Wayne Jackson delivers an abundant amount of readable and helpful suggestions that point the reader to wisdom in his book “A Study Guide to Greater Bible Knowledge”. This book is not meant to be exhaustive in any of its areas, but rather spark interest and give initial direction for fruitful Bible study. Wayne Jackson is readable in style and thought provoking in his suggestions and insight throughout the book. Each chapter is followed by questions that keep the readers on track and give them measurable goals to accomplish. I recommend answering the questions for better retention and appreciation of the lessons being taught.
The Book’s Structure:
The first seven chapters start with a broad understanding of the bible and narrows the focus through each successive chapter. Mr. Jackson begins by stressing the need for careful Bible study and the overall theme of the Bible including ways that sin has affected humanity, the importance of the Old Testament, the necessity for the sacrifice of Jesus, and more. In chapter three Mr. Jackson gives the reader ten Biblical principles for properly interpreting the meaning of the Bible. To give a few examples, he reminds us that we are expected to understand the Bible (Ephesians 5:17, 3:4), recognize different types of narratives, and respect the context of a passage. Chapter four covers a significant amount of ground in Bible history and provides material that can easily be memorized to give the students a "big picture" point of view. Chapter five summarizes the books of the Bible and provides a two-week plan for helping the student successfully recall the main idea of every book of the Bible. Chapter six builds on this by giving tips and general methods for further analyzing the books of the bible, while also suggesting a couple of good book that will help in this area. Chapter seven delves deeper by explaining how to analyze the chapters of a book and divide them into their logical groups of thoughts.
The second half of this book discusses other effective study methods to use once the basics are mastered. Chapter eight suggests profitable books that reflect the fruit of conservative Bible scholars. These suggestions include Christian evidences, hermeneutics, dictionaries, history, survey books of the Bible and more. Chapter nine covers the topic of sound exegesis which is the practical application of interpretation principles. Chapter ten talks about the study of Biblical words wherein I found his explanation of etymology, grammatical form, and context very helpful. In chapter ten he also gives good examples of misusing language, which can aid the Christian in answering doctrinal and theological problems. Chapter eleven discusses comparative Bible study - a valuable method for getting the complete picture and for apologetics. Chapter twelve talks about topical Bible study and the final chapter provides the tools needed for a biographical study.
The book as a whole provides sound principles by which one can gather a robust fruit of Bible knowledge. There are great book recommendations throughout and Wayne Jackson pleads a convincing case for the necessity of these references. Christians of all levels can gain insight through the study of this introductory work. The information provided is both logical and memorable. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking profitable Bible study techniques.