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Friday, March 4, 2011

Simplifying the Bible

Bible Wisdom for Modern Times:
Subtitle: Selections from the Orthodox Old Testament

by John Howard Reid (Wyong, NSW Australia)
Paperback  and Kindle

Reviewed  Joyce White

Do you find Bibles somewhat daunting and off-putting? I know I do. The first problem is the sheer size of the book. My "Revised Standard Version" has 2,024 pages, with a double column of type on each page. The next hurdle is the way the text is set up with paragraphs as long as freight trains and all these idiotic numerals and numbers inserted into the text. I even have one Bible, "The Jerusalem Bible", which not content with one set of numbers disfiguring the text and making it difficult to read, has TWO sets running down the margin in places. In the story of Daniel and the Lions, for example, you get this progression: 2,1,3,2,4,3,5,4,6,5,7,6... For heaven's sakes! The final hurdle is the language. All this "thou sayest" and "wherewithal purposed forasmuch handstaves" (the last two words aren't even in the Dictionary)! What I've always wanted is a selection from the Bible of important material relevant to my life that's not only easy to read and understand but that sings to my soul. I've attempted to supply just that in "Bible Wisdom for Modern Times."

Note: I agree with the author that most Bibles were not written for ordinary people and the mechanics of searching and deciphering its wisdom can be so displeasing; many are disheartened enough to give up quickly. This book is smooth and easy reading and the wisdom is very clear. I find it interesting Wisdom is referred to as "Her." God is referenced as (He).

In the back of this 117-Page Bible of Wisdoms is a Chapter of Notes. Chapter One, begins with the wisdom of love goodness, virtue and doing right...He (God) quickly reveals His mind to men and women whose intentions are honest and who really put their trust in Him...

Distrusting the Lord God, in fact, is the very thing that separates men and women from God...Whether you believe in God or not, most believe if we look for good we will find good. If we look for bad, we will find sinners committing wickedness...

Wisdom is referred to as a kindly Spirit who loves all mankind...ending with...It was the works and words of ungodly and misguided men that called death into existence...

These fools considered death their friend. They pined for it. They made a covenant with it because they were not fit to take their place in heaven.

Note: We're living in a war torn world and the last line in this scripture speaks to me of all those who call death into existence...killing and maiming, rather than seeding and nurturing.

Chapter Six, begins with:

Wickedness, if unchecked, can lay waste the whole earth,
Evil-doing overturn even the thrones of might rulers.
If a storm of anarchy is allowed to rise against them,
Like a tempest, it will winnow them away.

Note: Unfortunately, wickedness is contagious...and the longer it goes unchecked, the more wicked it becomes; the last line in this Chapter reads...Wisdom reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other. And She orders all things well.

"Greek" Ezra: The Story of 3 Wise Young men
Chapters 3 and 4

I really enjoyed this fable-script about King Darius of Persia, the story begins when three guardsmen suggest a riddle for their King's favor.

"Let us propose a riddle...such as What is the strongest force in the world? The winner receiving title of King's Special Friend and Kinsman with many rewards."

The first Hesiod played to the King's ego, naming the King. He is your overlord and rules over all.

Maximus proposed that alcohol was the strongest force in the world.

Zrubar, the third, proposed and won, that "for Truth lives and rules forever....truth never fails, Truth endures, Truth is just...Blessed by the God of Truth!"

The Psalms were always my favorites because they were the easiest to read. This Psalms Six was about Trust; Psalm Nine was about Mercy; Psalm Eleven, was about Deliverance and Psalm Fifteen was about Help in Distress.

In Song of Solomon my favorite line is, ...There are many things about kingship that affront a poet's sense of beauty.

Note: Gods never die. Sinners deserve to die...

O Lord God of all,
Truly blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Proverbs begins with...Do you wish to acquire knowledge
And a deep understanding of the ways of God and man?
Then seek out Wisdom
Praise Her and proclaim Her!

I find this book very simple and inspiring to those who fear the time and commitment it takes to tackle any Bible. Love that springs from a pure heart, a clear conscious and real faith (not sham faith or pretending faith)....

Many of us would like to be known as "wise and learned teachers of the Law, like John Howard Reid, the author, but so many of us haven't the faintest idea how to begin!

Smooth and easy reading. Beautiful pictures. Uncomplicated design and text.

~Joyce White reviews for  Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews, and is an author in her own right.

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

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