Gary Millar
Read This First: A Simple Guide to Getting the Most from the Bible
The Good Book Co, Australia, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1784986834 

Read This First

 

"While it's pegged as an introduction for those who may know nothing about the Bible, this little book is also useful for those who may have been reading it for years but who perhaps want to take a step back and look at some of these foundational truths about the Bible that they may have never even considered before."

It's not uncommon for Christians to struggle with reading the Bible. In a world where reading has increasingly given way to video content, it can seem an intimidating tome 

That's where Gary Millar's Read This First comes in. Millar, principal of the Queensland Theological College in Brisbane and a council member of Gospel Coalition Australia, says he wrote the book "to help people who would like to read the Bible but don't really know where to start or how to go about it".

The book, which comes with a handy appendix explaining the Bible in terms of how its two testaments, 66 books and more than 31,000 verses, addresses some of the key issues people may encounter when considering if or how to read the Word including its centrality in the Christian faith, why everyone who watches Netflix already has the skills to read the Bible, the different genres of writing in the Bible, and how you can develop your reading of the Bible with reference to the many experts resources available. 

And, of course, Millar pays attention to the importance of the big picture - of reading the Bible as a whole as well as in its parts and, while enjoying the detail, not getting bogged in it at the expense of the larger message the Bible contains.

All this is eventually summarised in a simple, six step approach to reading the Bible.

While it's pegged as an introduction for those who may know nothing about the Bible, this little book is also useful for those who may have been reading it for years but who perhaps want to take a step back and look at some of these foundational truths about the Bible that they may have never even considered before.

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The main message, as one might expect from the title, is to get reading. After all, as Millar notes early on: "the Bible was written to be understood by ordinary people like us".

"It doesn't need insider knowledge or a special code to make sense of it. It's not written for experts of professionals. It's written for people like you and me." Amen.