This set of four, small books packs a big punch for those who want to understand the bible a little better. The bible is one of the most influential books, but many people haven't read it in its entirety, or feel intimidated while reading it. This four-volume set is a guided tour.
The easy-to-read text in each book (about 130+ pages in an approximate 5 x 7 x 1.5 package) is broken by subheadings and pull-out quotes. They are a handy reference for anyone exploring the claims of the bible, wanting a better understanding of it or for small group leaders. Each chapter offers a study guide at the end.
Epic -- The Storyline of the Bible focuses on redemption.
Foundation -- The Reliability of the Bible explores doctrine
Content -- How to Understand the Bible fits the pieces together by looking at various settings
Walk -- How to Apply the Bible offers practical application
Most appealing is that each little book isn't overwhelming. They don't intimidate with volumes of heady information that only biblical scholars have time to sift through. The compact (and in my case paperback) booklets seem an easy read over a cup of tea or during a couple of daily quiet times. The information contained, however, is pretty meaty. This isn't the USA Today version of the bible, but a detailed breakdown and road map. It's also written in a style that is appropriate for either beginner or experienced bible study leader.
The Bible Savvy Series is a four-book series by Jim Nicodem that lays a strong foundation to study, interpret, and apply the Bible.
The series consists of four books: Epic: The Storyline of the Bible, Foundation: The Trustworthiness of the Bible, Context: How to Understand the Bible, and Walk: How to Apply the Bible. Each book contains a study guide for each chapter in the book. The study guides are great for small group study.
Epic: The Storyline of the Bible
Epic shows how the Bible is a complete story that focuses on single main theme of redemption. It starts by talking about what the Bible is and then gives a quick overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
It's hard to cover the entire Bible in just one small book. Nicodem spends too much time talking about things that are outside the Bible- such as TV shows, nativity statistics, and just stories in general.
Foundation: The Trustworthiness of the Bible
Foundation shows how the Bible is the Word of God and not just a man-made book. It shows that the Bible is accurate and trustworthy.
This book needed some footnotes for further study. There are lots of archaeological evidences given to help show the Bible is the Word of God, but there are no references given to show where the information came from.
Context: How to Understand the Bible
Context gives rules for interpretation of Scripture.
Some of the advice could be a little better. For example, Nicodem makes the comment, "But you don't need to pay attention to multiple definitions of a word that you are studying. Simply select the single definition that fits its setting best." Here's where I would recommend using study tools such as lexicons, dictionaries, and the original languages to help determine the best definition to choose. It's not very wise to choose pick a definition you think might fit the best.
Walk: How to Apply the Bible
Walk focuses on application. It shows how to use the themes and teachings in the Bible to apply to your life.
The Bible Savvy Series is a good introduction for small groups, classes, and personal study to show the Bible is the Word of God, how to study, and how to apply it.
The series does cover some good material. Overall I thought there was too much time wasted on things that didn't pertain to the Bible. It was too conversational. The author talked about TV shows, movies, etc., and gave too many stories for comparisons with Biblical events. As with any book that includes doctrine, I caution readers to do their own study as there are several theological points that can be interpreted with other points of view. The series is well written and easy to read and follow, it just needed to stay focused on the Bible.
Moody Publishers provided these books free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.
My husband teaches a class at our church called Overview of the Bible, and this series of books would fit in perfectly. Jim Nicodem writes this series of books very plainly so that anyone can pick them up and understand what is being said. However, at the same time, he doesn't insult the reader. I felt like I was in a conversation with Jim rather than reading a book.
New Christians, or people wanting to know more about Christianity, will learn a lot about how the Bible is put together and get a better grasp of what is in it. Those who have been Christians longer will be able to gain a better understanding of concepts they know (or think they know).
I recommend these books to everyone wanting to grow closer to God by getting better at reading the Bible.
This new series by James L. Nicodem is one that I know I will go back and use many times. These short and concise books make them easy to carry along and they are also easy to read. I like how they are written for the everyday reader to understand. The books market themselves as good for those who are new believers to believers who like to study the Word. I'm impressed with all the topics covered within these 4 books.
The first book, Epic: The Storyline of the Bible, goes from Genesis to Revelation and tells a quick and very brief summary of what happens throughout the different chapters of the Bible. I like that these books lend themselves to Bible Study use or small group use. At the end of each chapter, there are study questions that take you into the Word and the sections of the Bible that you are reading about.
The second book, Foundation: the Reliability of the Bible, is just as the title of the book states. It's a book that questions whether or not the Bible can be trusted and if everything on the pages of the Bible are true. It also is a great resource for group studies and I think it would lend itself to some very deep discussions. The study guide is well laid out and easy to use.
The third book, Context: How to Understand the Bible, is probably my favorite. So much in today's Scripture quoting is taken out of context. It's great to memorize it, but context needs to be understood to understand what God's promise is for His people. It covers the historical setting, the literary setting, theological setting, and the immediate setting. It also gives many examples to help show the reader what he is trying to say. The study questions in this book are also great and would lend itself to great discussions.
The last book, Walk: How to Apply the Bible, gives feet to what has been discussed already. It shows you how to take Scripture and be able to apply it to your life. It gives you things to pray about and really think about. After all, living it out is the hardest but most necessary part of our Christian lives! As you can imagine, the study discussions to this book alone would bring some very intense discussions. I think many churches need to do some classes with these books!
I received these books free from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book
I love when I come across a book that is just practical, yet still full of truth. I do! They are biblical, easy to understand, and easy to apply. The Bible Savvy Series is one of those reads. Based on scripture, easy to read, and full of biblical, practical applications, I found this series to be very beneficial to me!
Epic: The Storyline of the Bible
In this first installment of the series, NIcodem walks through the Bible, making a brief overview of it's vast plot. Working his way from Genesis to Revelation, he shows how all of scripture is one common theme. Even though there are 66 books within the Bible, they are all part of one plot: The story of redemption. He discusses the outline of redemption prompted, redemption prepared, redemption prophesied, redemption purchased, redemption proclaimed and redemption perfected. Seeing how all books and divisions of the Bible fit together under one common story line helped me to better comprehend how the pieces fit together as well as to be reminded that each portion of scripture is important and not to be overlooked as unimportant.
Foundation: The Reliability of the Bible
In this second book, we are shown just how we know that the Bible is what the Bible says that the Bible is (comprehend?). The key topic throughout is how we know that the Bible is truly the word of God? How do we know that it is God-breathed? How do we know it is true? How do we know it is without error? How do we know that we can trust the Bible? Basically, it describes to us why and how we can have confidence in the Word of God. In today's culture it has become extremely important that we know what we believe, and how to defend that belief. This book proved to be a wonderful tool in answering those questions, and giving me knowledge to pass on to others when this topic arises.
Context: How to Understand the Bible
Out of all of the books in this series, I believe that I found this one to be most beneficial and helpful to me. In this particular volume, Nicodem discusses each genre of scripture and presents you with how to properly read and understand them. He discusses books of poetry, books of prophesy and everything in between. As I read it I was encouraged to better study and search scripture as well as to better utilize outside resources in order to better understand the context under which different scriptures were written, which will help me to better understand the meaning of God's Word.
Walk: How to Apply the Bible
I feel that this book did an excellent job at wrapping up the Bible Savvy series and showing why this is relevant and applicable to our personal lives. He also walks through the COMA outline and provides wonderful examples that allow you to both learn how to as well as actively practice searching out the context, observations, message and application of scriptures. It was extremely helpful in helping me to comprehend how to better understand scripture as I read and study God's Word.
I would most definitely recommend this series to you if you desire to better understand, study and apply scripture to your life!
Note: I received this series free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, opinions are my own.