Many thanks to the kind folks at B & H Academic for giving me the opportunity to review the Holman Illustrated Pocket Bible Handbook: Pocket Reference Edition.
Do you own a Bible? Do you read your Bible? Have you ever wanted to read a brief overview of a Biblical book before diving into the text? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, this compact volume may be just what you’ve been looking for.
The Holman Illustrated Pocket Bible Handbook is designed to give you a glimpse into the key elements, message, historical setting, and literary features that make up each book of the Bible. The information for each book is presented over the course of six pages and is organized as follows:
Page 1: Explanation for the name of the book, Key Text, Key Term, One Sentence Summary
Page 2: God’s Message in the Book, Purpose, Christian Worldview Elements, Teachings about God, Teachings about Humanity, Teachings about Salvation
Page 3: Christ in ‘book Name’, God’s Story, When the Events of this Book Happened, How ‘Book Name’ fits into God’s “story”
Page 4: Original Historical Setting, Author and Date of Writing, First Audience and Destination, Occasion
Page 5: Relevant Photo, Map, or Charts
Page 6: Literary Features, Genre and Literary Style, Themes, Books Features and Structure
This concise and well organized presentation makes the text easy and quick to read. The visual elements (color photos, maps, charts) contained throughout the book serve to both educate and visually stimulate the reader. The book is very compact, making it just as easy to fit into a laptop bag as it is to keep it out as a permanent desk reference. At just under ten dollars, this compact volume is a great value and will be a very affordable and useful addition to your personal library.
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