to expose how God's plan of redemption is woven throughout the whole Bible. This thread would have tied the story together into the person and work of Christ, greatly strengthening the faith of the reader.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to give the impression that the book is of no use. I found it especially helpful in the chapters dealing with the events covered in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The history of Israel and the progression of Kings and wars can get confusing to say the least. Reading these events in condensed summaries did help me to remember them, and in the right order. The book of Genesis is another in which people tend to get lost in the vast amount of time and space. A lot happens between creation and the death of Joseph. Here again this book proves itself handy.

    To sum it all up, if your looking for a resource that allows you to quickly wrap your head around the history presented in the Bible, then The Whole Bible Story might just be the book for you. If your looking for more of a theological understanding, then you may want to look for other options.

    I'd like to thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me this free copy for review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    The Whole Bible Story by Dr. William H. Marty

    I recently got a book from Bethany House Publishers titled "The Whole Bible Story" by Dr. William H. Marty. Before I get started, I need to tell you that I don't have to give this book a good review, because of some law thing. Anyway, the whole premise of this book is to tell the Bible story in "plain English". This is not a new concept, considering this is how most of the more contemporary Bible versions (like NLT, NIV, the Message, etc.) got started. This is a good book, very easy to read, and is wonderful for someone who is either not a Christian or a new Christian. This book is set up almost like a play, with each chapter opening with main characters and the setting. Then it goes to tell the Bible story, nearly verse by verse without the little superscripts that mark the verses, breaking each chapter up into different "acts". At the end of each chapter there is a chapter summary, summarizing the chapter, obviously? The Bible itself has a lot of repetion between different books (i.e, I and II Samuel, I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles, the Gospels, etc.) This book eliminates this, because it reads as a chronological book. This book does, however, leave out books such as Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and all of the letters. By no means does the book replace a Bible, but it is a good explanatory guide as well as a good chronological guide.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    The whole bible

    Excellent overview

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You Will Be Glad You Read This

    Dr. William H. Marty in his new book, "The Whole Bible Story" published by Bethany House Publishers writes about "everything that happens in the Bible in plain English

    Well it is not really "everything" that happens in the Bible, Dr. Marty has deliberately left off the Epistles and Revelation. What Dr. Marty has intended to do with this book is to provide a Biblical narrative that is the story of mankind and salvation. "The Whole Bible Story" is not a paraphrase or another translation this is a prose story of the events in the Bible up to the end of the book of Acts.

    If you have never read the Bible or if you feel that reading the Bible is very difficult, especially the "begats" and most of the laws (that seems to be where most readers bog down) then reading this book will be a big help for you. Dr. Marty has given us a clear narrative of the events that caused the need for salvation and the events that led up to the coming of Jesus. Then he takes us through the life of Jesus, his death and the birth of the Church. Once you read this book it will give you a real taste to read the actual Bible and then understand the true richness of the Bible. Once you get started you will not want to stop. I recommend this book highly.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for this review. 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bible Synopsis

    The Bible is a wonderful book filled with the miracles, power, and love of God. But many people don't pick it up because they think it is difficult to read and/or understand. In his new book, "The Whole Bible Story," Dr. William Marty takes the reader through the Bible story using, as he puts it, plain English. The book breaks down the Bible's 66 books into 19 sections plus an Epilogue. Each section points the reader to a part of the story, listing the main characters and settings. When read as a whole, the reader gets an easy to understand Bible synopsis. It can also be used in conjunction with the Bible because Dr. Marty includes the Scripture passage(s) for each chapter.

    I found this book a little hard to read because I love to read my Bible, and at times I thought the language here was too plain, too simplistic. But, when I think of the many people who don't read the Bible but hunger for the story, I find this book to be a wonderful addition to libraries. Dr. Marty is extremely knowledgeable and his love for the Bible story is clearly seen through these pages. I want to thank Bethany House for my copy of the book. The opinions here are mine.

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