If given the task, most of us would have a really difficult time organizing the Bible in chronological order. Our diagram would probably look like a poorly made spider’s web. On the other hand, many of us would love to be able to read the Bible in chronological order, that is, to be able to read the stories within the Bible as they relate to one another.
The Lord once again has provided our generation with several options in order to be able to do just that. This post will deal with the review of the Reese Chronological Bible.
|The KJV Reese Chronological Study Bible
By Bethany House
Retail Price: $39.99
Revisit Edward Reese’s trusted chronological text in a new edition! The redesigned two-color interior is packed with in-depth study materials.Geographical, archaeological, cultural, and historical context notes * Explanation of difficult passages and words * 365-day reading plan * Genealogies of key figures * Converts weights and measures to current usage * Timelines * Size: 6.5″ x 9.25″ x 1.5″ * 1824 pages, hardcover from Bethany
What is the point of a Chronological Bible?
The first reaction many will have when hearing of the Chronological Bible for the first time is, “It’s just another translation”. To set the record straight, the Chronological Bible is not another translation. The Chronological Bible is simply a different organization of the books and texts of existing translations.
When someone reads from Genesis to Revelation as though it was one big book, they can miss out on many of the intricacies and interactions within the text of Scripture. Many of the books of the Bible are actually contemporary to other books even though they are found in different sections of the library. It is worth taking a few minutes to read through this post What is the Bible? One BIG book or a LIBRARY of books? to better understand how the typical Bible has been organized.
The Chronological Bible has been organized in a unique way. If you will, the bookshelves in the library have been reorganized. All the books are still there and the Scriptural text has not been changed. Rather, you might consider how the individual books have been produced as a series of pamphlets. All the pamphlets, from all the books have been reorganized so that everything that pertains to a certain era, or specific time frame are grouped together on the bookshelf.
That is what the Chronological Bible does. A few examples of what that means:
- The details found in the books of Leviticus and Numbers take place in the timeline of the book of Exodus. So pamphlets from the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers would be grouped together on the bookshelf.
- The events of the book of Ruth take place during the time of the book of Judges. So the pamphlet of the book of Ruth would be included among the pamphlets of the book of Judges.
- The events of the book of Job took place during events in the book of Genesis. The pamphlets of the book of Job would be included in the pamphlets of the book of Genesis.
- Most of the book of Psalms was written by David during the time of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. The pamphlets from the book of Psalms that correspond to David would be included with the corresponding pamphlets about David in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. As a side note, in the Psalms, there are some pamphlets that correspond to Moises and they would be included with the pamphlets from the book of Exodus and Deuteronomy.
- The books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon were written by Solomon during the time of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. The pamphlets from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon would be included with pamphlets corresponding to Solomon from the books of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles.
If you find that hard to figure out, it is just a sampling of the web of interconnections found in the entire Bible. Thankfully, all of this work has been done for us and we can enjoy the fruit of their labor.
Check out this chart of how Bible history and world history interweave.
The Reese Chronological Bible
There are several options available when it comes to Chronological Bibles. I will focus on this particular edition because I have had one since 1989.
The Bible was given to me as gift and it was not until a couple of years later that I came to appreciate its value. In my last year of High School, we had to do an investigative report as a final project in our English class. I submitted and received approval to do “A comparative study of the four Gospels”. It was an intensive study and required a lot of going back and forth between the Gospels. What made the task more efficient was the Reese Chronological Bible I pulled of my shelf and opened for one of the first times.
The version I have is old and basic, the format is a simple black and white. The updated version has been modernized. It uses a two color approach in its presentation of the text. Study helps include genealogies, geographical, archaeological and historical notes. This Study Bible has been expanded to provide even more value for the Bible student. It is more than just a chronological Bible, it is a Bible Study resource.
A Resource worth passing around
A couple of years ago, a church member in Nicaragua was doing a study of the kings of Judah and Israel. She was talking to me about her studies and how she had discovered that many of the prophets had lived during the same time frame as these kings. She explained to me how she was trying to sort it all out, but that it was a rather difficult task. As she understood enough English and was able to read it fairly well, I offered her the use of my Chronological Bible. She was surprised that such a thing existed, and was enthused at the opportunity to look through it.
After a few weeks, I asked her how things were going in her study and she commented that the Bible was a big help. She then quickly asked me if I needed it back. I told her that it was fine and she could keep it for as long as she needed it. Every month or so she would ask again if I needed it, to which I responded every time that she could keep it for as long as she needed it. After almost two years, she gave it back. It had been an invaluable tool for her study and she was very thankful to have been able to use it.
Chronological Bible is available in several translations
The Chronological Bible that I have is based on the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Though the Scriptural text of the KJV is organized in a unique way, the ENTIRE text of the KJV is included in the Chronological Bible.
If you use the KJV, the Reese Chronological Bible is the definitely something you should have in your Study Library. If you use another version of the Bible, there are several options available to you including the NLT, NIV and NKJV.
As a bonus, many of the Chronological Bibles come with a one-year Bible Reading Plan. This is an excellent option for you if you have already read through your Bible. You will be amazed at the new discoveries you will make.
- Read the post about the value of reading the Bible chronologically
- Take a look at the hard copy edition of Reese Chronological Study Bible
- Take a look at the e book edition of The Reese Chronological Study Bible e-book
- If you have a Chronological Bible, offer to lend it to someone who is reading through the story of the kings (in the OT) or is reading through the Gospels or the book of Acts (in the NT)
- Read a short explanation of the history of Chronological Bible Storying here.