Book Review: The Bible Questions
Author: Hal Seed
Publisher: InterVarsity Press ISBN: 9780830856121
The back cover reads; “The Bible can be a scary book…” This is true, and this is why many people choose not to engage it. Hal Seed has done a wonderful job in collecting some of the “scary” thoughts or questions about the Bible and providing insightful answers to help take away some of the uncertainty and confusion surrounding this ancient text.
Seed arranges his exploration of The Bible Questions into four primary parts; Part One—Primary Questions, Part Two—Purpose Questions, Part Three—Probing Questions, and Part Four—Practical Questions. Each of these parts includes several chapters addressing some of the most popular questions about the Bible. As an example, Part One chapter titles include the following: Who Wrote the Bible?, How is the Bible Different From Other Books?, Who Decided What Went into the Bible?, and others.
I’ve been using this book for several weeks now in preparation for teaching a class on how to read the Bible. I have found it very useful with the information it provides, but even more, I have appreciated the conversational language Seed uses in talking about some of these topics. There are anecdotal commentaries and factoids that I have incorporated into my presentations that are helpful with keeping my audience engaged. I consider the same might be true for other readers.
The Bible Questions isn’t all about information though. At the end of each chapter, Seed provides some application suggestions and exercises with a Scripture reading and a few questions to ponder and/or discuss. There is also a comprehensive study guide at the end of the book. These exercises and the study guide would make the book a perfect fit for a small group book study, especially for a group that might be new to Bible reading. I really appreciated Part Four with the direction the author took regarding practical questions and application. It seemed to me this section was actually geared more to an introduction to inductive study. I don’t know if this was Seed’s original intent, but this is where my thoughts were drawn and I will be using these chapters when I start teaching an inductive method of study later this month.
I am so grateful and appreciative of the steady stream of great books coming from InterVarsity Press for the building up of the Church. The Bible Questions by Hal Seed is another great addition to my personal library, which I will use for years to come. I think it is a great overview of the Bible and many people, both new Bible readers and experienced readers, will find value in it.