A review of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, 30th Anniversary: Unlock the Scriptures in 15 minutes a day, by Max Anders
For the last 10+ years, I’ve gone through a Bible reading plan through our church called Join the Journey. I love going through the Journey. Every year we read through different parts of the Bible. One year we might read the Psalms and Proverbs, and the next year we might read through the New Testament. This year we’re doing a slow walk through of the book of Romans—we’re spending the entire year on 16 chapters. It’s been fun and enlightening to study this great letter in small bites.
In addition to a deeper dive in individual books of the Bible, I find great value in a 30,000 foot overview of God’s Word. Even though I’m seminary trained and been in ministry for over 16 years, I still need to be reminded of the message of the Bible, from cover to cover. For this reason, I loved going through Max Anders’ book, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible. Anders celebrated the Thirtieth Anniversary of the book by releasing a brand new version. This expanded version is the one I just read through. I liked it so much that I bought two more copies to read through again with my twins!
Why I Enjoyed this Book
Here are some reasons why I enjoyed this book and think you should consider checking it out:
1. As I mentioned, I appreciated getting to see the forest for the trees. The high level view of the Bible helped remind me of God’s story of redemption from Genesis to Revelation. I found myself wanting more every day. Any time a book whets my appetite to know more of God’s Word, I’d consider it a win!
2. I liked the author’s combination of short, relevant illustrations in each chapter followed by teaching and content. Each day’s reading included a few pages of reading and then some “fill-in-the-blank” pages. It’s a great combination of reading and workbook.
3. The claim is that you get to Understand the Bible in 30 days in 15 minutes a day. Each day’s “lesson” takes about 15 minutes. I finished the book a few weeks ago, but I can still recall the key story of the Bible, the main figures, locations, and storyline summaries of the major periods of the Bible. Anders also spends 10 days leading the reader through 10 key doctrines in the Bible.
A few other perks:
- You can download some helpful, free resources on the website for the book. Check it out!
- They provide a teaching/study plan if you want to lead others through the book.
- The new expanded edition includes eight additional chapters on topics such as the parables of Jesus, different literary forms in the bible, and a comparison of the four gospels.
- Anders includes a Nanosummary of the Bible: Understanding the Bible in 3,000 words. In this section he includes the story of the Bible in 1,000 words, the teachings of the Bible in 1,000 words, and the main message of the Bible in 1,000 words.
- A helpful, practical section called How to Master the Bible so Well that the Bible Masters You. This section includes four steps to help grow your understanding of the Bible, including reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Bible.
A few things I didn’t like (Honestly, I feel like I’m nitpicking here):
- Many of the blanks were too small and difficult to fill out. This perfectionist, with very small print, couldn’t fill in all the blanks. If you have larger handwriting, you’re really going to struggle.
- I loved the daily review as you went through the Old Testament or New Testament, but I wish it included more reviews in the doctrine section of the book.
- The author uses symbols throughout the book to aid in memorizing the story of the Bible. Most of the symbols were helpful, but some were repetitive and confusing.
I think any follower of Christ would benefit from this book. The book provides a great overview for the new believer, and provides a solid review for the man or woman who’s been walking with Christ for years. Anders says,
“A beginner will not be overwhelmed, and the established student will find much help clarifying, organizing, and expanding what he or she may already know.”
I couldn’t agree more. Check out the thirtieth anniversary expanded edition of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders.
I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson in return for participating as a member of the 30 Days to Understanding the Bible book launch team. This is my own honest assessment and review of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible. Thomas Nelson is a division ofHarperCollins Christian publishing, Inc.
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