The Story NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People

The Story NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People

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The Story NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People by Adam Barr

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD” IS MORE THAN JUST A CLICHÉ. God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters, The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption; and this story’s true! From the foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee: “This book tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves his children, who established for them a way of salvation and provided a route to eternity. Each story in these 31 chapters reveals the God of grace---the God who speaks; the God who acts; the God who listens; the God whose love for his people culminated in his sacrifice of Jesus, his only Son, to atone for the sins of humanity.” Learn more about this whole-church experience at

11.5-point type size

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310950974
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 04/21/2011
Edition description: Hardcover, Jacketed
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 66,032
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Story


Copyright © 2011 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-95097-4

Chapter One

Creation: The Beginning of Life as We Know It

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, "Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water." So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning —the third day.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

    "This is now bone of my bones
      and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called 'woman,'
      for she was taken out of man."

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

God had created a beautiful world and filled it with glorious, diverse creatures. Of all his creation, he singled out two humans to build a relationship with—Adam and Eve. These two people were blessed to share their paradise with each other and God, so why would they want anything else?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

"You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"

He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,

    "Cursed are you above all livestock
      and all wild animals!
    You will crawl on your belly
      and you will eat dust
      all the days of your life.
    And I will put enmity
        between you and the woman,
        and between your offspring and hers;
      he will crush your head,
        and you will strike his heel."

To the woman he said,

    "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
      with painful labor you will give birth to children.
    Your desire will be for your husband,
      and he will rule over you."

To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat from it,'

    "Cursed is the ground because of you;
      through painful toil you will eat food from it
      all the days of your life.
    It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
      and you will eat the plants of the field.
    By the sweat of your brow
      you will eat your food
    until you return to the ground,
      since from it you were taken;
    for dust you are
      and to dust you will return."

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it."

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.


Excerpted from The Story Copyright © 2011 by Zondervan . Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee....................vii
Timeline of The Story....................xi
1 Creation: The Beginning of Life as We Know It....................1
2 God Builds a Nation....................13
3 Joseph: From Slave to Deputy Pharaoh....................29
4 Deliverance....................43
5 New Commands and a New Covenant....................59
6 Wandering....................71
7 The Battle Begins....................89
8 A Few Good Men ... and Women....................103
9 The Faith of a Foreign Woman....................121
10 Standing Tall, Falling Hard....................129
11 From Shepherd to King....................145
12 The Trials of a King....................161
13 The King Who Had It All....................175
14 A Kingdom Torn in Two....................193
15 God's Messengers....................203
16 The Beginning of the End (of the Kingdom of Israel)....................219
17 The Kingdoms' Fall....................231
18 Daniel in Exile....................249
19 The Return Home....................263
20 The Queen of Beauty and Courage....................275
21 Rebuilding the Walls....................291
22 The Birth of the King....................309
23 Jesus' Ministry Begins....................321
24 No Ordinary Man....................335
25 Jesus, the Son of God....................353
26 The Hour of Darkness....................367
27 The Resurrection....................381
28 New Beginnings....................389
29 Paul's Mission....................407
30 Paul's Final Days....................439
31 The End of Time....................459
Discussion Questions....................473
Chart of References....................495

Customer Reviews

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Niv Story 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 126 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've found this to help move the bible "along" for me. (It helps not to go through the begats again!) It's easy reading...easy understanding. A really good start for someone who has put off reading the bible through!
mdhnj5 More than 1 year ago
Written like a novel and very interesting and easy to understand. Highly recommend!
Hockeygirl44LR More than 1 year ago
This is a great way to read the Bible. It's basically the short version in novel format. It hits all the highlights and most important stories, leaving out the parts that turn people off from reading the Bible (begat, begat, begat). Definitely recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly doubt that The Story was written to be a substitute for the Bible. Nothing will ever take its place. It is a supplement. Something to read in addition to Gods Word. For one it cant be used as a Holy Bible is used theres no reference guide. No books, chapters, or verse indicators. The bible can be hard to understand and i think this was written as a gate to Gods Word . Start people off with something easy then get into the deep stuff. Its simply the story. As long as people understand that this is NOT the bible and just an aid to it i dont see what the problem is.
Artken More than 1 year ago
This is great, gets through the main facts in each chapter. Covers the Bible in 6mos. We are using it along with our bible study at church.
GrannyLu-2all More than 1 year ago
our whole church is going through this study of the Bible chapter by chapter and includes the kids with versions of "The Story" written especially for different ages. It's a book thats easy to read and interesting enough to re-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful way to go through the story of the Bible. Its not meant to be or replace the Bible. It is an easy read. If you want an even easier read, get The Heart of The Story. Im reading them together and am getting a whole new level of understanding.
MrPAPA More than 1 year ago
I am not done reading the book but about one third the way through it. I love the fact that it is written in sequence of time and it starts tieing things together that I had not noticed before. I know what the different books of the Bible say but many times never tied the persons being mentioned together, so it is great to see the individuals in a more complete light of their life and influence and relationship to God.
becca63BG More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, except to actually look up things in the bible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I definitely will be reading this again!!!!!!
Alchemist8 More than 1 year ago
Our church is doing "The Story" for its study classes. I love the book it is easy to read and follow. It has a great DVD that goes along with the book. You do have to remember though it is an overview of the bible. It was written so it is easier to read the Bible. If you are not using the DVD that goes with the book you are missing out on the Study.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the flow of this narrative version of the Word. This would be a great first Bible for new believers or youth.
BellePT More than 1 year ago
I am continually trying to understand and learn the Word and connect with the Spirit and God. The Story was introduced to me at my church as the minister used it as a learning tool for sermon. It's a great way to read about the Old Testament in more laymen terms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy read! Great for anyone new to the faith, or interested to know about bible narratives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this. Many of my favorite passages were watered down. However, as a quick overview it was ok. I especially enjoyed the 1 st part of the New Testament and found most of the Old to be tedious. Therefore the 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book such a good book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the story. Not all perfect but a good start. To be followed by the Gospel. It will get you over some difficult to understand areas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to read and sheds a little light on some hard to understand passages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoy reading The Story - excellent to have handy while waiting in different places. Definitely not a substitute for The Bible, but a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great way to read the Bible story without struggling through some of the long and arduous passages. It is written like a novel and easy to read. I have read through the Bible each year for the past 6 years, but am reading The Story this year and am enjoying it. Give it as a gift to someone you care about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic read. I now understand so much more of what went on in the Bible. It has given me a much different perspective on God. How he didn't abandon the human race long ago shows us how loving and patient God he truly is. Highly recommend this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A condensed version of the Bible. Very shortened version. Seemed to follow the tv mini series The Bible but since this came out before, who copied whom? A great way to strengthen your knowledge of the Bible in about 350 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone else go there answer to god loves all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago