Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

BOOOK SUMMARY ON HOW TO READ THE BIBLE FOR ALL

ITS WORTH
SECOND EDITION. A GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE
BIBLE

BY: GORDON D. FEE AND DOUGLAS STUART

It is observed in chapter five that, over forty percent of the OT contains the type of literature
called narrative. The OT constitutes three-quarters of the entire Bible with its thirty-nine books.
Some of the books that are largely or entirely composed of narrative materials are Genesis,
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Jonah and Haggai.
Exodus, Numbers, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Job also have some substantial narrative
portions in them. We consider that the Holy Spirit knew what he was doing when He inspired so
much of the Old Testament books in a form of narrative. We think God in His own wisdom and
for the purpose of His glory made it that way.
Narratives are basically stories. The bible contains Gods story. A story that is utterly true,
crucially important and sometimes complex to understand. One important thing to note is that,
the narratives help us to understand and appreciate Him and give us a picture of His providence.
The OT narratives have plots and the main character is God Himself.
The OT narratives can be well understood in three different levels namely top level, middle level
and the bottom level. Key aspects of the top level are the initial creation, fall of humanity, the
power of ubiquity of sin, the need for redemption and the incarnation of Christ. It is also called
the story of redemption or redemptive history. Key aspects of the middle level are the call of
Abraham, the descendants of Abraham through the patriarchs, enslaving of Israel from Egypt,
Gods deliverance from bondage and the conquest of the promised land, Israels sins and
disloyalty, Gods patient protection and pleading, the destruction of North Israel and Judah and
the restoration of the holy people after the Exile. The bottom level deals with individual narrative
stories that make up the other two levels. Key examples are how Josephs brothers sell him to

Arabs heading for Egypt and the narrative of Davids adultery with Bathsheba and many more.
These narratives go beyond the OT through the New Testament. It will be fairly be
understandable if we recognize a narrative in the two testaments.
Narratives are not stories filled with hidden meanings but there are aspects of them that are not
easy to understand. Gods way of doing things and making things are beyond human
understanding. In order to interpret OT narratives well, you must consider these points
1. OT narratives does not teach a doctrine
2. Narratives record what happened and not necessarily what should have happened or what
ought to happen every time
3. The activities of characters in OT narratives are not good examples for us because
frequently, they were wrong
4. We are not told at the end of the narrative whether what happened was good or bad
Chapter nine explains the laws and states that, there are thirty-nine books in the OT and it
contains over six hundred commandments which the Israelites were expected to keep as evidence
of their loyalty to God. Only four books namely Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
contain these laws and are referred to as the books of the law.As Christians, are we expected to
keep the OT law? The answer must require us to look at the way in which OT law will represents
a responsibility incumbent upon us. Christians must however understand the direction of a proper
appreciation of the law by way of the following
1. The OT law is a covenant and had six parts which are preamble, prologue, stipulations,
witnesses, sanctions, and documents clause
2. The OT is not our testament in our current era. It represents an old covenant and we can
hardly begin by assuming that the old covenant should automatically be binding on us.
3. Some stipulations of the Old Covenant have clearly not been renewed in the New
Covenant.

4. All of the OT law is still the Word of God for us even though it is not still the command
of God to us.
5. Only that which is explicitly renewed from the OT law can be considered part of the New
Testament law of Christ (cf. Gal 6:2).
In terms of the law ability to provide eternal life and true righteousness before God, the law
was inadequate and salvation and acceptance by God exclusively through the Law was bound
to fail because it was unkeepable. Christians should see the OT Law as a generous gift to
Israel, bringing much blessing when they obeyed them but should not see the OT law as a
grouping of arbitrary, annoying regulations limiting peoples freedom.
Chapter ten is about the prophets as law enforcements. In the OT, more individual books
come under the heading of prophecy. There are sixteen prophets and are categorized into
major and minor. The Major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. The primary
challenge for most Christian readers of the prophetic books stems from an inaccurate prior
understanding of the word prophecy. Foretelling or prediction of what is to come is the
definition for most Christians. The biblical statistics shows less than one percent talked about
events yet to happen.
To see the prophets as primarily predictors of the future is to miss their primary function
which was to speak for God to their own contemporaries. Historical distance also
complicates our understanding to these prophets. To understand what God has for us through
these inspired books, we must understand the role and the functions of the prophets in Israel
as covenant enforcement mediators and the messages were not their own but from God.
In order to do proper exegeses on the prophetic books, we need to consult other materials to
help us. If the task of exegesis is to set the prophets within their own historical context and to

hear what God was saying to Israel through them, then the big question will be; what is
Gods word to us through the inspired poetic, oracles, spoken in another time to Gods
ancient people? Once we hear what God said to them, even if our situations differ, we will
often hear it again in our settings in a rather direct way. In the New Testament, reference is
made to OT passages that do not appear to refer to what the NT says they do. These passages
seems to have a clear meaning in their original OT setting and yet used in connection with a
different meaning by a NT writer.
The next chapter talks about the book of the Psalms as a collection of inspired Hebrew
prayers and hymns and much known to many Christians. They are used in worship and
meditation yet the Psalms are always misunderstood. The primary challenge is interpreting
this book is its nature. The Bible is Gods Word and most Christians automatically assumes
that all it contains are words from God to the people but the vice versa. How do these words
spoken to God function as a Word from God?
For good interpretation of the book means the reader must understand its nature including
various types as well as their forms and function. The book can be looked at as a poetry
which by its nature was addressed to the mind through the heart. One must understand they
are musical poems and cannot be read in the same way as a narrative. It is also likely to note
that the vocabulary of the poetry is purposefully metaphorical and each Psalm must be read
as a literary unit and must be careful not to take individual verses out of context.
Psalms can be categories into seven types which are laments, thanksgiving Psalms, Hymns of
praise, Salvation History, Celebration and Affirmation, Wisdom and Songs of Trust.
Christians can use the Psalms in three beneficial ways which are a guide to worship, relating

honestly to God and reflection and meditation upon things God has done for us. One
important for readers to look at is that, the Psalms do not guarantee a pleasant life.
Chapter Twelve
The OT books namely Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, some parts of Psalms and Job are normally
called the Wisdom Books. Wisdom literature focus on the people and their behavior, how
successful they are at making godly choices and whether or not they are learning how to
apply Gods truth to the experiences they have..Chapter twelve which elaborated on wisdom
books prompt that there is a great danger in seeking wisdom from ones own advantage or in
a way that does not honor God. Gods wisdom excels human wisdom (Isaiah 29:13-14)
Wisdom were been taught by wise men who occupied positions parallel to that of a priests
and prophets in the Israelite society. Not all wisdom in the ancient world was godly or
orthodox. There were a class of wise teachers in the ancient Near East who were tasked by
royalty to collect, compose and refine wisdom proverbs which much of them resembled the
OT wisdom writings, though it lacks the firm emphasis upon the Lord as the origin of
wisdom.
Ecclesiastes, as many Christians find it difficult to interpret does contain portions that are
nearly so negative about the value of life but teaches that the reality and finality of death
mean that life has no ultimate value. Death, the greater leveler, makes all lives end the same.
The book of Job also contains all sort of wrong advice and incorrect conclusions as they
come from the lips of Jobs well meaning comforters. Proverbs on the other hand is the
primary rules and regulations people can use to help themselves make responsible, successful
choices in life. A proverb is a brief, particular expression of a truth.

To understand proverbial wisdom, readers must see proverbs as not legal guarantees from
God and must be read as a collection. Again proverbs are worded to be memorable and not to
be theoretically accurate. No proverb is a complete statement of truth.