Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Review: A Pocket Guide To The Bible

book cover

A Pocket Guide To...
The Bible:
How Do We Know It Can Be Trusted?

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Answers in Genesis–US
First Released: 2009

Source: Bought from Answers In Genesis.

Back Cover Description:
Why are there 66 books in the Bible? Is the Bible missing any books? Who wrote the Bible? Is the Bible enough? Are there contradictions? Where is the proof of creation?

This Pocket Guide to the Bible will give you answers to these questions and more. The Bible contains the very words of God and is the key to understanding the world in which we live. It is the history book of the universe, and the instruction manual for mankind. The Bible was written by the Creator, so we can put our trust in it!

A Pocket Guide To The Bible contains eight articles of varying lengths by five different authors. It answers questions about the validity of the Bible: why the 66 books of the Bible were chosen and others weren't; why the Apocrypha and other books weren't included; different types of common alleged contradictions in the Bible and what the critic is overlooking in their claim; the commonly agreed upon rules of how to accurately interpret the Bible so you read it the way the writers intended their words to be understood; why the Bible is the only accurate and authoritative book of religious writings; proving creation and God; the need to look to the Bible as the authority; and what a Biblical worldview is like.

The articles were all very interesting and contained good information. However, some were shorter than I would have liked. I understand that there was limited space and the authors did give internet addresses people could go to for more information, but I was planning to give this guide to people who don't have internet access. Personally, I wish the article on contradictions had been fleshed out more and the last two or three articles--which, though good, were less about the Bible itself--were dropped or put into another Pocket Book.

Overall, though, I'd recommend this pocket book as an excellent, quick read for anyone who has these questions. It'd also be useful as an apologetics resource.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from pages 49 and 50
If Jesus was to be in the grave three days and nights, how do we fit those between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

There are several solutions to this problem. Some have suggested that a special Sabbath might have occurred, so that Jesus was actually crucified on a Thursday. However, a solution, which seems to me to be more convincing, is that Jesus was indeed crucified on a Friday but that the Jewish method of counting days was not the same as ours.

In Esther 4:16, we find Esther exhorting Mordecai to persuade the Jews to fast. "Neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day" (NKJV). This was clearly in preparation for her highly risky attempt to see the king. Yet just two verses later, in Esther 5:1, we read: "Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace."

If three days and nights were counted in the same way as we count them today, then Esther could not have seen the king until the fourth day. This is completely analogous to the situation with Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection.

....If the three days and nights were counted the way we count them, then Jesus would have to rise on the fourth day. But, by comparing these passages, we can see that in the minds of people in Bible times, "the third day" is equivalent to "after three days."

In fact, the way they counted was this: part of a day would be counted as one day. Jesus died on Good Friday; that was day one....So, although only part of Friday was left, that was the first day and night to be counted. Saturday was day two. Jesus rose in the morning of the Sunday. That was day three. Thus, by Jewish counting, we have three days...yet Jesus rose on the third day.

It should not be a surprise to us that a different culture used a different method of counting days.

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