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God's Big Picture: Tracing the storyline of the Bible

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,520 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Sixty-six books, forty authors, written over nearly 2,000 years, in two languages and several different genres. A worldwide best-seller published in countless sizes and bindings, translations and languages. It has been sworn by in court, fought over by religious people, and quoted in arguments. The Bible is clearly no ordinary book. How can we begin to read and understand ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published 2003 by IVP Books (first published 2002)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,520 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Nov 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was younger and I first began to read the Bible in earnest, I learned to read passages in little chunks, deconstructing each sentence so that I could fully understand the meaning of each word in its context before moving on to the next bit. I would sometimes spend days meditating on a particular verse, especially if it presented a list of virtues to consider (e.g. Galatians 5:22-23). I would dedicate a day to each virtue, meditating on how I could cultivate each of these virtues in my lif ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A spiritual tragedy having grown up in a Protestant church is that I was never taught that there is one over-arching storyline that can be traced from the OT to the NT, with its climax found in Christ. Being taught this through the faithful preaching of those in Queensland that I've had the privilege of learning from has opened my eyes & mind & heart to God's big picture (aka Biblical theology). I've read Graeme Goldsworthy's Trilogy before, but Vaughan Roberts makes Biblical theology mo ...more
Gareth Russell
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've just re-read God's Big Picture for the first time in twelve years. I'm really glad I did.

In this short little book, Vaughan Roberts gives a wonderful overview of the Bible that helps you to take in the over-arching story of the Bible. What I really like about the book is its clarity and warmth. This is not a technical book, this is a book written to help the ordinary Christian to understand how Exodus fits with Matthew, what on earth is going on in the book of Amos, and how Revelation shoul
Lee Gerrietts
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid entry level biblical theology. The author is heavily relying on Graeme Goldworthy which is commendable. Some things could have been elaborated on, but the intention of the book was broad in its scope.

For an entry level book on biblical theology and understanding how the bible relates as a whole to God's redemptive history, I highly recommend to the new Christian, new member, youth, or anyone new to understanding the bible as a whole.

I think most of my church should read this as
Bambi Moore
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctrine
This book lays out in simple, easy-to-read terms, the metanarrative of scripture. Even after studying different books in some depth, for years I still read the Bible in disconnected chunks not fully understanding how the different parts fit together. Reading the Bible in 90 days a few times was useful in gaining a broad picture. This book "zooms out" even further, showing how all the books fit seamlessly together. The charts and timelines are awesome. This would be a terrific book for new Christ ...more
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
An excellent book for discipling others to see the big, single story of the Scriptures and how Christ is at the center of it all.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent overview of the major themes of Scripture. In one book he seamlessly summarizes what I've learned and read in bits and pieces over the last few years.
Colin Fast
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, immerse
A good, basic overview of the biblical storyline from the perspective of God’s kingdom. It will be a useful resource for those new to the faith or beginning to look at the larger narrative of Scripture for the first time.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read in 2014-ish. Re-read this in 2018. Good overview of Bible storyline.
Jason Wilson
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The storyline of the bible traced in successive kingdom pictures. Easy and useful
Emily Stem
A bit redundant if you’ve already read your fair share of theology books but definitely a go-to to put in the hands of a new believer. Comprehensive yet concise.
Kyle&Jenn Beckrich
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
In God's Big Picture, Vaughan Roberts covers the story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in 150 pages. Roberts does an excellent job of covering the Old Testament especially explaining the prophetical books. If you're looking to quickly skim the surface of the storyline of Scripture, or desire a basic introduction of the Bible as a whole, then this the book for you.
Yan Ying
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book certainly help me to understand the messages of the whole Bible more. Thank you for providing me a brief guide to look at so that I can marvel at God's big picture! :D
Dan Glover
This is a good, solid introduction to a redemptive-historical reading of the whole Bible. Often, liberals tend to dismiss Scripture as irrelevant for our modern day except maybe for a few of Jesus' moral teachings. In reaction, conservatives tend to mine the Bible for quotes and boil it down to distill doctrines to shoot down the liberal's misuse and abuse of Scripture. While there is a way to do this properly, in such pursuits it can often be forgotten that the Bible is not a systematic theolog ...more
Benedict Tan
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vaughan Roberts presents to us a clear Biblical Theology that is faithful to God's Word. He finds Scriptural backing for all the ideas he shares (he claims that most are not original and are based on Goldsworthy's "Christ-Centred Biblical Theology").

He shows the connection between the Old Testament and New Testament - how the Old Testament covenants and promises look forward to their fulfilment in Jesus Christ. This is a must-read book for anyone seeking to read the Bible and to listen to each
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
With roots in covenantal theology, lately I find myself so much more often thinking (and speaking to my kids) in terms of God's kingdom as that idea has such hands-on imagery that is much easier to take hold of when the boots are on the ground (...probably why Jesus spoke that way most often himself). This book takes a kingdom-view approach to the Bible from 30,000 feet up to see what God has done in his kingdom and his story. What a help the big picture is to see! I have just studied single boo ...more
Peter Stonecipher
Simply a fantastic introduction to biblical theology - understanding how the Bible all fits together in its unity and diversity. Roberts self-consciously builds on the work of Graeme Goldsworthy's book Gospel and Kingdom, specifically developing the theme of 'kingdom' from Genesis to Revelation. He does a wonderful job at doing just that, but keeps his work aimed at the lay-reader. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would want to see the unified story of the Bible, but also the beautiful ...more
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great entry level summary of 'Biblical Theology' - examining the Bible as a single unified story. The definitive books are by Graeme Goldsworthy (Gospel & Kingdom, According to Plan), but Roberts has written a much more accessible book, while explicitly crediting Goldsworthy. Ideal for small group study -- there are discussion questions after every chapter.
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fr. Roberts provides a thematic exploration of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This book is a good choice for a Bible study group; however, the one I would recommend, if one wants to learn about the major themes of the Bible as one proceeds through the various books, is The Kingdom of God by John Bright.
Rebekah Johnson
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a helpful and refreshing book, overall, for someone who has been a Christian for many years. It is easy to "miss the forest through the trees" while reading books in the Bible and this book helps draw it all together like a strand of pearls. It is a beautiful picture--praise God!
Nathan Carter
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really concise, simple, clear overview of the big picture of the Bible.
Shane Savage
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well constructed, easy to read book thats a must have for those new to the christian faith.
this book will put historys best seller in perspective.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Context is king. That is a great point to keep in mind when reading anything. The context that something is written in is crucial to a good understanding of what is written. This is especially true of the Bible. To acknowledge the context of a passage is critical to not misunderstanding and misapplying the passage being studied. Most heresies and popular misunderstandings of Scripture owe their existence to poor exegesis, particularly in this area. As a professor I had would always say, "A text ...more
Cassandra Chung
Is the Old Testament even relevant anymore? If yes, how does it fit into the narrative of the New Testament? What is the purpose of those "old-fashioned" laws? Is the evil God of the Old Testament really the same as the gracious and kind God of the New Testament?

In this book, Roberts traces the story line of the Bible right from the Old Testament (i.e. Genesis, Deuteronomy, 1 Kings) to the gospels and finally, ending at Revelation. He shows readers through careful reading and analyses of the tex
Nathan Moore
This work is a fantastic introduction to Biblical Theology and is suitable for high school students to adults. Seminary students and pastors will also find it stimulating.

Drawing heavily on the work of Graeme Goldsworthy, Roberts has made many of his ideas more accessible and in some places even improved upon them. Roberts's biblical breadth is evident but he skillful avoids getting bogged down in details like Goldsworthy sometimes does.

In this work the author traces the storyline of the Bible
Bob O'bannon
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most perplexing questions for people in general, and Christians in particular, is how to read the Bible. Many read the Bible like a telephone directory or a book of quotations, just pulling individual verses out for their particular need or interest, but Vaughan Roberts explains in this concise Bible overview that the Scriptures are “one book written by one author with one main subject.” (16).

The goal is to provide a map in your head that gives the Bible’s big picture, so that, where
Robin Bittick
This is one of the best books I have read explaining the unified theme of the Bible. In Rev. Vaughan Robert's words, "My goal in this book has been to show how the whole Bible points to the Lord Jesus" (p. 163). He has written the book for the layperson, with discussion questions at the end that can be used individually or in a Bible study context.

The book follows God's presence in His Kingdom beginning in Genesis and continuing through to Revelation. This is important to understand in order to
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
This was recommended to me at church and it was hugely helpful. Roberts does an excellent job of explaining how all the books and themes and events of the Bible are connected and how they work together to tell the whole story.
I've never found such a clear explanation of the reasoning behind the Old Testament laws, the judgements on Israel, or the prophets before - this book gives a concise, clear overview of how all these tie into God's promises to us through Abraham and what they mean. I now fe
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-studies
In studying the bible it can become easy to focus so much on the argument of each individual book that you forget how it all fits together. Roberts does a really good job of making you step back and look at the overall narrative of Scripture and how each book fits into that narrative. It's a very brief book but, as all it is trying to do is pain that "big picture," it benefits from its shorter length. I think this book would work really well as a stepping stone to more in depth studies of the bi ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roberts succinctly shows the big picture of the Bible in pointing out how the different parts fit together with each other in one unified story, with everything ultimately pointing towards Jesus Christ. It is written in a clear, introductory manner (without being condescending or trite) that seeks to avoid too much theological or technical language. A relatively thin book given what it is trying to cover, it is a helpful introduction to the big picture of the Bible.
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Vaughan came to faith as he read through Matthew’s Gospel for himself as a teenager. After studying law at Cambridge University and a brief spell doing student ministry in South Africa, he moved to Oxford to study Theology at Wycliffe Hall and has lived in the city ever since. In 1991 he joined the staff of St Ebbe’s Church to lead the student ministry and since 1998 he has been Rector. He is also ...more
“Exodus 19:1–13; 20:1–17 19:1–13 What does this passage teach us about God? How does it challenge the way we often think about him? How should we relate to such a God? What has God already done for the Israelites (see also 20:2)? What does he promise to do in the future? How do these promises relate to the promises he made to Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3)? What must the people do? Is that possible? How can God’s promises be fulfilled? 20:1–17 How many of the Ten Commandments have you obeyed? Why should we want to obey them as Christians? Which do you find especially hard to obey? What practical steps can you take to ensure that you obey those commands more?” 1 likes
“2 Samuel 7:1–17 What does David want to build (verses 1–2)? But what does God want to build (verse 11)? What has God already done for David (verse 8)? What does he promise to do in the future (verses 9–11)? How do these promises echo the promises made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1–3? What does God promise concerning the coming king (verses 12–16)? How does Jesus fulfil these promises? (See Matthew 1:1; Mark 12:35–37; John 2:18–22; Acts 2:24–36; Romans 1:1–4.) What implications does this have for our understanding of Jesus? our relationship with Jesus?” 0 likes
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