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The Symphony of Scripture

February 24, 2011

Keith Mathison at Ligonier Ministries highlights a book that was helpful to him when he was in seminary in Mark Strom’s The Symphony of Scripture: Making Sense of the Bible’s Many Themes.  Mathison says:

According to Strom, three main presuppositions shape the outline and structure of his book from beginning to end:

  1. The Bible is essentially the record of God’s dealings with His people over thousands of years and within several different cultures. A central story line and the constant interaction of themes such as sin, judgment and grace unify its diversity.
  2. Jesus Christ is the key to understanding this unity in diversity.
  3. The books of the Bible should be read with respect for their historical and cultural context and the literary conventions they reflect.

The main goal of the book is to demonstrate how the key people, events, institutions, and books of the Bible fit into the overall story. In other words, Strom provides a map of the forest with a guide to important landmarks along the trail. The book is an introduction that is as useful for those with no prior knowledge of Scripture as it is for those who have studied the Bible for many years.

Strom’s book is divided into 22 relatively short chapters (usually about ten pages in length). Twelve chapters are devoted to the Old Testament, and ten are devoted to the New Testament. There are numerous helpful charts and illustrations throughout the text to help the reader grasp more complex topics. Each individual chapter begins with a brief summary of the main point to be communicated and ends with several discussion questions and exercises. The exercises introduce the reader to the actual text of the Scripture that has been discussed in the chapter. The book is structured in such a way as to be particularly well-suited for either individual or group Bible study.

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From → Bible, Theology

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