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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 1999
Readers familiar with earlier editions will know what to expect (good photography, readable, 'safe' text and superb design), and if they want more of the same with a little up-date, they will not be disappointed. Newcomers should know that it is aimed more at the popular than the professional market, is the product largely of UK biblical scholars, mostly male, Protestant, clerical and enlightened conservatives. It accepts the broad gains of biblical scholarship over the last 50 years while showing particular caution in handling those of the last 10-15, avoids many of the critical issues though occasionally puts differing viewpoints side-by-side without getting into the argument, and sometimes sticks to a traditional interpretation without even suggesting that many scholars would want to question it. Recent developments are reflected the attention given to women's studies, the environment, justice, narrative readings and a multi-faith society. The wide area covers undoubtedly has its limitations but it will do much to dispel ignorance and increase understanding and may well whet the appetite of both conservatives and traditionalists to dig deeper. That can only be good and it is excellent value for money.
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on 25 November 2008
Although raised and confirmed as a Christian, I realised a couple of years ago that I had very little understanding of vast majority of the Bible (besides a few stories and the occasional psalm read in church) and decided to do something about it. What I needed was a guide who could explain the structure and purpose of the books of the old and new testaments and provide me with an (reasonably) unbiased and fair interpretation, mixed with general information about the time. In particular it needed to give me a strong explanation for the many highly immoral actions of characters in the Old Testament historical books, which are often used to criticise Christianity.

I have found that the Lion Handbook has achieved all this marvellously; it has been my constant companion as I have navigated through over half of the scriptures in the past two years. It has enlightened me sufficiently, that I am keen to start a more in depth journey into the Bible with more advanced texts.

I would recommend this to anyone who wishes to deepen their knowledge (particularly in the Old Testament) for personal spiritual reasons. I do not think it would be as useful for deep academic study.
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on 20 March 2009
I bought this to replace my own well-thumbed paperback 1983 edition, and it certainly matches up to Old Faithful - in spades.

Bound in handsome blue and gold stiff paperback, it's a weighty volume of over 800 pages and 700 photos and illustrations geared mainly at the non-scholar. The initial 100 or so pages form an introduction, explaining the Holy Book's setting, structure, history, and relevance to today. From then on each book of the Bible is extensively covered, with insights into the most famous stories, and explanations of the not so well-known passages. Separate coloured panels give extra focus to various Biblical characters and issues such as Jewish law, customs, architecture and many more.

What is striking about the text is its neutrality, enabling this book to Christians of all denominations. In typical reliable Lion tradition, this book explains the Bible in clear and simple language, expertly summarising the relevant chapters and thus encouraging further reading.

This is a perfect companion work to the Bible, and for anyone familiar or unfamiliar with it. Its simple yet informative text and eye-catching layout will also endear it to the casual reader who might wish to delve deeper into the greatest written work of humankind
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on 16 July 2012
This book is ideal whether or not you are religious.
From a religious point of view it gives the History / Background to the Old and New Testaments
which makes undersatnding a lot easier.
As a history of the Jewish people it is excellent with many archaeological references.
A superb buy.
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on 29 December 2009
This book is a must have for any Christian. Especially good for new Christians. It explains each chapter of the bible and helps you to understand things that you wouldn't necessarily know just from reading the bible like background information as to why things were done a certain way etc. Also explains the geography, has maps etc and shows historical things that archaeologists have discovered etc. Very interesting and a must have book!!
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on 9 November 2009
What more can one say? For the academic theologian, this book will probably not contain enough to be a worthwhile text but for anyone else it is indeed a handbook par excellance. To get so much in such a small space is remarkable. When you add to that the fact that it so well constructed you have a text you feel you can recommend to anyone.
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on 8 February 2010
I bought this for a friend who is interested in learning more about the background to the Bible. I have an earlier edition myself and I can truly say 'it does exactly what it says on the tin'. The Lion Handbook is well-presented, neatly sectionalised and amply illustrated. It is good value for the price (especially Amazon price) and a good read for anyone even vaguely interested in the Bible. If you want some honest Bible background without the spiritual claptrap, get the Lion Handbook to the Bible.
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on 25 January 2004
The book is certainly very well done. It is full of excellent colour photographs with good introductions to each book in the Bible. It is also has a lot of information about the Bible before actually trying to interpret it e.g. The Bible today, Passing on the story etc.
However, different parts of the book are written by different people who all have their own views on interpretation (Mostly Conservatives and Liberals) and feel that their views are definitely right. This can be quite confusing when the authors are all telling you to believe in different things (For example one author tells us that Jesus actually performed physical miracles while another tells us that it is symbolic). It is probably better to hold your own views about interpretation than be told.
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on 14 January 2013
This is a beautifully illustrated handbook to the Bible. It is excellent especially for those who have a limited knowledge of the good book and want an introduction. Easy to read and beautifully illustrated this is a clear first choice among Bible handbooks for the general reader. I bought this one second hand and was delighted with the speed at which it arrived. Five stars for service as well!
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on 16 January 2012
The Lion Handbook of the Bible is the best handbook I have ever purchased. A few of my friends had a copy, and I borrowed one for a while, but didn't have to think about it too long before I realized I couldn't do without my own copy. It is very easy to use, but answers many queries. Every book of the Bible is covered, with great introductions and summary. It is SO helpful,and its illustrations are wonderful. Would certainly recommend it.
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