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Philip Yancey: The Bible Jesus Read


Philip Yancey, The Bible Jesus Read (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), 221 pages. 

Philip Yancey has written The Bible Jesus Read to help answer the question posed by his first chapter: is the Old Testament worth the effort? Drawing heavily on his own struggles reading these ancient books, he lights a way through the very sections that have sent us running for the familiar sights and sounds of the New Testament. He states in chapter one, “Eventually I found myself wanting to read those thirty-nine books, which were satisfying in me some hunger that nothing else had—not even, I must say, the New Testament. They taught me about life with God: not how it is supposed to work, but how it actually does work” (pp. 21, emphasis his).

Yancey jumps in head first, wrestling with Job in chapter two. Then, one by one, he tackles the books that have crossed all of our eyes at one time or another. Deftly, he shows us how he himself began to not only make sense of them, but truly enjoy the reading. Each will find, as I did in his chapter on Psalms, that we shared a struggle, or misunderstanding with him. The obstacles were cleared for me to enjoy and profit from the Psalms by the time the chapter was finished. No doubt most who read this book will share my experience.

I recommend this book to those who avoid the Old Testament as well as those who love it. As one who has always loved it, I can say this book was a tremendous help, though I confess I didn’t think I needed any. Those who have avoided it, for the small price of this book, need avoid it no longer.

Reviewed by Mike Dies

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Category: Biblical Studies, Summer 2000

About the Author: Michael J. Dies is the reviews editor for Pneuma Review. He and his family live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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