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Ryken's Bible Handbook

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Whether you are new to Bible study or have read the Scriptures countless times, greater riches are waiting to be unearthed. The background and literary genre of each book will come alive as you gain insight into each book's message and learn methods for analyzing its content. This handbook contains countless applications for life that will increase your appreciation for the ways God reveals himself and his character through the Scriptures.

The Handbook is organized by the books of the Bible. For each book, you get explanatory maps, charts, and illustrations, a fact sheet, key verses, key doctrines, overviews and main themes, perspectives from theologians, educators, and authors, and more. Links are included to the 36 topical articles where appropriate.

Who could benefit from this book?

  • Students of the Bible looking for an insightful overview of every book in the Bible.
  • Bible study leaders, teachers, preachers and those looking for fresh information and perspective on familiar passages to share with others.
  • Those reading through the Bible! As you start into a new book of the Bible, a review of the Fact Sheet and insight provided by this handbook will help you see it with new eyes.

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.


  • A fact sheet and guide for each book of the Bible with:
    • Maps, charts, and/or illustrations
    • Highlighting of key events, characters, places, themes and verses
    • Lists of key doctrines and how the book contributes to the Bible's story of salvation in Christ
    • Suggestions for applying the book
    • Helpful insights from published commentary on the book
  • 36 Informative Articles
    • How We Got the Bible
    • The Story Lines Of The Bible
    • Ten Things the Bible Says About Itself
    • Jesus Throughout the Bible
    • Teaching the Bible
    • Narrative as a Form of Writing
    • The Ten Commandments
    • Jesus as Priest
    • Covenant
    • Prayer in the Bible
    • Prophecy as a Form of Writing
    • And more!
  • One Year Bible reading plan with daily selection from Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs

From the Introduction

This handbook is a guide that equips readers and teachers of the Bible to conduct explorations of the actual text of the Bible, both individually and in groups. Whereas most handbooks concentrate on either background information or summary of content, this handbook provides tools for analysis. Accordingly, this handbook is filled with "prompts" that lead readers to analyze and interpret the books of the Bible for themselves. Taken one step further, these prompts can easily be translated into discussion questions for a small group Bible study or a personal inductive Bible study.

This handbook is attuned to the literary forms of writing that comprise the Bible. In fact, this book can accurately be called an introduction to the genres (types of writing, such as story, proverb, or genealogy) that make up the Bible, along with guidelines for interpreting each genre. This handbook teaches how to study the Bible. Among handbooks it may be unique in being a book of methodology, not simply a summary of biblical content - a handbook devoted to Bible reading and study as process, not simply as product (where the authors are more concerned with conveying information to their readers).

The distinctive features of this handbook include the following:

  1. A "fact sheet" presenting at a glance the most important things a reader needs to know about each book of the Bible, including implied purposes, author's perspective, implied audience, things that unify the book, special features of the book, and challenges facing the reader or teacher of the book, with accompanying ways to meet the challenges.
  2. For the longer books of the Bible, a preliminary chart showing the unity and overriding framework of each book in a visual way that is easy to comprehend.
  3. A host of further helps showing the big patterns in each book of the Bible, along with signposts to how the parts of each book relate to the whole.
  4. Sections tracing clearly the flow of each book from beginning to end, in terms appropriate to the genre (type of writing) of the book
  5. Highlighting of key events, characters, places, themes, and verses of each book
  6. Lists of key doctrines in the book, and a section showing how the book contributes to the Bible's story of salvation in Christ
  7. Suggestions for applying the book
  8. For each book, a collection of the most helpful insights from published commentary on the book
  9. One-page articles on the major genres of the Bible (such as story and poetry) and other topics (such as the golden age prophecies of the Old Testament and the religious sects at the time of Jesus)

About the Author(s)

Leland Ryken is professor of literature at Wheaton College. He has written several literary books and worked on the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Philip Ryken is the eighth and current president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

James Wilhoit is professor of Christian Education at Wheaton College and the author of coauthor of several books on Christian spirituality and formation.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 5.875 MB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later. Download size: 5.875 MB. Android Requires Android OS 2.2 or later. Download size: 5.875 MB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 5.875 MB. Windows Store Download size: 5.875 MB. Windows PC Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, or later. Download size: 2.375 MB. Mac OS X Download size: 5.875 MB. Windows Mobile Requires Pocket PC / Windows Mobile version 6.5 or earlier. Download size: 1.375 MB. Palm OS Requires Palm OS 4.0 or later. Download size: 1.875 MB.

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