Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review for The Whole Bible Story by Dr. William H. Marty

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

When I was very young my mother read Bible stories to me daily. When I was old enough to read independently I read them on my own. My parents even occasionally allowed me to read my big book of Bible stories in church. I enjoyed being able to do this because they didn't have Children's Church back then and I wasn't old enough to pay attention to the sermon. By the time I was eight or nine I got my very own “real” Bible for Christmas. It was called The Way-anybody out there old enough to remember The Way? It was your quintessential hippie Bible with lots of photos of contemporary people of the time. It was a paraphrased version but I really liked it. I eagerly embarked on reading it starting with Genesis. Genesis was easy. It had lots of interesting stories that I was already familiar with from reading my storybook Bible. Exodus wasn't bad. Then came Leviticus. And Numbers. And Deuteronomy. I must confess that it was a few years before I was able to tackle those books. Nevertheless, I did manage to read every book in the Bible by the time I was twelve.

Dr. William H. Marty is professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He realized that many adults have the same challenge I had when it came to reading certain books of the Bible. He decided to make a storybook of the Bible but without pictures. He gives his reason in the Introduction:

Simply reading the Bible cover to cover is a daunting task...It can be difficult to follow the storyline because the books are not recorded in chronological order.

Another challenge is content.. The Bible is written in a variety of literary forms..

So Dr. Marty left out all the genealogies, listings of the laws (Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), prophecies and epistles. What is left is simply one big storytelling of the Bible from the beginning of creation to John's exile on Patmos.

This book is not intended to be a substitute for Bible study or Bible reading. What it does provide is an overview that allows the reader to see all the events in the Bible in one continous line without interruption. I found it to be an excellent way to sort in my mind what all happened when and who came in where.

The Whole Bible Story is a fluid read and an excellent supplementary resource for personal Bible study. I recommend it to anyone looking for such a resource as well as someone interested in reading the Bible but finds digging through sixty-six books a formidable task. For such a person, this book would be a great place to start. (Notice I said start not end-nothing can replace God's Word.)

I got this book as a complementary copy from Bethany Publishing House in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy this book, please do so through my link below so I can get a percentage back, thanks!


  1. As someone who never made it past Leviticus, I think this is a brilliant idea.

  2. As they say in the South: I hear ya! :))

  3. Chris and I started in Genesis a little while ago--this will probably be a great help to us as we continue on. Thanks for reviewing this and letting us know about it!

  4. Derek and I started reading the Bible straight through some time ago. We started with the New Testament-which lasted a couple of months and have spent the past year reading the old Testament. We'll be finishing Ecclesiastes tonight.
    We actually didn't find the chronologies and laws so bad to wade through this time. I guess you need to be old enough.

  5. That does sounds like a wonderful book. I may check it out in a few weeks. No money right now.

    Following you back. Finally. Simple Wyrdings

  6. Just stopping by to return the favour and follow you back from the blog hop earlier this week!

  7. Thanks for the review! I will have to check this out for sure. I really like the idea of it pulling all the events together. I've been reading the "One Year Bible", I've been enjoying doing it this way as well.

  8. @Reading Angel: I haven't done a "One Year Bible" in a while. Now that I've just finished a Bible study of Isaiah I may have to consider doing that this summer.

  9. Stopping by from the Hop.

    it sound like an interesting edition. I am currently reading the ESV and I enjoy it.


    Twice is Nice Blog

  10. Jeanie. I'm also reading the ESV edition. It's a great translation!

  11. What a great premise for a book. Yes, I remember 'The Way' but never really used it. Thanks for the review!

  12. @ Bettyl: "The Way" had its value as far as paraphrased versions go. I think there are other versions today that people would relate to more.

  13. Nice and I will use this link if I do decide to buy it !!


I welcome comments from anyone with a mutual interest in the subjects I written about.