Reading God’s Word Today: A Practical and Faith-filled Approach to Scripture

  • Author: George Martin
  • Paperback: 176 pages  ($12 to $15)
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor (September 2, 2009)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592766406

This book is an extensive revision of the author’s best-selling classic “Reading Scripture as the Word of God”. This book was first released in paperback form in 1978. This is my second book on the subject of how to read/study/understand the Bible. See also my review from December 31, 2010, of “The Bible Compass”.

While both “Reading God’s Word Today” and “The Bible Compass” cover the same subject, they each take a different approach to teaching the subject.  This is understandable, because different people learn with different methods.  The “The Bible Compass” is a “how-to” user manual that is quick and easy to open and learn from.  “Reading God’s Word Today” can best be compared to a collection of lectures from a Professor, on how to understand the Bible. The author, George Martin is a very knowledgeable and experienced professor, who knows how to teach. He has written 10 books, mainly on Scripture. The material is presented at a high-school / beginning college level, so it was easy to understand and learn from.  The lectures (chapters) are all related to one another and build upon one another. Some of the important information is repeated from chapter to chapter, in order to emphasize the significance of that information.

I enjoyed reading the lectures (chapters), and I did learn from them.  A legitimate question to ask is why should someone read a 176 page book before starting to read a 1100+ page Bible?  The short answer (from information in the book) is that the Bible is not like any other book.  It is a library of books written from 2000 to 3500 years ago. Help is needed to properly read, study and understand this collection of books.  “Reading God’s Word Today” provides a great help for the beginning student of  Scripture study.  Depending on how someone best learns new concepts and ideas, they may wish to read either “Reading God’s Word Today, or “The Bible Compass”. If someone is serious about Bible study, I recommend reading both.

Both of these books were required reading for me, for an Introduction to Sacred Scripture class, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.  I learned a great deal from both books and am very happy I had the opportunity to read both from cover to cover. They highly complement each other, and provide a solid foundation for a serious student (seminary or home-schooled) to successfully learn the basic concepts and techniques of Sacred Scripture study.