Prior to discovering the Bible Answer Handbook, I had not heard of Dr. Larry Richards nor did I know how much he has already assisted in being published. As he lays out in the introduction of the Bible Answer Handbook, his conviction is that the Word of God is both at times difficult to understand as well as extremely relevant for present day believers. He admits that it is often difficult to sift through what was meant for the text’s immediate audience and what was meant for today — or was it all written just for us? These, as well as many others, are the sorts of questions that Richards answers.
The Bible Answer Handbook surveys the entire Bible for the most hotly debated issues in Scripture. From cover to cover, Richards walks through the entire Bible. Authorship per each book of the Bible is discussed, admitting the difficulties in nailing down a specific author or era for a text. He will also seek to answer topical questions, such as geographical or sociological concerns of the ancient people and places. Richards admits that the Biblical text is not only foreign to present day readers, in that we have difficulty relating to customs and lingo of the ancient world, but that the biblical text has also been victim to some editing of sorts. The introduction to the Bible Answer Handbook provides students of God’s Word with a quick and easy rundown of issues that Biblical exegetes need to have in their peripheral sights (i.e., haplography and dittography) in order to most responsibly handle Scripture.
All that being said, Richards does not push the envelop theologically nor exegetically. I would say that he does well to make the main things the plain things and the plain things the main things. Though an “answer” handbook, Richards points his readers to God more so than he tries to silence criticism. In other words, he isn’t arguing for biblical critics to be silenced as much as he is helping believers to wade through difficult passages and topics.
I’d highly recommend this handbook to be on the shelves of pastors and laypeople. Those in the academic world might find the answers a bit reductionistic (and seldom does Richards refer to any outside sources … for almost 460 pages of material, he has a bibliography that is 3/4 of a page long). But, if nothing else, the book is a wonderful resource for asking the right questions about a passage.
Author: Larry Richards
Publisher: Revell Books (a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Page Count: 459
The Back Cover Reads:
“Where did Cain get his wife?”
“Why would God tell His people to destroy other nations?”
“If Jesus’ sacrifice covers all sin, how can there be an unforgivable sin?”
“How do we know which early church customs to follow today and which were just products of the times?
From the trivial to the serious, more questions have probably been asked about the Bible than any other book. You can find sound, biblical answers to over 700 of them in this fascinating resource.
Working through the Bible book by book, Larry Richards looks at a wide range of perplexing questions on topics ranging from authorship and internal contradictions to scientific error and historical inaccuracy. He also explores hard-to-understand passages, shedding light on their meaning and their implications for the Christian life, while always maintaining the view that the Bible is reliable and trustworthy.
THE BIBLE ANSWER HANDBOOK is your go-to source for answers to the tough questions you have while reading Scripture, and those asked by the skeptics and seekers in your life.
Pick up a copy of the book over at Amazon.com.
**This book was provided free from Revell Books with our promise to provide an unbiased review.