Book review: What is the Bible?

by Rev. Anne Robertson


This little booklet serves as a basic textbook to introduce the Bible in the Dickinsen Series Program of the Massachusetts Bible Society. It’s intended for class session, recognizing that there may be two levels of learners in each class: some may be taking the course out of general interest only, while others may wish to pursue a Certificate of Biblical Literacy, requiring more in-depth exercises, and earning Continuing Education Units. The four books in the course include:

[1] What is the Bible?

[2] Introducing the Old Testament

[3] Introducing the New Testament

[4] The Bible in Context (a look at the culture and surrounding events of the various times in the biblical narrative)

Book one (today’s topic) is sort of a “What’s the big deal?” treatment, introducing the two Testaments, what’s hidden in the Bible, how it was put together, why there are so many translations, and why people argue so vehemently over words like “inerrant” and “inspired.” Above all, this introduction stresses tolerance and understanding for the different ways of reading scripture. It encourages you to examine your own beliefs objectively so that other opinions about the Bible can be appreciated (remember, it’s written to be used in class discussion), and it serves as a great lead-in to the coming volumes.  Robertson’s writing is engaging, written with humor and lots of little anecdotes. It reminds me a little of the “Dummy” instruction series. But as friendly as it is, it’s like any textbook: If ya don’t do the exercises, ya don’t get the benefit.



  1. Matthew 5:41, Go the extra mile | The Dubious Disciple - [...] the Bible. Today’s verse is one of many examples provided by Rev. Anne Robertson in her book, What is …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>