Faithlife Corporation

Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PDT
Local: 7:00 AM
A Reader's Guide to the Bible
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

A Reader's Guide to the Bible


IVP 2017

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

Your Custom Discount

Reg. Price $15.99
Sale Price $10.99
Your Price $10.99
You Save $5.00 31%
Your Price What’s Pre-Pub?
Reg.: $15.99
Under Development


Approaching the Bible for the first time can be intimidating. At sixty-six books, nearly 800,000 words, and numerous kings, prophets, and deliverers, as well as priests and apostles, where should you begin? In what order should you read it? Why are there narratives here and over there, but other things mixed between? And is there an alternative to reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation?

In A Reader’s Guide to the Bible John Goldingay places the biblical books in their times and settings, and then lays out a memorable pattern for understanding the Bible. Three categories of biblical books—story, word, and response—form three doors into the cathedral that is the Bible: the story of God and his people, the word of God to his people, and the people’s response to God.

Whether you are a person of Christian faith or other faith, or no faith at all, here is a reliable guide to exploring the Bible. Written by a highly accomplished biblical scholar, A Reader’s Guide to the Bible joins a clear and direct style with a maestro’s touch.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Accessible big picture overview of the Bible
  • Guidance for understanding the people and places of the biblical narrative
  • Provides a practical paradigm for approaching Scripture that is easy to understand


  • God's Story and God's Word in God's World
    • The Events of the Bible
    • The Land of the Bible
  • The Story of God and His People
    • Beginnings: Genesis to Numbers
    • From Triumph to Defeat: Deuteronomy to Kings
    • The Story of the community: Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah
    • Sort Stories: Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel
    • The Story of Jesus and the Church: Matthew to Acts
  • The Word of God to His People
    • The Instruction of the Priests: Exodus to Deuteronomy
    • The Message of the Prophets: Isaiah to Malachi
    • The Letters of the Apostles: Romans to Jude
    • The Advice of the Experts: Proverbs and Song of Songs
    • The Visions of the Seers: Daniel and Revelation
  • Israel's Response to God
    • Prayer and Praise: Psalms and Lamentations
    • Doubts and Certainties: Ecclesiastes and Job
  • Epilogue: The Bible Today

Praise for the Print Edition

For readers who really don't know the Bible well (and hate to admit it), John Goldingay's well-written, concise outline is utterly accessible and complete. It's just the tool we need. As a skilled teacher of the Old Testament, he knows how often everyone can be overwhelmed by the details. This reader's guide provides the brief summaries we need to grasp the larger story arc and its essential teachings. I can imagine this book being widely used in churches or as a review for students who need to complete what they're missing.

—Gary M. Burge, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School

John Goldingay pours the wisdom of years of scholarship and teaching into this primer on the Bible. He invites us into the world of this ancient text to hear how it tells the story of God and God's people. A Reader's Guide to the Bible provides a straightforward and succinct point of entry for anyone desiring better acquaintance with the Bible. I cannot recommend this little volume highly enough.

—Jeannine K. Brown, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary

The Bible can be overwhelming for the first-time reader. There's so much to take in, so much to fill in ('Where in the story does this prophet fit in?'), and so much to coordinate (like two versions of the story of Israel's monarchy and four versions of the story of Jesus). Having devoted his career equally to the scholarly study of Scripture among academics and to the communication of its message to 'normal' people, Goldingay now offers a primer for those furthest from being at home in the pages of the Bible. This book provides a winsome overview of the story of the whole and how all the parts fit together. It's an ideal tool for the person standing at the threshold of his or her first time reading through the Bible itself.

—David A. deSilva, author of Day of Atonement

Product Details

About John Goldingay

John Goldingay (PhD, University of Nottingham; DD, Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth) is David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He was previously principal and a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St John’s Theological College in Nottingham, England. His books include An Introduction to the Old Testament, The Theology of the Book of Isaiah, Key Questions about Interpretation, Do We Need the Old Testament? and commentaries on Psalms, Isaiah, and Daniel. He has also authored the three-volume Old Testament Theology and the seventeen-volume Old Testament for Everyone series.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition