See also: Reviews
recent scholarship has emphasized the narrative quality of Scripture.
This book takes that insight and brings it to life, enabling even
the beginner to grasp the sense of Scripture as a single great
storya drama in which we are all invited to play a part. I am
delighted to see solid scholarship made easily accessible in this
N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham
is a book whose time has come. Bartholomew and Goheen have produced
a brief, accessible presentation of the entire biblical story
that highlights both the unity of Scripture and its profound cultural
relevance today. For readers who think of the Bible as a succession
of unrelated devotional fragments geared primarily toward individual
morality and spirituality, this book will come as a salutary shock,
a reminder that the Christ-centered canonical Scriptures constitute
a coherent Word of God that challenges the underlying religious
direction of Western civilization. Based on deep and wide scholarship,
but engagingly written for a broad audience, The Drama of Scripture
promises to be an indispensable tool for the many Christians who
have been awakened to God's call for serious cultural engagement,
in the name of Christ, with a post-Christian world in thrall to
the idols of both modernism and postmodernism."
Albert M. Wolters, Author of Creation Regained:
Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
Drama of Scripture is a model of biblical scholarship, integrating
sound critical methods with a disposition of faith that is open
to the revelation of the living God through his Word. This engaging
book opens up for students the panoramic vision of the Bible that
has been obscured by centuries of confessional battles and has
been fragmented by Enlightenment rationalism. It succeeds in rendering
the biblical world truly habitable, thus bridging the gap between
the Bible and Christian experience."
Mary E. Healy, Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom
is a vivid introduction to reading the Bible as a coherent story
of God's purposes for the world. It will not only help the new
reader but will also enable the experienced reader to distinguish
the central themes of Scripture from mere sidelights."
Gordon J. Wenham, Author of Story as Torah
and Goheen do a masterful job of presenting the Bible as an organic
whole. They powerfully demonstrate how the themes of covenant
and the kingdom of God provide a coherence for Scripture that
helps the reader make sense of its varied parts. I enthusiastically
recommend this book as a university-level textbook, but all who
want to enrich their understanding of the account of God's redemptive
plan will benefit from reading it."
Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of
Biblical Studies (Westmont College)
Drama of Scripture is just what we would expect, and need,
from the partnership of an accomplished biblical scholar and a
noted missiologist. This is an entrée into the grand sweep
of God's story told with a keen eye for Christian formation and
the mission of God's people. Though obviously in conversation
with relevant scholarship, Bartholomew and Goheen's narrative
is uncluttered and disarmingly transparent in its invitation for
us not only to grasp but also to be grasped by the big story of
Joel B. Green, Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor
of New Testament Interpretation (Asbury Theological Seminary)
rediscovery of the significance of story is one of the most important
recent insights in biblical interpretation. This masterly book
is a fine introduction for the aspiring student, combining evangelical
commitment to the normative authority of Scripture with a deep
understanding of modern scholarship. Bartholomew and Goheen have
provided a fine service to the Christian community by opening
up the story of the Bible in a way that can be lived in today's
Trevor Cooling, University of Gloucestershire
could be more necessary for the teaching of Scripture and the
understanding of Christian theology than a command of biblical
grand narrative. In this introductory text, Bartholomew and Goheen
make it possible for students to situate fragmentary knowledge
of the Bible within a coherent view of the canonical Scripturesthat
larger story which both forms and, when central to living memory,
unites the church."
David L. Jeffrey, Provost (Baylor University)
The Drama of Scripture, Bartholomew and Goheen provide
a Christian reading of the biblical story from Genesis to Revelation.
They do so in a way designed to remind contemporary Christians
that they too inhabit that same story and are meant to live inside
it, continuing the works and words of Jesus in today's world.
The result is a challenge to reappropriate the Scriptures as a
basis not only for church and theology but also for life itself."
Raymond Van Leeuwen, Professor of Biblical
Studies (Eastern University)
book is an intelligent, engaging overview of the narrative of
Scripture in six acts. Bartholomew and Goheen have produced a
clear and theologically sensitive account of the Bible that is
perfect for college students or adult Bible study groups."
Christopher Seitz, Professor
of Old Testament and Theological Studies (University of St. Andrews)
"This brief yet penetrating and riveting overview of the
Bible's dramatic message of creation, fall, and redemptionfrom
Genesis to Revelationwill become a must not merely for students
beginning theological studies but for all who wish to see the
biblical forest rather than merely its trees."
Max Turner, Professor of New Testament Studies (London
School of Theology)
Drama of Scripture should be read, discussed, and acted on by
Christians everywhere. . . . The remarkable thing about The Drama
of Scripture is that the authors are able in less than 250 pages
to draw us into the entire drama of the Bible, from the creation
and fall into sin, through God's call of Abraham and the choosing
of Israel for a special role among the nations, on through to
the coming of Jesus, his death, resurrection, and ascension, and
the mission of the church carried forward, by the power of the
Holy Spirit, in expectation of Christ's second coming. Engaging
almost every book of the Bible, Bartholomew and Goheen help us
see the dynamic forward movement of the story that has not yet
reached its end. The story encompasses us and calls for our conscious,
Jim Skillen, Public Justice Report
is the book for anyone who lacks a unified perspective on the
Bible.... This book is to be commended for its clarity, for its
uncomplicated acceptance of the integrity of the scriptural account,
for its important sense of the universal significance of the biblical
story and the way it should shape our self-understanding and world
Bartholomew and Michael Goheen have together written a book that
expounds this six act play. An excellent prologue suggests that
the Bible is like a Cathedral, which has many doors (themes) and
different paths through it. They suggest that the main doors are
covenant and kingdom, two sides of the same coin. What follows
is a fine introduction to the biblical story focusing on these
Philip Jenson, Biblical Studies Bulletin
"Who wouldn't appreciate an excellent overview of the Bible? There are many good guides to seeing the big picture and this-written from a perspective which insists on whole-life discipleship and a transforming worldview based on a Kingdom vision of a restored creation-is one of the very, very best. . . . This is a great, great book for those newish to Bible study or for those who still hunger to know God's Word in a more coherent manner."
Byron Borger, www.heartsandmindsbooks.com
"The strength of this book lies in the simplicity of style that enables it to squeeze the broadness of the biblical material as well as some of the best fruit of theological scholarship all within its surprisingly thin covers. . . . In combining some of the best evangelical scholarship to outline in broad-brush strokes the flow and narrative quality of the text, Bartholomew and Goheen have provided a book that enables us to graspand indeed invites us to play our part inthe unfolding biblical drama of God's salvation."
"[Bartholomew and Goheen] combine their strengths to produce this text for biblical theology for first-year university students. The Drama of Scripture clearly, concisely, and with magnetic interest summarizes the wide scope of the Bible. . . . Bartholomew and Goheen write for all Christians. . . . A multi-use volume, The Drama of Scripture will find a place in classroom, individual study, and family and group study. Mentors and students will value it as a handy reference book with a large subject index. The footnotes are full of interesting tidbits of information."
Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews
"Every once in a while a book comes along that immediately meets a real need. This is one of those books. Building on the works of scholars such as Lesslie Newbigin, Alisdair MacIntyre and N. T. Wright, the authors have produced a coherent and readable overview of the biblical story, which is filled with just enough detail to corroborate claims and tantalize the reader without losing sight of the big picture of Scripture. . . . Books like this one often give useful information and leave it at that. However, this book calls for application. Stressing that the peculiar logic of the biblical story is that it is a story in search of an ending, the writers show the importance of individual believers making a difference in the present based on what has happened in the biblical story in the past.... [This book] will serve college students, pastors and scholars well in their efforts to understand and live the Christian story."
Stephen G. Dempster, Canadian Evangelical Review
"Any serious Bible reader will find this an accessible bookone providing structure to an all too often fragmentary knowledge of the biblical text. The book, developed as a text for a first-year university course, is a pleasure to read. Apart from its obvious value as an academic text, it is useful in a small-group setting or adult Bible class. The book is accompanied by excellent resources for a class setting."
David Daniels, Faith Today
"Bartholomew and Goheen have produced a volume that will help inexperienced readers of the Bible get a view of the big picture before moving into more atomistic treatments of the Bible. It will serve well in introductory level Bible courses and may serve equally well in basic courses in hermeneutics. Its easy, nontechnical language will make it a popular text with such students."
Jeffrey S. Lamp, Review of Biblical Literature
"Reading Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen's The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story is like entering a promised land of mild and honey. The Drama of Scripture is an extraordinarily good book. It is a book that can be reliably recommended to those wondering 'what's the Bible all about?' and to those new to the faith, while seasoned veterans will derive encouragement and depth from page after page. . . . Although not a work of heavy scholarship, the easy-to-read prose is nevertheless the fruit of extensive learning and mature reflection.... this is a very fine book. . . . The authors have placed us all in their debt. Their work deserves to remain in print for a long time and is strongly recommended."
Keith Sewell, Pro Rege
Bartholomew and Goheen's book is a racy reflective jaunt through the drama of Scripture or the story of Scripture. Recognising that human beings make sense of their lives through stories, they offer the grand narrative of Scripture as an embracing story of God within which we are invited to find our place. . . . This is a really good and easy access account of a reading of the Biblical story from cover to cover. For someone wanting to take in the sweep of Scripture and its plots, this would be an excellent place to begin.
Canon John Thomson, Diocesan News (Diocese of Sheffield, UK)
"A worthy introduction or teaching tool. . . . The book has several strengths. It is a highly readable work. The authors' clear and simple writing style allows the reader to be caught up in the movement of the story itself. The book also contains twenty six figures, the majority of which are well-placed maps, which add to the sense of story and make the characters' movements and actions more conceivable. Other figures provide visual reference for some of the theological concepts that arise in the course of the story. Finally, the authors maintain a good balance between the biblical story itself and the historical background behind the story. . . . The book has several possible uses. It would be an excellent companion text in an introductory course on the Old or New Testament. In the pastoral setting, it would provide an accessible overview of the Bible for the new, adult believer. And for those Christians who are themselves looking to step back and gain a fresh perspective on the Bible, Bartholomew and Goheen's work might well prove worth a read."
Jonathan E. Kane, Ashland Theological Journal
"Drama occupies a unique place in the literature: nothing else focuses so clearly on Scripture as story while competently interacting with secondary literature. . . . It would make a very good required text for a biblical theology course or as a more theological component of a traditional Introduction to OT or NT. Likewise, it could be used for adult education in the local church (note the pared-down British version just published by SPCK for this purpose). . . . Bartholomew and Goheen have done an admirable job of showing how Scripture tells a unified story of God at work to establish his kingdom, and their book deserves wide use."
Charles A. Anderson, Trinity Journal
"The authors masterfully explain how the themes of covenant and the Kingdom of God provide a coherence for Scripture that helps make sense of its varied parts. . . . I commend the authors for offering a much-needed bird's eye view of Scripture, including the intertestamental period. They show us how a good understanding of God's redemptive plan for the ages enriches the faith of believers and aids them in developing a Christian world and life view."
Johan D. Tangelder, Christian Renewal
"The writers affirm that despite questions about the Bible, one can read it with confidence and find a positive, coherent message in the whole. . . . The authors also have established a related website, www.biblicaltheology.ca, which includes a Resources section. . . . For those adopting the book as a required text, these resources will be quite helpful, particularly with students who are increasingly internet-oriented."
Walter E. Brown, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Readers familiar with the work of Geerhardus Vos, Gordon Wenham, Herman Ridderbos, N. T. Wright, and Hendrikus Berkhof will recognize the framework (old age/new age) within which the biblical story is retold. Indeed, as a popularization and synthesis of the writings of these scholars, The Drama of Scripture will be a useful work for students of Scripture and a helpful resource for pastors and teachers looking for assistance in developing a compelling presentation of the biblical story."
Nelson D. Kloosterman, Mid-America Journal of Theology
"[This book] will certainly appeal to anyone approaching the entire biblical story for the first time."
Dianne Bergant, C.S.A. (Bible Today)
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