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Ryken’s Bible Handbook

A Guide to Reading and Studying  the Bible,
by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, & James Wilhoit

The book blurb:

This book gives students of the Bible a quick overview of every book in the Bible. Leland Ryken’s distinctive trait is a literary approach to the Bible–understanding the Bible as literature. The three authors help shed light on understanding the Bible as the inspired Word of God and as literature by looking at the Bible’s different literary genres: poetry, narrative, wisdom literature, story, parables, and more.

The Authors:

Leland Ryken is a professor of literature at Wheaton College and has written several literary books as well as participating in the translation of the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Philip Ryken, Leland’s son, is the senior pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA.

James Wilhoit is a professor of Christian education at Wheaton College as well as both author and coauthor of a number of books on Christian spirituality.

My Thoughts:

Ryken’s Bible Handbook is an excellent pre-reading resource for Bible study. It is also an excellent during-reading reference and study outline; AND an excellent after-reading point-by-point review.

The Ryken’s and James Wilhoit have created a consummate reference book in a usable size. The book opens with an over-view of the Bible as a whole. What is it? Why should we study it? How do we know it is true? Then the book goes on the explain the Bible in detail, providing an overview of each book that includes maps, charts, graphs, time lines, and illustrations, as well as key doctrines, key verses, unifying themes, historic detail, and different quotes and perspectives from well known Bible scholars and teachers.

I will not be keeping this book on my reference shelf. It will be right here on top of the desk with my Bible and daily study resources. I am blessed to have this book in my library.

Disclosure of Material Connection:

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


    1. Nessa — you know all that stuff at the beginning of each book in your Bible — the stuff that tella about the author, the purpose of the book, when it was written, who it was written for? This book has that, it just extends it a bit further.

    1. Melli — you already have one of these — With the Word, by Warren W. Wiersbe is the same type of book, although this one is much more comprehensive and it’s hard bound. When your Weirsbe falls apart (mine did) keep this in mind to replace it.

      On the other hand, my friend Pastor Shelia likes her With the Word so much that she took it to Office Max and had them put it in a spiral binder.

      1. LOL! That works! I KNEW I had With The Word — but this one does sound much more comprehensive! (and… shhhhh… but it’s $6 cheaper at Amazon… shhhh!)

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