I have been a Christian for two decades now and cannot deny it–the Bible is a difficult book to understand. Sure there are parts of it that are so simple that even a child can explain them. But to know the Bible well, to know how it all fits together, to know how it applies to me all these years after it was written, requires dedication, hard work and skill. Though there are many books that teach how to dig into the Word and to learn from it, many do so in a way that is difficult to understand for new Christians or young Christians. Dig Deeper by Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach steps nicely into that void.
“This is a book to help you understand the Bible correctly. … We want to help you to dig deeper and find hidden riches in the Bible. We hope that parts of the Bible that previously seemed like gobbledygook will begin to make sense, and that bits that were clear already will become even more vivid and gripping.” They go on to say, “Most of all, we want to help you do all this for yourself.” While acknowledging the place of pastors and Bible experts, they want individual Christians to know that God has equipped them to understand the Bible on their own. And in this book they give them the tools they will need to begin to dig into the Bible on their own, mining its infinite riches.
The format is very straightforward. The book is to be understood as a kind of toolkit with each chapter adding another tool to the set. Each chapter has many examples and illustrations from the Bible. And, of course, there are exercises that give the reader a chance to practice using these tools on his own.
Among the tools are:
- The author’s purpose tool
- The context tool
- The structure tool
- The linking words tool
- The vocabulary tool
- The translations tool
- The repetition tool
- The genre tool
- The Bible time line tool
Though no passage will require all of these tools, the reader will soon find that he can apply several of them to any passage and in that way begin to build his knowledge of it.
Ideal for young Christians or Christians who are eager to begin a new depth of Bible study, Dig Deeper does just what it promises–it provides tools for understanding the Word of God. In his praise for the book Kent R. Hughes says that he will keep a few copies handy to give to others and even to refresh his own preaching. And Jay Thomas, who serves as College Pastor at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, says that he would be glad to put it into the hands of any of his students. This exactly that kind of book–one to read and one to keep on-hand, ready to give away. I recommend it for both purposes.