Although I don’t make a secret of it, I typically don’t talk about my faith here because this blog is about my writing journey and the books I read. However, today those worlds collide because I have a review of THE STORY: THE BIBLE AS ONE CONTINUING STORY OF GOD AND HIS PEOPLE.

Wow. That’s a mouthful. Basically, THE STORY is a condensed chronological version of THE BIBLE. As part of a church-wide study, I actually read two different versions–the main one and THE STORY FOR CHILDREN. There also are teen, middle grade, and preschool versions to make it accessible for all ages. I’ll focus on the adult one for the purposes of this review, although I do want to say that the illustrations in the children’s version are beautiful, and it does include some stories that are excluded from most children’s Bibles.

Ok, so back to my review. I’d better start by explaining the format. THE STORY takes excerpts directly from the Bible, without the book, chapter and verse headings so that it reads like–you guessed it–a story. It’s broken up into 31 chapters, starting with creation and going through Revelation. It is not the whole Bible. Parts that don’t fit into the chronological story of creation through Revelation are left out to maintain the flow. Other things are summarized in italicized text that is clearly marked as commentary/outside information. But the main text? Straight out of the Bible.

It’s amazing how smoothly the Bible reads when presented this way. I gained so much perspective reading stories I’d known my entire life in chronological order and in context. So many times at church you pull out a snippet and don’t think about what came before or after that story. The purpose of this study is to really show how the lower story–what happens here on Earth–fits into the bigger picture of God’s upper story.

I’ve read through the Bible more than once, but THE STORY really helped me put things in perspective. If you’re interested in understanding what Jesus is all about but aren’t up for reading the Bible, I’d recommend this as a starting point. As I said, it doesn’t have the whole thing, so it’s not a replacement, but it’s an easier read if you don’t know where to start. And if you’re like me and have been reading the Bible forever, you can still learn something new from THE STORY.

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions about THE STORY or THE STORY FOR CHILDREN.

Responses to “Review: THE STORY”

  1. Jennifer Rumberger

    Our church used this over the past school year for their service planning. You’re correct, if you don’t know where to start it is a great place, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the “real” thing. 🙂

    • Michelle I. Mason

      Yes! A number of people in our church were skeptical at first, wondering what they could learn from passages and stories they’ve known their whole lives. It was especially helpful for the Old Testament. I had a number of “Aha!” moments.

  2. andreagaszak

    Thanks for writing about this. I will definitely look into it. I gave my 8-year-old son The Action Bible. It has the Bible stories as a graphic novel and he LOVES it. I’ve found it to be pretty good, too!


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