Guest Author: Douglas Jacoby
Like most of you visiting the Printsasia website, I’m an avid reader. (Maybe, like me, you find yourself tackling multiple books simultaneously: one in the study, one in the bedroom, another on CD in the car…) Though I’ve read thousands of books, including the scriptures of all major world religions, for me the Bible is in a class all its own. The Bible has been a daily companion since I came to faith in 1977, and I continue to stand amazed at its depth; and even today, it challenges me to the quick. Of course, we all have our own biases and none of us can (in humility) claim total objectivity. But this is what I have experienced. The most dynamic book in the world stands uniquely amidst its rivals. I urge everyone I meet to engage (preferably daily), in order to discern God’s voice. That is why I’ve read the New Testament in a dozen languages, and the entire Bible over 50 times. This is because I am convinced that no other book is remotely as deserving of a lifetime of study.
But aren’t there countless interpretations of the Bible, touted by endless church denominations? What hope do we really have of understanding it, let alone unity with other seekers? Some resist going deeper for fear of confusion, disappointment with God, or insufferable “rules.” Others may have had faith, but it has withered—perhaps under the critique of a college religion professor—and long to rediscover what is true in the Bible. For most, it is difficult to pick up a Bible, start reading, and feel completely at home. We know little of the lands, empires, and issues around which the biblical story revolves. Further, there is an enormous gulf between us moderns and the people in biblical times. Society, dress, customs, language, attitudes—all are different.
In short, we may think we understand what we’re reading, yet the chasm between our time and theirs, our culture and theirs, is considerable. Even most dedicated Bible readers aren’t quite sure how all the pieces fit together: the books, chapters and verses; prophets, priests and kings; history, geography and archaeology. The Quick Bible Overview seeks to make this task easier.
Author’s bio: Douglas Jacoby is a graduate of Duke University (history), Harvard Divinity School (New Testament), and Drew University (ministry). After 20 years of Christian ministry, Douglas has worked as an independent teacher for 10 years. A popular speaker, he has appeared on the programs of colleges, churches, clubs, radio stations, and other organizations in over 100 nations. For know more about the work of Douglas Jacoby go to http://douglasjacoby.com.
Dr. Jacoby is a professor of theology (Lincoln Christian University), consultant, and tour guide. He has debated a number of prominent atheists, agnostics, and representatives of other world religions, and is visible at YouTube. His first book was published in 1986, with his 25th coming out in March 2013. The Jacoby’s have three grown children, and reside in the Atlanta area.