The Ark

100 Minute Bible - Book Review

Wed October 19th, 2005

Being fond of reading new version of the Bible, I had to get hold of a copy of this well advertised new product.
Amazingly, this is not a new translation! Neither is it the whole Bible cut up into individual sections you can read in 100 minutes each. It is a greatly compressed overview of the whole Bible in 50 pages! You can read the whole thing in 100 minutes! What a novel idea!
In the UK we face a reality that a whole generation has grown up in school with no Bible teaching. The home has to a great extent ceased to be a place where the Bible is honoured and church attendance is very low indeed. So we have a whole generation of people who have grown up not knowing the background to the names Adam, Abraham, Moses, David or even Jesus.
What this little book does is that it simply and clearly gives the reader the context of the Bible – a summary of the key characters and events. As you would imagine it says a bit more about Jesus than anyone else and it is enough to empower the reader with a basic Bible knowledge. Personally I would love to see this as the basis of teaching Christianity in the National Curriculum.
I found one textual innacuracy, which is in chapter 3. It states that Jacob having first being tricked into marrying Leah "...had to work for another seven years before he could marry Rachel". This would read correctly as "had to agree to work for another seven years before he could marry Rachel" (He actually married her one week later - Genesis 29:27-28).
The booklet draws no conclusions, makes no statements, just summarises the Bible as a whole. This is an excellent resource to give someone if they genuinely want to know more about what we believe. It would also be good for new Christians as an introduction to the Bible. It is important to say that it is not a replacement for reading the Bible itself, but ideal for filling in the gaps in what should be general knowledge and to help to develop a taste for the real thing.
The 100 Minute Bible is abridged by Michael Hinton and published by the 100-Minute Press. ISBN Numbers 0-9551324-0-1 and 978-9551324-0-7
You can buy this book from Eden.