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BookTuesday: Route 66

Today's book comes, again, from Kregel Publications. It's another free book in exchange for the review. Now that I've told you that, let's get to business.

The book is titled Route 66 and it's by Krish Kandiah. Below is a link on Amazon, and the title above is hyperlinked to Kregel's page. Going to Kregel will get you more information on the author, an excerpt of the book, and a chance to buy it. Going to Amazon will get you the chance to buy it from Amazon, which is something I no longer profit from, but I still link there anyway.

Route 66: A Crash Course in Navigating Life with the Bible

This book is written as a guide book for understanding the Bible. It's broken down into eight chapters, with each chapter broken down into five sections.

Essentially, this is designed for a group study with daily reading and weekly discussion. It's not a bad format. The sections are not too long, and the questions dig in---not too deep, but not overly shallow.

The content breaks down like this: Route 66 is intended as a guide to understanding the Bible through various literary genres. Kandiah views the Bible as containing basically eight (what luck, same number of chapters!) literary genres. These are the different types of writing that you find: narrative, law, wisdom literature, letters, prophecy, and so forth.

The book attempts to categorize each book of the Bible into the genres that Kandiah identifies. He then provides suggestions of how to understand and extract the intent from the various types of literature.

In all, this is an easily readable attempt at teaching basic Biblical understanding. If you are starting up a small-group study, it's a good start.

The drawback here is for anyone who would make this good start their final stop in understanding the Bible. Kandiah's example of Route 66, the highway is a helpful metaphor here: the old highway varied in width and road type all along the way. Likewise, there are few Biblical books that fall cleanly into only one literary type or another. Those that do, like Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, or the Psalms, contain a large amount of diversity within their genre anyway.

Books like Genesis or Exodus are a mixture of genre, as are the Books of the Kings. Even "prophets" often contain narrative. Kandiah acknowledges this, but the flow of the book is a little forced on the issue. I'd say it's partially because of trying to work through the 66 books of Scripture in their canonical order. That's not all bad, it just serves as a limiting factor.

A study group or individual starting with Route 66 would do well to move from there to How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Fee and Stuart to look at how the genres intermingle and some stronger work on extracting the meaning present in the text.

I wouldn't put a "stop sign" for traveling Route 66, but there's places this one can't get you---after all, there's more to see than just the road from Chicago to LA. After you've made that trip, make another one.

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