Book Notice: How to Read the Bible Through a Jesus Lens

Book Notice: How to Read the Bible Through a Jesus Lens April 24, 2012

Michael Williams
How to Read the Bible Through  Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focuses Reading of Scripture
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.
Available at Amazon.com.

This is a charming little book that gives an overview of every book of the Bible and how it relates to Jesus. Williams says: “Reading the Bible through the Jesus lens is reading it the way it was intended. It keeps our reading, understanding, teaching, and preaching properly focused on God’s grand redemptive program that centers on his own son. Seeing how each biblical book makes its own unique contribution to that redemptive focus enables us to see these diverse materials with much more confidence and accuracy. the Jesus lens ensures that our exegetical bowling balls stay within the lane and don’t go crashing over into areas where they can cause a lot of damage to the faith of believers and to our ability to use the bible fruitfully in our service to God (p. 9).

Williams gives a summary of each book, nominates in one sentence its overall theme, outlines the main parts, provides a key memory verse, then shows how it all relates to Jesus (i.e., the Jesus Lens), gives some hints at contemporary application, and closes with several “hook question” for those who want to go further.

Here’s a video from Williams.

I wish all students would read a book like this before they came to Seminary since ignorance of the biblical story line, esp. the OT, is a huge problem we have to deal with in NT Intro classes. I particularly liked the chapters on Exodus (Deliverance into Presence), Daniel (Cosmic Authority), Ephesians (Shalom), and Revelation (Ultimate Victory). It is written at the perfect level for an overview of the Bible for lay people and above all it is a good reminder that both the Old and New Testaments are Christian Scripture.

I also have to say that since Michael Williams is an OT scholar, the book confirms again my suspicion that biblical theology was invented by OT scholars who needed an excuse to write about the NT because all OT scholars secretly suffer from NT scholar envy!

There is also a one hour video about the book at Calvin Theological Seminary that is available here.

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  • Jeremy Wales

    I suspect the real reason OT scholars write BT, far more than NT scholars, is their special insight that the canon is larger than 27 books 🙂