I love reading my Bible. The joy of finding more and more new connections between the books and the testaments – and the unending discovery of more profound love, mercy and grace in Jesus Christ, and revelations of the wonders of the triune God are a constant source of amazement. And by God’s grace, He has provided us with the gift of those who are able to help us grasp the Bible’s material in ways that help us access key facts and observations more quickly, so as to make our reading more fruitful. One of the tools I have found that fits a unique niche in this way is Keith L. Brooks’ “Summarized Bible: Complete Summary of the New Testament.” If you have never stumbled on this gem, I would encourage you to check it out.
If you are part of a Bible study, preparing to hear the sermon on the Lord’s Day and know the text ahead, or just as a companion to your daily reading – you will find this a wonderful aid. It can serve both as a primer for a passage before you read, or as a way of reviewing in compact form what you’ve just read for better comprehension and organization. It really is delightful. And for those who might ask, yes, he did it for the Old Testament as well!
The book is organized around each chapter of the Bible, and takes no time at all to read for each chapter. Every one is organized exactly as the sample below, with sections labeled: Contents, Characters, Conclusion, Key Word, Strong verses and Striking Facts. It is not meant to replace your own meditation in the Word, but as an aid to help you organize your own thoughts as you consider a passage, and not just read without getting something.
Check this out from Luke 1 –
Contents: Birth of John the Baptist foretold. Virgin birth of Jesus foretold. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. Mary’s praise because of Jehovah’s favor. Birth of John the Baptist.
Characters: Holy Spirit, Luke, Theophilus, Herod, Zecharias, Elizabeth, Gabriel, Elias, Joseph, Mary, Abraham, John.
Conclusion: John, the forerunner of Jesus, came to earth by divine appointment and arrangement. Jesus, the Christ was born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and was therefore the Son of God to whom was promised the throne of His father, David.
Key Word: John and Jesus, vv. 31, 60.
Strong Verses: 31, 32, 35, 37, 78, 79.
Striking Facts: vv. 31–32. The name “Jesus” (Savior) links Him to humanity and suggests His career as Prophet. He is conspicuous as “Jesus” up to His resurrection. “Christ” (annointed One) links Him to Prophecy which He came to fulfill and suggests His work as Priest atoning for sin. “Lord” (the Jehovah name applied to Him) links Him with Deity and suggests His Kingship. He is coming again to rule.
Or this from Romans 8
Contents: The new law of the Holy Spirit in the believer, giving deliverance from sinful nature. The full result of the Gospel in the believer and his security.
Characters: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: It is the unspeakable comfort of all those who are in Christ Jesus that no condemnation remains to them, and that the indwelling Spirit does in the believer what the law never could do. He gives deliverance from the power of sin, quickens for service, imparts assurance, and inspires prayer.
Key Word: Made free, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 1, 2, 14, 16, 18, 26, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 38, 39.
Striking Facts: vv. 26, 34. The security of the believer as to the penalty of sin rests upon the one foundation of Christ’s finished work (v. 32) and His intercession in heaven for the believer. The believer’s security against the power of sin is the present work of the Holy Spirit within him and His intercession for us. Notice the two intercessors.
It can’t replace your own prayerful study, nor is it meant to be a full commentary – but it can be a very useful way to be sure you’ve noticed key information in every chapter.
It would make a great stocking stuffer for a loved one, or a treat for yourself. YOu can get it on Amazon for about $10.00. Worth every penny.
Merry Christmas! Reid