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How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth [Paperback]

Gordon D. Fee
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; First edition (1 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310246040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310246046
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Your Guide to Understanding the Bible. Understanding the Bible isn't for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It's meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your 21st-century life. More than half a million people have turned to "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth" to inform their reading of the Bible. This third edition features substantial revisions that keep pace with current scholarship, resources, and culture. Changes include: updated language, a new authors' preface, several chapters rewritten for better readability, updated list of recommended commentaries and resources. Covering everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical writing, "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth" is used all around the world.

In clear, simple language, it helps you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible - their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today - so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God's Word.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read 2 Aug 2010
If you want to understand the Bible within it's cultural context (exegesis) and how to apply it to your life (hermeneutics) - [yeah, glad I finally understand those 2 words :P] without going to bible school/college, this is the book for you. Easy to ride, and says a lot in a modest number of pages. It's a good guide that highlights key principles which based on the explanation, you for yourself can decide what you can take or leave. There were a few things I didn't fully agree with in the content, but for the most part, the rationale was acceptable. There were loads of references and suggested readings which I think may be helpful at some other time. But I think it's really good as a reference book all on it's own. And yes, if you do decide to go on to bible college, you can keep it handy as a student of English might keep a thesauraus.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It would have made the "God Delusion" a bit more of a credible book, as his exegesis was all over the place. An excellent introduction to reading the Bible for all readers of the Bible whether they are new to the good book or seasoned readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy a copy for a new Christian! 23 Jun 2013
I will put my one complaint about this book at the beginning. The authors state that "...for study you should use almost any modern translation rather than the KJV or the NKJV." Other than that, this book is to be highly recommended. In less than 280 pages, you get a lot of genuinely useful guidance and information on how to read, understand and apply the different types of writings, or genres, in the Bible.

The first two chapters look at the necessity of interpretation and the various approaches to translation. Several modern translations are compared and their advantages / disadvantages discussed. These chapters open up the difficulties faced by translators. The authors end by suggesting the use of three or four translations for comparison during serious study.

The following chapters look at the different genres of the Bible: Epistles, narrative, Gospels (treated as a genre in their own right here), parables, wisdom texts, law, prophetic, psalms & poetry and apocalyptic. The nature and structures of each genre are described then the process of determining meaning and application is discussed, with examples. The explanations of Hebrew poetry and the parables are a great help in understanding why they look like they do in English translations. Common mistakes and difficulties of interpretation are covered.

Each genre is treated in a similar way. Always, the importance of the historical and literary contexts is emphasised. These can greatly affect how meaning is determined. The reader is encouraged to look at when and where a text was written, then to look at how that relates to their time and place. The reader is shown how to recognise the genre of the text, and how to handle it appropriately to find its application.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To get to grips with reading the Bible in the right way is essential, and with the help of this book reminds believers that in the inspired word of God there are different types (genres) throughout the Bible and we need to be aware of what we are reading. It is all God's word, but there are highlighted differences between reading a narrative, poetry, letters, books of the law and historical details.

The book reminds us that we are to look at the original meaning and to read the bible in it's context, remembering to be true to the text while still applying God's word to today. This is a needed reminder for every reader or preacher of the Bible, we don't come up with our opinion, but preach the word of God from the two horizons - original writers intention/readers original understanding and then application today.

An excellent book to gain understanding of the Bible, safeguarding the message of God from being abused or misused. It isn't a bedside read and leave plenty of thinking through time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Primer in Exegesis and Hermaneutics 15 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fee and Stuart spell things out clearly, illustrate by using different books and passages from the Bible, and have a lack of dogmatism.
It is a very easy book to read: big words explained; big ideas made plain; and scholarship AND application kept hand in hand.
I have, over the past 30 years: bought it, read it, given it away, bought other copies, given them away, and that was why I had to buy yet another copy!
This updated edition just adds value to the earlier ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book 2 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is required reading for the Spurgeons College Equipped to Minister Course and as such I have to use it to reference various fact in several essays. Saying that I cannot help reading around the subject and it is quite good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The authors reaslly know their stuff 14 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before opening this book I thought I knew something about the Bible. I'm still part way through reading it and have already had a complete turnaround in some of the things I thought about the Bible. Excellent for putting the Bible books in context and showing how we should approach the different genres to make them relevant for today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all Christians should read this book 20 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a great introduction to how to read the Bible correctly. It explains the basic principles of exegesis and hermeneutics and illustrates their use very effectively.

All Christians should read this book as a minimum before voicing their interpretations of any Bible passage. The book basically conveys the very important message that whilst the Bible is the word of God, you can't just pick it up and read its contents at face value, even in places where the language seems to make perfect sense. You need to understand the context in which it was written (i.e. the author, the intended audience, the geopolitical setting, the surrounding cultural influences), and the highly challenging and often subjective task of translating it into modern English. Only then are you remotely "qualified" to discuss the meaning and application of the passage.

There is no getting around the fact that it takes time to master reading and interpreting the Bible, but whilst this is clearly a big challenge to all Christians, we should be grateful for all the hard work by scholars that have produced tools like this book, which enable the layman to genuinely stand a chance at grasping and hence being enlightened by God's word.
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