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Sunday, March 3, 2019

"Our Daily Bread Bible Sourcebook" (Dave Branon)

TITLE: Our Daily Bread Bible Sourcebook: The Who, What, Where, Wow Guide to the Bible
AUTHOR: Dave Branon
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 2019, (280 pages).

Ever wanted a quick interesting snapshot not just of the whole Bible? What about having a concise introduction to every book in the Bible? That would be great isn't it? Many people know of interesting stories like the sacrifice of Isaac at Mount Moriah, the great exodus, the mighty king David, the wisdom of King Solomon, the parables of Jesus, and many more. Do we know exactly where they come from? Who were the authors? Why were the books written? When and where were they written? These questions are dealt with in this one volume called the "Bible source book." The word "source" should clue us in on what the book is trying to achieve. It is to help us go back to the origins of the Bible and to help us appreciate the ancient contexts better. By doing so, we will be more equipped with background information as we open up each book of the Bible for study or for discussion. For each Bible book, the author gives:
  • A short title to summarize the theme;
  • A Top Ten list of interesting facts;
  • WHO wrote the book;
  • WHAT the book is about;
  • WHEN the events took place;
  • WHY the book was written;
  • WOW to show us the impact of the book in culture and society both in the past and after;
  • Worth Remembering is about popular verses that inspire;
  • Wonders from the past show us the archaeological discoveries.

My Thoughts
This guide should go hand in hand with the open Bible. With a good introduction to every single book of the Bible, readers who are on a Read-Through-The-Bible program would find this a helpful map to see the big picture. For new believers attempting to read the Bible, it makes the reading of the Bible less daunting and more interesting. For researchers who want a quick reference to the contexts of each book, this book could be used as a primer to teach, to preach, and to frame our curriculum. The eight Ws provide us with some useful handles as we dive into the Word of God. By having a consistent framework throughout, readers will find this book a convenient reference tool to be consulted on a regular basis.

If asked to critique this book, I would say that the author might have over-simplified the Bible. There are a lot more complexities surrounding the contexts and the interpretation of the book. For instance, are the "Top Ten" comments about the Bible really top of the list? Shrinking 66 books of the Bible into a small volume may mean a lot of reductionism at work. Of course, one can counter that the purpose of the book is to give a broad overview of the Bible and is not meant to give us all the information we needed to know. Thus, it is good to see this work as an invitation to study the Bible in depth. Branon gives us a Bible brochure. We as readers ought to make the personal journey through the Bible ourselves.

Dave Branon was the managing editor of the award-winning Christian magazine Sports Spectrum for 18 years, and is now an editor for Discovery House and Our Daily Bread Ministries. Dave has written over 2,000 devotional articles and 14 books, including Heads Up and Undefeated. Dave and his wife, Sue, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Discovery House Publishers and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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