Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study - a review

This book review will be a little unusual compared to the traditional review where I would normally summarize a book and tell you what I liked and disliked.  The reason is, The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study – A Survey of the Bible by Starr Meade is not a traditional book.  It is a Bible study program that the author believes can be used as a supplement as you read through the entire Bible, or as a workbook to give you an overview of the Bible before reading it in its entirety.

Starr Meade believes that not only is the Bible a book, but the ultimate book.  We should not read it sporadically, picking and choosing verses or passages as we see fit.  She contends that we should read it cover to cover and study it, devour it as one might devour a classic novel.  She gently states that it is difficult to understand the Bible or the individual stories within, without first knowing them in context and that studying the Bible chronologically will help the reader understand God as the divine author and how to apply His truths in our own lives.

The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study – A Survey of the Bible is a 5 volume set, the first volume starting with the Books of the Bible and general information about them, explaining to the reader how they are divided (Law, History, Poetry, Gospels, etc) and the context of these divisions.  It then goes into the actual Bible study, giving introductory information regarding the book being studied and passages to read.  Throughout the study, there are leading questions with space to answer them right in the book.  Each section is followed by a “test” to see if the reader actually understood the material they just read and studied.  At first I was a little put off by the fact that there were such detailed tests, because I feel like a person reading the Bible should be forming a relationship with God, not stressing over whether they missed a detail.  But when you consider Meade’s statements in the introduction that we need to understand the facts first, and remember that no detail God reveals is minor, it makes sense to at least include a review. 

The Old Testament is covered in volumes 1 and 2, the New Testament is covered in volumes 3 and 4 and the 5th volume is an Answer Key to those tests.

While the study guide is intended for middle and high school students, I believe it would be an excellent introduction for adults that are new Christians and may be intimidated by reading the Bible without some guidance, for those who have never read their Bible in its entirety, or even for those who just feel they need a “refresher” course.  My own children are much too young for this study guide at this point, but I plan to use it myself, as I found I struggle with reading through the Bible with just a list of passages.  I think, though, that with a guide, with a list of questions to search for, I might be able to work more thoroughly and give myself a better foundation behind God's revelations.

**I received a complimentary copy of the full 5 volume set of The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study – A Survey of the Bible by Starr Meade (see a description of this book on the publisher's website here) from Crossway Books as a part of the Crossway Homeschool Book Review Program, in exchange for my honest review.

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