The Bible from Scratch by Simon Jenkins
The third edition of Simon Jenkins' lightning sketch of the Bible would make a great Christmas present for a young person or a new Christian
The Bible from Scratch
By Simon Jenkins
Reviewed by Pieter Lalleman
After previous versions in 1987 and 2004, this is the third edition of this book – and I am glad it is available again! Jenkins introduces the books, characters and themes of the Bible in a humorous and attractive way. The book is packed full with backgrounds and facts, some of which I never knew, such as a list of the ten longest books of the Bible (p.29). The contents pages show the reader around; there is no index.
But Jenkins equally makes direct connections between the old book and our own time. He uses different fonts to good effect. There are both puns and pictures on almost every page of this odd-shaped book, and often many per page, which blend very well with the text.
Jenkins knows the views of biblical scholars and uses them carefully. Where necessary, alternative views are presented. This book would make a great Christmas present for a young person or a new Christian.
One suggestion: in the fourth edition the rather heavy discussion of inspiration and authority should be moved from the very beginning of the book to the end.
The Revd Dr Pieter J. Lalleman teaches Bible at Spurgeon's College