A little review of a little book.
Know Your Bible: All 66 Books Explained and Applied. Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour, 2008. Print (purchased copy).
This is a reference book I picked up a few years ago and generally use sporadically. Its organization is well-suited to its purpose: a quick introduction to each book of the Bible, easily read either together to get an overall understanding of the Bible or individually as preparation for studying a particular book of the Bible. I’ve used both ways and found it helpful in each.
Each section is brief, with most fitting on a single page; these sections total 89 pages. The books of the Bible are introduced in the same order as traditionally used in the Protestant Bible, and each entry is broken into the same seven sections: Author; Date; In Ten Words or Less; Details Please; Quotable; Unique and Unusual; and So What? It’s very easy to compare books or to pick up this reference book for a moment’s glance before starting or resuming a Bible study.
It’s worth noting in a review that the book is prepared from a Protestant perspective. The book omits the deuterocanon or apocrypha included in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles and draws most Bible quotations from the King James Version. Neither detail prevents other Christians from using Know Your Bible for their study, though. Most of the seven sections for each entry are essentially factual (Author, Date, Details, Quotable, and even most of what they share under Unique and Unusual), and the others are not particularly open to controversial opinions due to nature or brevity.
In short, this is a 99¢ book available informally at general stores (I think I remember getting mine at a grocery store). It is intended for a wide audience of Christians and for use as a quick study; it is neither exhaustive nor comprehensive, but it suits its purpose well. Although most of its information is easily gleaned from a study Bible or Internet search, it’s nice to have a pocket-sized book sometimes. There are still many people without Internet access or smartphones, and I’m glad to see publishers are still meeting their needs.