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The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  727 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
The story of the Bible and its account of God's action in the world give meaning to our lives and provide us with the foundation for our actions.
"The Drama of Scripture" is an introduction to the basic story line and theology of the Bible. In considering the biblical story, the authors emphasize the unity of the whole, viewing the Bible as a drama in six acts--creation, s
Paperback, 252 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Baker Academic
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Drew Miller
Mar 03, 2015 Drew Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
The Drama of Scripture is one of the best books I have read in a while. Most Christians approach the Bible as a roadmap to life or a book on how to live their life when in reality it is a story about God. A story about His creation, the fall, redemption through Jesus Christ, and ultimately the restoration of all things. This book gives the reader a great overview of the Biblical Metanarrative. I found the chapter on the intertestamental periods to be the most helpful. It was excellent in showing ...more
Philip Mcduffie
Jan 24, 2015 Philip Mcduffie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible-study
The Drama of Scripture is a book that any follower of Christ needs to read. Bartholomew and Goheen seek to open a whole new door for people that read the Bible and they do a great job at it. They understand that seeking to read the Bible without a comprehensive understanding of the the overall narrative of Scripture leaves one confused and bewildered. With this being the case, they set out to lay out God's story in six acts. These include:

Act 1 God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation
Act 2 Rebellio
Todd Miles
Oct 17, 2011 Todd Miles rated it liked it
This is a solid book that covers the story of Scripture. The authors do an admirable job, structuring their telling around a Kingdom motif. On the whole, this is a good book that digs below the surface of the biblical story - a good place to go to understand the flow of Scripture with some depth. My only concern is their lack of of emphasis on the anticipation of the Messiah in their Old Testament material. Jesus saw himself as central to the message of the Law, Prophets, and Writings (Luke 24). ...more
Josh Hopping
May 24, 2011 Josh Hopping rated it it was amazing
Drawing from N.T. Wright’s model of the five-act structure, these two Redeemer University College professors lay out an easy-to-read view of the Kingdom of God throughout the Bible.

* Act 1: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation
* Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall
* Act 3: The King Choose Israel: Redemption Initiated
* Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending: The Intertestamental Period
* Act 4: The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished
* Act 5: Spreading the News of the King:
This is a really helpful book. Best of its kind, I think, in helping the reader to understand the entire sweep of the biblical story towards the end of finding one's place in the story. Most Christians read the bible only devotionally, if at all. That's important to be sure but it also pretty much guarantees that one comes away with only bits and pieces and not the whole story. That is a loss of great magnitude. This book serves the church well in overcoming the loss of story that makes followin ...more
Jan 10, 2010 Dale rated it really liked it
This is an expansion of N.T. Wright's 5-point model of the Biblical drama. Bartholomew adds to it a Sixth Act: The Return of the King.

This is a popularizing of Wright's 5-point model to be used in a classroom setting or Bible study. Bartholomew has also provided many helpful resources for getting the most out of the book.

If you are unfamiliar with N.T. Wright, or are looking for an introduction to Biblical Theology with some excellent resources, this boo
Evghenii Sologubenco
Feb 07, 2015 Evghenii Sologubenco rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
The title of the book itself sets the main premise of the book. The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story points to the need for the individual to see the Bible as a unified story and not as a collection of independent books written over several hundred years. The authors argue that the Bible presents a meta-story of creation and points to the need for each individual to find his or her place in this narrative. In this attempt the authors borrow the idea from N.T. Wright, w ...more
Charlie Creech
The Drama of Scripture is based on the idea that the Bible is a narrative (a story) of how God has worked, and continues to work, throughout history. Usually we will hear or read parts of that story without understanding or knowing how it connects to the whole narrative. This book attempts to take all those stories and put it in the proper order to the main narrative. So it starts at creation and follows the narrative of the bible along to the final book, Revelation. On the way you read all the ...more
Elliott Montgomery
Aug 10, 2012 Elliott Montgomery rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, bible
The Drama of Scripture is a book thats main idea is to tie together the diverse stories, teachings, themes, and people of the Bible to present it as a complete picture of God's working with His creation. The book separates the Bible into 6 acts. They are as follows: 1) God Establishes His kingdom, 2) Rebellion in the Kingdom, 3) The King Chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated, (Interlude: A kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending: The Intertestamental Period), 4) The Coming of the King: Redemption Acc ...more
Mark Schlechty
Promises more than what was delivered .

The introduction and process were absolutely inspiring. The thesis that the author put forward , " finding our place in the biblical story," resonated deeply with me . I was so anxious to see how the author developed the thesis. I found that the book is incredibly high on narration and lacking in application . it wasn't until the last two chapters that the application was really brought together with the narration . Overall , this book was probably not writ
Tina Kyeremateng
Jun 17, 2017 Tina Kyeremateng rated it really liked it
Awesome. Would recommend.

There’s a bit in the last pages which I don’t totally agree with though that we are not going to live a spiritual existence in heaven forever but here on earth. Why then did Christ say in John 14:2-3, “There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back. Then I will take you with me, so that you can be where I am”.

Surely He would hav
Noel Scoggins
May 27, 2017 Noel Scoggins rated it it was amazing
A totally (at least for me) new perspective on Scripture. The authors' view of The Bible as one unified story in six acts is most enlightening and refreshing. They also manage to avoid the covenantal vs dispensational theology disputes into which efforts such as this often devolve. Well-researched, well-documented, and theologically sound.
Jon Beadle
Feb 11, 2017 Jon Beadle rated it it was amazing
The sweep of this book is so incredible, and yet he pulled it off! The theater of the Bible is hardly ever mentioned in church, but writer like Bartholomew and NT Wright have popularized biblical theology in our generation. We should be grateful. I highly recommended this to all of my friends, young and old.
Jack Hayne
Jun 10, 2017 Jack Hayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic primer for biblical redemptive history. I found the OT section to be much more enumerating, but that could be do to the fact I haven't read as much about the OT. Would recommend this book to someone interested in understanding the general narrative of scripture.
Oct 08, 2014 Ivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
I read this book in college and recently picked up its revised second edition. It's an excellent book that, as the subtitle states, is about helping Christians find their place in the biblical story.

Every person lives by a worldview. Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew explain how one’s worldview impacts life: “A worldview not only describes the world for us, but also directs our life in the world. It not only gives us a perspective on how the world is…, but also acts as a guide for how the wor
Robbie Pruitt
Aug 14, 2012 Robbie Pruitt rated it really liked it
We are living in the greatest story ever told, God's story of love and His plan for redemption.

This grand narrative is larger than us, but it includes us nonetheless. The story is not about us, however, it is about the love of God in His son Jesus. According to "The Drama of Scripture," this story is broken into six main parts: God's establishment of the kingdom in creation, rebellion of the kingdom in the fall of humanity, The King chooses Israel and redemption begins, the coming of The King, J
Nathan Moore
Dec 29, 2011 Nathan Moore rated it it was amazing
In the preface of "The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story," authors Bartholomew and Goheen, suggest that this book was birthed out of necessity. Frustrated for want of a good introductory text for a Biblical Theology course, this book was their attempt to fill a void. However, this should not deter either more advanced readers or lay readers from picking up this book.

Leaning heavily upon N.T. Wright's five-act structure of the Scriptures, the authors suggest that the Scr
Lindsay Kennedy
I am reviewing the UK adaptation.

Read my full review here:

Bartholomew and Goheen should be commended for seeking to put the Bible together as a unified whole. Too many in the church today only read the Bible piecemeal for a ‘daily word’, or neglect whole sections of the Bible or the Biblical storyline itself. For such a difficult task, the authors do a very good job.

By trying to trace the Biblical storyline in a small introductory book, things must be lef
Leigh Gilliland
Jun 06, 2011 Leigh Gilliland rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. The authors take you through the Bible in its redemptive story line in a clear and concise way. I would say this is a combination of highlights from 'Far as the Curse is Found' by Michael Williams, Newbigin's 'Household of God' and Clowney's 'The Unfolding Mystery' written with broad strokes in order for one to see the overall picture of the Bible as one grand narrative. The details are missing so that the reader will return to the Bible for answers, I think. They expla ...more
Ryan Robinson
Nov 14, 2013 Ryan Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good book for its purpose, that is, a broad overview of the story of Scripture. The authors succeed in painting a picture of how the Bible has a continuous story from start to finish of how God has interacted with his people in bringing about his Kingdom on Earth. This is vitally important for any Christian to understand, I think, in order to resist the temptation of reducing the Bible to little bits with no overarching story.

It unashamedly borrows heavily from N.T. Wright's 5 Act Model,
Juan Reyes
Feb 27, 2014 Juan Reyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bartholomew and Goheen set out in this book to summarise the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation. After finishing this book one has a better grasp of the main story that runs through the Bible (which is ultimately the story we find ourselves in). This book is part of a series of books by the same authors:

1) Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview
2) Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction

I believe their goal is to draw out the implications
Brian Collins
Jan 03, 2015 Brian Collins rated it liked it
The Bible is not just a collection of spiritual sayings from which Christians gather guidance for life. Any individual verse or passage must be understood within the context of the book in which it is written. But it is also important to see that the books themselves fit into an overall storyline as well. Explaining this storyline is the purpose of this book. It does this job well with three weaknesses. First, it excludes coverage of OT poetry. This is understandable in a book that covers the st ...more
Mar 22, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This is a WONDERFUL read! It does a great job of explaining the Bible as a "whole" story. It is easy to read the Bible in part and forget not take the whole of it into consideration. I would recommend this book to anyone who desires a better understanding of Scriptures. I found that I was pushing to read more and to answer the question that was posed in the beginning regarding our place in the history of what God has done, is doing and is yet to do.

There is an analogy that the authors used at th
This is the introductory book to the Church I feel. Pass by the self-help mumbo jumbo and historical reads by Christians/those who identify as such. Go straight to this.
May 27, 2008 Peter rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2008
This is a good introductory to the story of the Bible. It provides a coherent overview of the arch of the Biblical story. The book was written as a textbook for an Intro to Bible course by two college professors and is geared towards those who have either grew up in the church and need a refresher (like me) and those actively pursuing Christianity.

Personally, I enjoyed it as a an overview and a reminder of the theme of the Bible. When I picked up the book, I was hoping for a more weighty convers
Mar 03, 2013 Steve rated it liked it
Shelves: biblical-story
The writing style was not electrifying in any sense although the authors did a great job of condensing much into every sentence which is a great skill while making it understandable.
I think thier is great value in books that tie the biblical story together as the bible has suffered so much fragmented reading in the 20th century in particular that to graspists unity and progression as an overall narrative is invaluable for a faith to grasp Gods plans and purposes. When Christians grasp that they
Jul 22, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical-studies
Discussing the importance of metanarrative, the authors draw on N.T. Wright's 'five act play' analogy for the bible as a comprehensive story and walk the reader through each of those acts with the addition of an intertestamental interlude and a final act six. For those who need a good, thorough introduction to biblical theology utilizing the motif of the kingdom of God Bartholomew and Goheen's book is priceless. There are also corresponding web resources for those who wish to use the book as an ...more
Andrew Orton
Oct 22, 2015 Andrew Orton rated it it was amazing
I think it's a wonderful gift to see the Bible laid out as a narrative of God interacting with humanity. Doing so helps to make sense of those pieces that don't seem to fit so well when looked at out of context. It also helped me to grasp how faithful, merciful and loving God has been while dealing with us "messes of men."

I especially enjoyed the segment on the Intertestamental Period. It gave me an important background of the political landscape during Jesus' time, and helped me to understand h
Jan 26, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully accessible overview of the Biblical narrative. Goes through the Bible in 6 acts, stressing unity of the whole and what it looks like for us to participate in the ongoing narrative. My reading plans in years past have left me with fragmented understanding of each of the books of the Bible, so this book has really helped fit the pieces together for me. I'm reading "As Far as the Curse is Found" next (for a class) and hope these 2 pair well together.

Highly recommended (especially for u
Nov 17, 2012 Harriette rated it really liked it
One of the authors of this book was my first religion teacher at the university level. Again he and the co-author bring to life the one united story line of the Bible. They tie it beginning, middle and end to the reader's life by showing that the goal and purpose of redemption goes beyond individual comfort and spiritual life. It is about God's sovereign plan to bring the entire creation from the ruins of sin into restoration and the fullness that had been intended from the very beginning.
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  • Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview
  • The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative
  • Far as the Curse Is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption
  • Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
  • The Theology of the Book of Revelation
  • Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
  • Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments
  • Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament
  • The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
  • According to Plan
  • Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible
  • Theology for the Community of God
  • The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #3)
  • Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free
  • The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology
  • Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God
Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, and the principal of the Paideia Centre for Public Theology. He founded the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics seminar and is coauthor of Living at the Crossroads and Christian Philosophy.
More about Craig G. Bartholomew...

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