Book Review: How to Enjoy Your Bible

How to Enjoy Your BibleHow to Enjoy Your Bible by John Blanchard

I first found out about this book on Nathan Bingham’s microblog where he posted an Interview with Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III. In talking about as a pastor, trying to convince Christians under their guidance about the importance of studying God’s Word, Ligon Duncan said, ‘[G]et your people to read good books about Bible study and prayer (John Blanchard, “How to Enjoy Your Bible,” Don Carson, “A Call to Spiritual Reformation,” Matthew Henry, “Method For Prayer,” “Ryken’s Bible Handbook,” etc).’

I respect Ligon Duncan so I looked into it, especially because I was about to embark on reading the Old Testament again. I already enjoy my Bible, but I want to enjoy it even more!

So I wrote to Evangelical Press and asked them if they send out review copies. They wrote right back and said they’d be happy to.

The book is written at a ‘popular level’ meaning it will be understandable to anyone who has any familiarity with the Bible. It’s at a little more basic level than I expected but that’s only because of the other recommendations that surrounded it. At 180 pages it’s fairly easy to get through.

Chapter 2 – Countering the critics, answers many of the arguments people have against the Bible. Maybe even some of the people reading the book have these questions. The questions that are addressed are: Those who deny its authority, Those who deride its simplicity, Those who denounce its history, Those who dispute its accuracy, Those who doubt its integrity and Those who decry its credibility.

There are two chapters on The excellence of the evidence. The author comes from the view of inerrancy. Quoting Brian Edwards, Nothing but the Truth, Evangelical Press, pg. 139, on the Bible’s human authors:

They recorded accurately all that God wanted them to say and exactly how he wanted them to say it, in their own character, style and language. The inspiration of Scripture is a harmony of the active mind of the writer and the sovereign direction of the Holy Spirit to produce God’s inerrant and infallible word for the human race.

He writes about prophecy, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, history and how the Bible comes from God.

There is the obligatory chapter on translations which is basic and brief. This is a decent chapter for those who aren’t familiar with different translations and styles. As in most books, the more literal/formal translations get the nod. After writing about translation theory and why translations are different, various translations are reviewed including KJV/AV, RSV, NASB, GNB, NIV, NKJB, CEV and ESV. Since the book was published in 2007 I would have expected a different selection including the NLT for sure and possibly the HCSB and NRSV.

After writing about the canon and various means of reading and studying the Bible we come to the chapter that is more than worth the cost of the whole book called The outcome of obedience. The vital link that brings reading and studying the Bible, and joy (enjoyment [I made that up]). This chapter has many quotable quotes by the author and others well known. I will pick one by J.C. Ryle:

God tests men’s sincerity by making obedience part of the process by which religious* knowledge is obtained. Are we really willing to do God’s will so far as we know it? If we are, God will take care that our knowledge is increased.

*religion wasn’t a dirty word back then

He writes about loving obedience, willing obedience, believing obedience, wholehearted obedience and dependent obedience. The last one is “so important that it governs all others.” We are dependent on God’s enabling. This is what takes the fear out of obedience for those who don’t like that word and he explains this concept well in the book. This is key and he saved the best for last.

I would highly recommend this book for those who are rather new to these concepts and need more confidence in the reliability of the Bible, need to learn the various ways to read and study the Bible and learn how key obedience is in this whole process. These things all put together will help us to better enjoy our Bibles.

  • Paperback: 185 pages
  • Publisher: EP Books (October 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0852346700

Buy it at:
Amazon.com

2 Responses to “Book Review: How to Enjoy Your Bible”


  1. 1 John

    Sounds like a good one. Good job on writing and getting the review copy. I’ve really been surprised at how willing publishers are to send copies of their books to bloggers. I buy very few books at all now.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you. I buy some books because writing reviews is hard and it’s tough to review a commentary or really big work. But I think it’s great that they’re willing as you say. I do think it helps them and I take it very seriously.

    I see you’re the person I subscribe to and I just commented on your nice review of D.A. Carson’s latest. I like blogs like yours.
    Jeff

  1. 1 Evangelical Press | Scripture Zealot
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