Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Family Guide to the Bible by Christin Ditchfield

A Family Guide to the Bible by Cristin Ditchfield is a wonderful way for Christian parents to gain a better understanding of the 66 books of the Bible in order to better learn more about God's Word and be equipped to teach their children Biblical truths. Cristin Ditchfield is a popular conference speaker and has authored more than fifty books including three others in the Family Guide series.
From Crossway's site: "A Family Guide to the Bible takes readers on a fun and exciting tour through all sixty-six books of the Bible and offers parents, grandparents, and teachers a better understanding of the Scriptures so they can help the children in their lives know what is in the Bible, where to find it, and how it all fits together. As Christians become more familiar with God’s Word, they will gain greater confidence as they share what they believe with their family and friends, help answer questions concerning the Bible, and encourage others to grow deeper in their walks of faith."
I will begin by saying this is a wonderful addition to any family or churches library to access information on the Bible in a way that is easy to read and understand. We start by receiving a short history lesson on where the Bible comes from and then Cristin Ditchfield answers the question, can we trust the Bible? Then we delve into the message of the Bible, what is it all about? These first chapters give great background information about the Bible in simple enough terms for a child to understand but complex enough that it isn't going to bore adults - this is a hard line to tow and one that Cristin Ditchfield has accomplished.
All books are included, Genesis through Revelation, and the chapters that talk about each book are divided into Old Testament and New Testament. These do not contain the Catholic books, but much information can still be gleaned from those who are Catholic. The books are in order as they appear in the Bible, making them easy to find in short order. In each book's chapter we are given the name of the book, the author, who the author was writing to or the audience, the setting, the story, the message, words to know, did you know?, think about it, making the connection and more on this story in the Bible.
Did you know is a section that gives a little more information about what's contained in each book, an interesting tidbit that makes learning about that book a little more fun. Think about it, gives the reader something to think about as they read and delve deeper into the message of the Biblical truths. Making the connection ties everything together from the time the message was written to our lives now. The author backs everything up using Scripture and gives the reference, this book can be used with any version of the Bible that is preferred by the reader, another reason this is easy to use.
Also included in this book are ways to study the Bible, such as choosing a translation, using a concordance, Bible dictionary and encyclopedia. Study tips for personal Bible study, family devotions and Bible reading plans are also included. She also has a section that tell what stories from each Old and New Testaments should be known by everyone, along with Bible heroes (men, women, children and teens), the Miracles and Teachings of Jesus, what the Bible teaches us about Heaven and various Scripture to help celebrate holidays, sharing the faith, guard your heart and face your fears. Maps of Bible lands are also in the back of the book along with one showing what the lands look like now.
Again this is a wonderful resource to have on hand for planning devotions, personal study or even planning a Sunday school lesson. This book can truly be used by any Christian that wants to learn more and teach the children in their life more Biblical truths and not just stories that don't relate to their lives. At a time when there are many children and young people leaving the church this book can help guide parents in actually teaching pertinent information and keep their children from leaving their faith.

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