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What's actually in the Bible? Where do we find the story of Moses or Jesus's Parable of the Prodigal Son? Who are the main characters in the books of Joshua and Acts? A Guide to Bible Basics provides a summary and chapter outline of each biblical book to facilitate comprehension of its fundamental story and subject matter. This accessible and concise book presents the basic content of the Bible with the conviction that readers first need some level of comprehension of the Bible's stories, poetry, regulations, and teachings before addressing theological, historical, and literary concerns for its relevance today. Tyler Mayfield discusses important people, places, and terms so that the reader can quickly see the primary focus. This book can be used alone to help readers in their knowledge of the Bible and is great for beginners or those in need of a refresher course.
“Recently, I was reading through the stories about Joseph in Genesis with a group of adults. One of the members asked if Joseph was related to Abraham and quickly another group member said he was not. I gently corrected her and seizing a teachable moment, I invited the group to trace the lineage between Abraham and Joseph and discovered most could not. What occurred to me was that while these adults, most of whom had been born and raised in the church, could tell stories about particular individuals in the Bible, they did not have an understanding of the overall story of the Bible and how the particular individuals related to one another. They needed Professor Mayfield’s Guide to Bible Basics. This is a treasure. It is no secret that many church members feel inadequate about their knowledge of the Bible. The truth is that many pastors feel the same way. In a remarkably accessible style, Professor Mayfield gives the reader a cogent overview of the whole of scripture as well as each individual book. Through the careful work of the author, the reader gains a foundational and functional grasp of the Bible so that one may engage the scripture with confidence and hope!”
—Rev. Rev. Rodger Nishioka, Ph.D., Senior Associate Pastor, Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, Kansas
“Everyone knows that the church in our culture faces a dreadful growth in biblical illiteracy wherein allusions to the Bible go increasingly unrecognized. Tyler Mayfield has written a terrific antidote to that illiteracy. His book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter introduction to the Bible provides easy access for fresh learning. With a generous use of charts, maps, outlines, and prompt questions his book is user-friendly and pedagogically effective. I anticipate wide use of this book in congregation that “want more Bible” and aim to advance biblical literacy that will in turn eventuate in a more knowing church.”
—Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
“This handy guide to the basic content of the Bible is a must for seminary students and for anyone seeking a way to organize the vast and diverse content of the Bible that is easy to retain. Dr. Mayfield breaks it all down with helpful synopses, outlines, charts, timelines, key concepts, places, names, and important quotations.”
—William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary.
“Tyler Mayfield helps the reader build a scaffold for deeper understanding of the Bible and the setting into which is was written. This accessible and academically grounded resource for lay leaders, teachers and new educators invites any student of scripture to view a particular text through the larger arc of the biblical story.”
—Rebecca Davis, associate professor of Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary
“In a time when the Bible is often invoked but without accurate knowledge of its actual content, Tyler Mayfield has provided an extremely helpful resource to introduce another generation to the basic content of the Bible. In a compact yet thorough volume, Mayfield walks readers through the whole Bible, with judicious chapter-by-chapter summaries for each book. With the Bible and this Guide to Bible Basics in tandem, readers will come to know—or rediscover—the key themes, people, places, and events in the biblical texts.”
—John T. Carroll, Harriet Robertson Fitts Memorial Professor of New Testament, Union Presbyterian Seminary
“This helpful text offers readers an overview of the content, context, and personalities found in Hebrew and Christian scriptures. It is a valuable resource for Bible teachers and students, those who know a little or a lot about the people, places, and ideas found in specific books and stories. Professor Mayfield "guides" us well.”
—Bill J. Leonard, Emeritus Professor of Baptist Studies and Church History, Wake Forest University