How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture by Michael James Williams, Zondervan, 2012, 288 pages. Interest Group: Christianity/Bible/Reference
An Amazon search for "how to read the bible" yields an easy 5,529 results! Add some other search parameters and you are bound to expand that number exponentially. No question about it, there are plenty of books on reading the bible.
Methodological, pedagogical, philological, or just plain introductory methods can all explain how to get into and read the bible. What many believers would benefit from the most is reading the bible effectively. Scholars of all sorts can explain to you the content and intent of religious literature, regardless of their creed or allegiance, but the true effectiveness of reading the bible is found in doing it, internalizing it, and obeying it.
How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture is Michael Williams' attempt to remove the hype and the proverbial fluff and get to the nuts and bolts of understanding scripture. If you are disciple of Jesus Christ, it should be a no-brainer. However, this is not always the case. Fundamentally, Jesus is the one who has enabled us to see the truth of his words, it is through him we should read the truth of scripture.
I elected to review the book and the author's insights as he views the letters of John through the Jesus Lens. The author of John's gospel makes his agenda clear from the onset, the deity of Christ. The Jesus Lens tells us that we must see through the events of this gospel and discover the Father in the Son. Likewise the Son in the Father is a revelation that is important to the life of the disciple. Because of this union with each other, Jesus is divine and human. Without the perfection of deity, the imperfection of humanity could not be redeemed.
The epistles also attributed to John reveal the importance of truth and obedience to that truth. It is the Jesus Lens that again demonstrates the physical manifestation of God's love through the human presence of the divine son. Jesus Christ sets forth the standard and the instructions that enable us to follow in his footsteps. In other words, practicing the life he enables us to do through the life that he lived here on earth. This same revelation of truth and similitude to Jesus Christ is found in the refutation of error and the behavior we provide toward others, hospitality.
Williams' has done many old and new believers alike a great favor. He has pared down the truths of each book of the bible and allowed us to view them through the Jesus Lens. With a summary, contemporary application, and reference to how to read each book with Jesus as our interpreting lens, William's has developed an excellent tool. Whether you use it as a desk reference or a review tool after finishing a book in the bible, this book is very helpful for reminding us to see Jesus in all things, including our bible reading plans.
I received this book from Zondervan for the purpose of review. No books were harmed in the reviewing of this book.