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How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  8,668 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews
Your Guide to Understanding the Bible

Understanding the Bible isn’t for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It’s meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your
Paperback, 287 pages
Published November 9th 2003 by Zondervan (first published 1981)
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Amy Lynn
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In all honesty, the only reason that I read this book is because it was required for a class. I'm glad that I read it and am thankful to have kept it as a reference. My only regret is that I wasn't made aware of it sooner. Having read it much sooner would have saved me decades of headache and heartache in sorting through all the twisted theologies currently parading through the modern church today.

This book is about the bible and its original intention, and how to read it in that context. Fee a
Jason Evans
Aug 24, 2010 rated it liked it
On Sunday nights, our little group has started taking a book of the Bible each week and discussing it. Going through the the books in written order, we talk about the book’s history, intent and what its implications are for us today. We decided to do this because several in our group have a precarious relationship with Scripture. Some of of us have very little exposure to it previously. For others it’s intimidating. And some are simply deciding what their relationship to the Bible is.

With this i
Timothy Berg
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exegesis
This is hands-down the best treatment of hermeneutics (or bible-study or exegesis) that I've ever come across. It is written at the popular level (no Greek, Hebrew, or degree with multiple letters required) yet treats the issue far better than a great many more technical works. The authors have a singular commitment to "authorial intent" as the goal of historical exegesis. This commitment and the clear and relevant way in which they demonstrate the principles of exegesis as applied to the differ ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this is the best and most important of all the books ABOUT the Bible. We are supposed to read and understand and love the word of God, but it is hard sometimes to do all of those things with a work of literature that was written thousands of years ago and half a world away. I think that most Christians tend to think that since the Bible is a book apart from all other books that it should not be read in the same way that we read other works of literature. While we should revere God's word ...more
Craig Toth
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book for any who need to learn how to read the Bible more precisely.* It was a great help for me, as it will be for you—particularly if you are accustomed to the all-too-common habit of "proof-texting"—i.e., lifting verses out of context and applying them according to one's own predetermined ideas.

*Note: The fact is, many Christians--even Christians who can quote verses all day long--do not know how to read the Bible well. Too many engage in "proof-texting" (see above). Reading
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was required reading for my Old Testament survey course in college in 2000. Hard to believe that so much time has passed since then (writing this in Jan. 2018), but I still turn to this book frequently and find it helpful. Not surprisingly, nearly every book that I have read since then about rightly handling Scripture quotes and/or cites Fee and Stuart at some point. In my mind, this is a classic primer on the subject.
Angela Blount
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 Stars

All in all, this has been a deeply valuable reference for learning to read the Bible--and to explain to others how they can better understand it themselves and find relevant life application. On a deep study level, I'm impressed with how much its expanded my ability to discern the full historical and literary context of commonly misused/misunderstood passages and verses. I'd long understood that most abuses of biblical quotation and interpretation centered around either proof-texting,
Bart Breen
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's not enough to just read the Bible ... you need to learn how ....

Some people will get very upset with the title, because after all, for the true believer, all you need is the Bible itself, right?

Well, no. For one thing the Bible itself tells you that you need the Holy Spirit to help understand, so there is that.

But you also need to study to show yourself approved, meditate and approach it in a humble matter. The Bible was written over 2,000 years ago and in some portions even far longer. It
John Kaess
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read a lot of books about how to study the Bible. I used this book the past 6 months to teach the Adult CE class at my church on How to Study the Bible. This is by far the best book i've read on this topic. Practical. Accessible. Insightful. I recommend this as a must read for all believers.
Michael Boling
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Authors Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart have provided the evangelical community with a salient and veridical overview of hermeneutical principles that, when applied, are of great import to the study of Scripture. How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth is replete with concepts applicable to every believer, regardless of their level of theological acumen. Layman and seasoned theologians alike will find this book to be one that has lasting value as they exegete God's Word. In the current theologica ...more
Darren Clark
Wow, for a an easy to read book on how to properly understand and interpret the various genres of the books in the Bible Fee and Stuart's 'How to Read the Bible for all its Worth' is indeed worth a read. Fee and Stuart have written in a style that avoids getting bogged down in overtechnical issues which means the average Christian ought to be able to engage with this book. Yet Fee and Stuart do a marvellous job of showing the reader how each genre of the Bible functions in its own right and then ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
What was really great about this book is the simplicity of it and the willingness to tackle some of the larger issues that the church at large struggle with. There is a companion book entitled How to read the Bible book by book, and it is well worth it to have alongside reading this book.
Pamela Tucker
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book through last year, but it is a book that should be reread and even used as a reference. Everyone has a need to interpret the Bible and this book helps with tools that will help as some read but will not understand everything they read. One thing that people forget while reading is they spent laborious days interpreting the Greek and Hebrew into what now is known as the Bible. Learning to think Contextually is an area most do not consider while reading the various genres. Hermene ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic. It opened my eyes to a lot of important issues in exegesis. It covers the different genres in the Bible, like epistles, narratives, poetry, etc., but also covers the Mosaic law, the Gospels, Psalms, and Revelation separately. I wanted to single out a chapter that was more helpful than others, but I couldn't because they're all great. I suppose my only reservation is the chapter on Bible translations which, while helpful, reads a lot like a long advertisement for the NIV ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book that was recommended to me by my pastors. Although I have read the Bible through many times, the basics of interpretation were pretty much a mystery to me. These authors are very clear about exegesis and hermeneutics. I have friends who are literally afraid of any church that does not preach expositionally because they believe that is how the scriptures are distorted. I believe that whether the Bible is preached topically or expositionally that an understanding of exege ...more
Muoki Musau
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic from start to finish. I encourage all Christians, whether "seasoned veteran" or "newbie," this book will profoundly - yes, profoundly change how you think about the Bible, and how to read it with greater awareness and understanding. Of course, for those who believe, the Holy Spirit illuminates our understanding, but we also have the responsibility to increase our understanding through the tools available to us. And Drs. Fee and Stuart give an excellent primer to beginning the journey o ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must for any Bible reader. Laymen should own this book as well as any serious scholar. Fee & Stuart are both very well respected NT & OT scholars. The book lays out some foundational truths that must be learned in order for interpretation to match what was originally intended by the biblical authors. Reading the text of Scripture is not the same as understanding the text of Scripture. This book will help guide you in your understanding of Scripture. Get the 3rd edition though, I just h ...more
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you're a fan of the King James translation, then you WON'T like this book (which tosses out the KJV/NKJV, giving preference to the NIV/TNIV). However, the book gives a survey of the reasons why the KJV should be substituted for a newer translation. Also, as indicated by the title, the book does eventually discuss biblical interpretation (albeit, superficially). The best part of the book is the appendix, listing several sources for further, in-depth, study.
Brad Kittle
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, theology
I learned a great deal from this book. This is an overview of the Bible and provides a way of approaching the Bible from its literary and historical context. I've had a pretty strong suspicion of theologians for years and I think for good reason; but any Bible student becomes a bit of a theologian just by reading the Word and forming views and opinions about what we've read. There are some practical guidelines offered in this book that I think are useful.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I would not usually say any non-fiction is amazing, but this one is really helpful. It is well written and clarifies so much. The authors give great advice, but more than that they help give you tools you can use to begin to understand and demystify the scriptures for yourself. I almost always try to refresh myself before doing a Bible study or preaching with this handy guide. Very useful and user friendly. Chapters are divided most intuitively.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this for school, but being raised Catholic I never got to the core of what the Bible really entailed. This book helps in understanding biblical text and explains the need for a good interpretation of it. If you want to explore spirituality and learn more about God this book will be very helpful.
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
I love this book. In addition to the Bible itself, this is one book that every person should read, especially those who are believers. It helped me understand basic issues surrounding biblical interpretation and, in many ways, changed (for the better) the way I read the Bible.
Bob Dijk
Very good book to help you understand and to do justice to the different literay genres of the Bible
Justin Tapp
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church, bible
If teaching disciples to read the Bible for themselves is the most important task pastors, teachers, churches can perform then I believe most have failed. I grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist church context that taught the innerancy and importance of reading Scripture daily and studying it corporately, but never once had a lesson in exegesis, hermeneutics, biblical theology, etc. I was fairly well-versed in theologically-rich works by John Piper and Jonathan Edwards in college, as well a ...more
Mason Frierson
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If teaching disciples to read the Bible for themselves is the most important task pastors, teachers, churches can perform then I believe most have failed. I grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist church context that taught the innerancy and importance of reading Scripture daily and studying it corporately, but never once had a lesson in exegesis, hermeneutics, biblical theology, etc. I was fairly well-versed in theologically-rich works by John Piper and Jonathan Edwards in college, as well a ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
What were some new insights you gained from this book?
Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart fill their text How to read the Bible for all its worth with great advice for analyzing the scripture, and nuggets of wisdom for both the novice and experienced reader. Since I consider myself in the former category, I was satisfied with the amount of new content I learned. I could share many new insights, but I will select just a few.
This may seem like a small item, but the way Fee and Stuart differentiated
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
In How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth, Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart attempt to help the reader understand and interpret the Bible with particular consideration of the genre of each book.

The first chapter covers general principles for reading and understanding the Bible: exegesis, “the careful, systematic study of Scripture to discover the original, intended meaning,” which involves learning “to read the text carefully and to ask the right questions of the text,” questions of context (hi
Stephen Temple
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This book deals with how to read the Bible beyond a superficial level and actually dig into what the text means. The authors begin the book by stating why this is so important: the Bible is a very different book written in a very different way; it is a book that we naturally interpret as we read
(p. 23). Also in this first chapter, they deal with what exegesis and hermeneutics are (27-35): understanding the original intent of the words of the Bible and what that means for the reader today. Chapte
Joshua Postema
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
There's a lot of good material here for reading Scripture in light of genre and context, and I think it's worth picking up for that alone. It's well written, well organized, and there's a lot to recommend about the chapters that cover context and style. Christians often misrepresent Christ's parables, for instance, by missing his audience, and they end up getting a very different message than Christ intended.

My main concern is with the gender language issues that the authors get into. At least o
Ian Galey
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading the Bible for All Its Worth is a very accessible guide to biblical interpretation. And though the subject is approached from an Evangelical perspective, the principles outlined by Fee and Stuart apply at least fundamentally to all walks of the Christian faith. These principles are necessary for a proper interpretation of the Bible and should be known by all Christians. This book is a great aid in safeguarding the truth of the Scriptures from ridiculous and uneducated interpretations and ...more
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How to Read the B...: Introductions! 1 4 Feb 04, 2015 09:26AM  
  • The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story
  • The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
  • Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible
  • An Introduction to the New Testament
  • Grasping God's Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible
  • Knowing Scripture
  • Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar
  • Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages
  • Jesus and the Gospels
  • Introduction to Biblical Interpretation: Revised and Expanded
  • Understanding the Bible
  • Greek New Testament
  • Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament
  • The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
  • The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
  • The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is
  • The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
  • Christian Theology
Gordon Fee is Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Regent College, where he taught for sixteen years. His teaching experience also includes serving schools in Washington, California, Kentucky, as well as Wheaton College in Illinois (five years) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts (twelve years).

Gordon Fee is a noted New Testament scholar, having published several books and
More about Gordon D. Fee...

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“A text cannot mean what it could never have meant for its original readers/hearers.” 2 likes
“Interpretation that aims at, or thrives on, uniqueness can usually be attributed to pride (an attempt to “outclever” the rest of the world), a false understanding of spirituality (wherein the Bible is full of deeply buried truths waiting to be mined by the spiritually sensitive person with special insight), or vested interests (the need to support a theological bias, especially in dealing with texts that seem to go against that bias).” 2 likes
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