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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 September 2000
I would highly recommend this book. Great pictures and well laid out make this a good, enjoyable read at any time. The book is a good companion for those wanting to know more about all aspects of the bible. It is unbiased and does not lead you into the authors religious beliefs. Rather, the book explores each book in turn and gives a summary of significance within the book and gives alterate interpretations which the reader may be unaware of. The book provides an insite into the people in the bible, places in the bible and describes culture in the biblical times. Additionally it explores areas such as angels, satan and other interesting areas that just makes you want to read on. Beautiful pictures and extracts from religious works makes this book enjoyable to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the type of book that you can pick up and open at any page and read something new and interesting.
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on 20 March 2009
This is an ideal book for those who have just discovered the Bible and are keen to discover more. While not as extensive a commentary as the Lion Handbook to the Bible, this DK version covers all the Bible's books, featuring overviews of the most well-known stories and events, and the characters involved.

Lavishly illustrated in the DK tradition, with a useful reference section detailing people, places and various terms used in the Bible, this book is a user-friendly volume (perhaps a bit large to be a handbook) that is a pleasure to dip into and browse.
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on 16 April 2010
This is a really good reference book for children and families. It gives history, archeology and a background cultural context in which to consider each "story", and information as to the significance of the story within the context of Christianity/Judaism etc. The photos and maps give a real sense of the geography, and the appearance of lands and towns featured in the Bible narrative.
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on 20 May 2013
This is a simply amazing book, for someone who not only wishes to understand the Bible, but also learn more about the background of it. Maps, stories, historic coverage, all in a beautifully edited and organised way, put the books and stories of the Bible into perspective. It's a massive book but not too massive, and it's one that consists information in a way that if you read for example, only one letter of St Paul, you can read the corresponding coverage from this book in a short time providing you with the basic understanding and background. I find the construction of the book very easy to use. It's also filled with little "tidbits", details, interesting bulletpoints. I think the main strength of it is though its illustration. When I bought my first copy of this book, I read into a couple others in the store and - what else to consider when you quickly read into a book - the presentation was perfect, colourful, beautifully printed. Despite wanting it for my coffee table I chose this smaller paperback edition over the larger hardback commentaries. Since then I gave it to a friend to check and decided to let him keep it, since this is not a book you just "check" - it's a book that will serve you for years and that you will come back to often while you read the Bible. So, I am about to order my second copy to ensure I have it on my coffee table ready for me to dive into whenever. I can only recommend this book, from the perspective of someone who does not know the Bible in great detail, it served me well while I had my first, and I am sure it will serve me even more.
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on 14 July 2015
Interesting historical information but I was hoping it would be going through the bible specifically explaining each parable etc. This just gives a brief outline of the books of the bible. It's also referenced for Jewish and Catholic readers which is understandable but annoying as this wasn't clear from the description
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on 27 April 2016
The introductions of the books of the Bible are concise and written from a moderately liberal point of view. This book may help you gain more knowledge about the Bible but won't necessarily help you grow in faith.
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on 21 June 2014
John Bowker in his book often belittles the Catholic and Orthodox interpretation as unreasonable and unfounded.

Example 1
the author claims that the fact that Mary stayed a Virgin all life long (as prophezised in Isaiah) is 'only held by a few Christians', by which he means the Church of the Orthodox and Catholic (the only one with apostolic succession, therefore Christs real Church.)
Just on the side: Mary had made a vow as a girl to stay a virigin, as was common for temple-servants. This didn't mean she couldn't marry a male supporter later on, who would be willing to respect her vow. Hence her question to the Angel, how it were possible to receive a child since she wouldn't ever have intercourse with a man. If this wasn't so, her question would make no sense, because at the time, she was already engaged with Joseph.

Example 2
Under 'Sacraments' he lists Baptism and Eucharist. What about the other 5 sacraments?
His view therefore is clearly the protestant stance, and he should have labeled it as that.

Another puzzling thing: about 20% of all photos in this book are of modern jewish celebrations & customs, from lamb slaughter to Circumcision.

I don't recommend it to a Catholic, or anyone who would like to have the Catholic and Orthodox view included.
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on 21 March 2016
This book is excellent for any Bible study student. The seller was very efficient in sending it and their description of the book was very accurate as well.
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on 8 May 2016
Full of useful information for study. Arrived in good condition
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on 22 April 2016
Very informative and helpful for study or research
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