The Story, NIV : The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. Zondervan, 2011.
image from (amazon.com)
Summary (from amazon.com)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD” IS MORE THAN JUST A CLICHÉ. God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters, The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption; and this story’s true! From the foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee: “This book tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves his children, who established for them a way of salvation and provided a route to eternity. Each story in these 31 chapters reveals the God of grace---the God who speaks; the God who acts; the God who listens; the God whose love for his people culminated in his sacrifice of Jesus, his only Son, to atone for the sins of humanity.” Learn more about this whole-church experience at TheStory.com.
It's taken me almost a year to read this book. I left it on the night stand and would try to read in it every night, but that didn't always happen. Before I opened the book, it stayed on my nightstand probably two years. This was a gift from a dear friend, so each time I did open and read, I thought of her special gift and friendship.
This is a chronological narrative version of the Bible. Included are time lines (helpful!), maps and of course, the Bible stories. At times, I felt I understood my Bible better and then other times, I felt like something was left out, even though actual passages from the NIV version of the Bible are included. This is not a substitute Bible.
The chapters varied in length, but they were usually about 13 pages long. I didn't want to stop mid-chapter, so that's one reason it took me a year to read it. If I couldn't complete an entire chapter in one evening, I wouldn't start it.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter regarding Revelation, as it reminded me of the Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins book I read back in the late summer entitled John's Story.
At the end of the book, there are discussion questions for each chapter, a list of characters (in chronological order, so I think that wouldn't help me), and a chart of references for each chapter. At the beginning of the book, there's a preface and a timeline.
Some passages I marked:
"Love the Lord your God with all your hear and with all your soul and with all your strength" (85). I love this verse!
"Dispatches were sent...with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews...on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month" (280). This made me think of what Hitler tried to do in modern times. It also made me wonder about how many times over the course of human history attempts to get rid of the Jews have been made.
I also marked the place where Paul begins his letters to Timothy, as my Bible study this summer is is over 1 Timothy.