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How to Read the Bible

Author Michael Parsons
Publisher BRF £8.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780857468093 2020

‘We read scripture to hear God speak to us, to relate to us in and through Christ.’ The author emphasises engaging with the text, rather than merely reading it, and he sets out to explain and demonstrate how his readers may do this, in a number of different ways. He offers exercises at chapter ends, so that individuals or groups may further their experience of the topic presented. As a writer I found the chapter on poetic language interesting. We are so used to imagery in the novels we read now, but when the psalmist uses imagery, for example, it would probably have been the first time a phrase or word was used creatively. Parsons is an experienced minister and theology lecturer, and he writes clearly and encouragingly. Sometimes I feel he leads readers towards his own viewpoint, rather than guiding them to form their own. The concluding chapter in the book considers the reasons we want to be biblically literate. By the end I was conscious that behind each book in the Bible there is a writer, and beside each writer there is God.

VERONICA BRIGHT

Biblical Literacy