Pocket Guide to the Bible

I enjoyed the fresh manner in which Jason Boyett educated on the Bible in the Pocket Guide to the Bible: A Little Book About the Big Book.  He is informative and hilarious as he writes.

Favorite Quotes

  1. Like any collection of sacred documents written in ancient languages over the span of several centuries, the Good Book has a lingo all its own (1).
  2. Then again, the fact that we’re made in God’s image is often not the most effective PR move the Heavenly Father’s ever put together (31).
  3. Many Protestants give props to Athanasius as the father of the New Testament canon (139).
  4. Tradition credits Wycliffe with leading the Church out of the Dark Ages by getting the Word of God back into the hands of the people (142).
  5. If there’s one thing the medieval Church will absolutely not tolerate, it’s people reading the Bible for themselves (143).
  6. Able to read the Bible for themselves, the common folk get a lot more spiritual.  The Reformation gains a lot more steam.  The establishment gets a lot more worried (150).

His last chapter is “List Ye Be Smitten (Biblical Flotsam and Jetsam)” which are random lists that he finds amusing.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Five health conditions that sound absolutely awful, as described in the King James: dry scall (Lev. 13:30), grievous murrain (Ex. 9:3), the burning ague (Lev. 26:16), smited bowels (2 Ch. 21:18), and bloody flux (Ac. 28:8) [173-174].
  2. One statement by Paul that, when taken out of context, makes him sound relatively hip: “Peace to the brothers” (Ep. 6:23) [177].
  3. Seven phrases from the Book of Judges that would make awesome band names: The Nether Springs (Jud. 1:15, KJV), Cushan-Rishathaim (Jud. 3:8), The Heads of Oreb and Zeeb (Jud. 7:25), Millo (Jud. 9:6), Forsake My Sweetness (Jud. 9:11, KJV), The Tribe of Dan (Jud. 18:30), and Certain Sons of Belial (Jud. 19:22, KJV) [186].

Book Overview

Americans consistently identify the Bible as the most influential book in history, but seriously: are you really reading it? Probably not. If all you know about the Bible are a few Psalms and the Christmas story, then you’re missing out on a book that’s wilder, weirder, and more entertaining than you ever imagined.

With a stealthy combo of entertainment and insight, Jason Boyett’s Pocket Guide to the Bible fills the gaps in your religious education. It introduces you to the characters you must know, reveals the thrilling development of the biblical canon, and details the less-churchy parts of Scripture (hello, sex and violence!). Don’t miss out on discovering

  • How God employs talking donkeys, mentally unstable prophets, and helpful prostitutes in his master plan
  • Which moral failures may result in an old-fashioned smiting
  • Why Catholic Bibles include books some Protestants refuse to recognize
  • Whether your New International Version of the Bible may in fact be demonic

With Pocket Guide to the Bible, you’ll finally realize what’s so good about the Good Book.

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.