The Most Misused Stories In The Bible – Surprising Ways Popular Bible Stories Are Misunderstood by Eric J. Bargerhuff
Published by Bethany House Publishers April 18, 2017
Genre: Christian Study, Religion and Spirituality
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
A surprising number of popular Bible stories are commonly misused or misunderstood, even by well-intentioned Christians. In this concise yet thorough book, Eric J. Bargerhuff helps you fully understand the meaning of David and Goliath, Jonah and the Big Fish, the Woman Caught in Adultery, and other well-known Bible stories.
Providing fascinating historical and scriptural insights, Bargerhuff helps you sort through modern-day distortions of fourteen well-known Bible stories and grasp their original meaning and purpose for us today.
Eric J. Bargerhuff’s in depth look at fourteen of the most popular Bible stories that Christians study will make readers stop and consider how they view and understand the real context of the passages in question.
How often do we hear the story of David and Goliath or the Nativity story of the Wise Men coming from the East at Christmas and think, “I know this story so well I could tell it without reading it out of the Bible!”? And yet, have we really considered carefully the context of these and other oft-read passages in our Bibles? Have you, like me, been told or personally read a passage, thought you had the narrative completely learned and then discovered you had the actual point of the story wrong? Mr. Bargerhuff has taken on the challenge of helping Christians understand the real lessons to be learned from fourteen of the most popular passages of Scripture. My pastor has studied many of the stories Mr. Bargerhuff discusses in his book and has taught us many of the same lessons, but it was wonderful for me to review those and learn several lessons that I hadn’t considered before with other passages. For instance, the book of Jonah is not really about Jonah. Rather – as Mr. Bargerhuff points out – it is about the unending mercy and grace of a God who pursues us endlessly. If one thinks of the attitude of Jonah throughout the entirety of the book, you will see that he not only keeps his bad attitude towards the Ninevites but remains unreconciled to God from page one to the last word. And while the miracle of Jonah surviving in the belly of a “Big Fish” is certainly attention grabbing, that is not the true miracle of this book. God is being merciful to a non-Hebrew people that He could have simply destroyed as He had others who refused to acknowledge Him as God. And while Jonah was a Hebrew who followed God, he thought that God was allowing “heathens” mercy they shouldn’t be allowed. He rebelled against God the entire book and even when he told others the words God had sent him to say, he still did not believe that the Ninevites deserved to be saved from destruction. How like God to not only show mercy to those who don’t deserve it (ie all of us) but to reach more people than He might originally have said He was going to save. We see this happen to the men that were on the ship that Jonah had sailed away in towards Tarshish – when they find faith in God when confronted with the power of God during the storm that calmed when they obeyed Jonah’s words to them from God. I loved to read that in spite of all that Jonah did against the mission of God to the Ninevites, God did not forsake Jonah. He repeatedly showed him mercy and continued to teach him of His Grace that is available to all who would believe. This is only one of the passages that Mr. Bargerhuff dissects and I truly enjoyed seeing these passages in a fresh way with new perspective. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I had read the passage in question immediately before reading the chapter expounding on it. This was my fault really, and I will not lower my rating based on this minute lapse in study. I plan to highly recommend this book to friends and family as I believe they will find it interesting to study these passages further as I did. I look forward to finding more works by Mr. Bargerhuff and hope he will publish a new study soon.
I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from this company for this review.