I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson in return for participating as a member of the 30 Days to Understanding the Bible book launch team. This is my own honest assessment and review of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible. Thomas Nelson is a division of HarperCollins Christian publishing, Inc.
Though it’s a brand new resource to me, I was excited to learn that author and pastor Max Anders had created a 30th anniversary expanded edition of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible (affiliate link). It’s not a Bible survey, it’s not a study, and it’s not a devotional. It’s a legitimate roadmap to understanding the Bible!
15 Minutes a Day…Really?
The subtitle to this book is Unlock the Scriptures in 15 Minutes a Day.
I admit that my initial thought was slightly skeptical and included “that’s a big promise.”
What I didn’t realize was, unlike the heavily academic approach my text books used, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible (affiliate link) is written in such a unique style that it accomplishes what many dry text books struggle with: providing learning in a way that you apply what you learn everyday.
In fact, I found the “15 minutes a day” promise to be realistic… if you take the book one chapter at a time.
But the material is so engaging, you just might have a hard time spending only 15 minutes at a time in this amazing resource!
What do you get in 15 minutes?
When you sit down to read a chapter, you’ll start with an engaging narrative that illustrates the learning from that chapter. You’ll move on to a review of what you’ve recently read. That’s because as the author teaches in this book,
Repetition is the key to mental ownership! – Max Anders
That’s a critical concept to this learning that you’ll no doubt appreciate. And guess what? With the author’s teaching style and application, I did find the learning coming back to mind quite easily.
Each chapter goes on to give you review and summary, followed by application of what you’re learning. That includes key Biblical figures, events, and geographical locations.
You will also see that connecting a name and an event in the Bible to a place and an era really brings Scriptures alive.
You’ll also appreciate the brief self-test modules because another important component to learning from 30 Days to Understanding the Bible is this:
What you can learn tomorrow is built on what you learn today!
3 Big Takeaways from 30 Days to Understanding the Bible
The first of the big 3 items that you’ll take away from 30 Days to Understanding the Bible (affiliate link) is an applied understanding to the stories of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Max Anders breaks down the teaching of each Testament into periods of time. In each era, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the key people in the Bible. Then you’ll see where they were at and get a summary of events. That’s the stuff that I’ve found difficult to remember, but Mr. Anders communicates it in a way that it just makes sense and stays with you.
The next big takeaway is the section on the 10 great doctrines of the Bible. This is the material that I learned in University, except in 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, it’s so much more digestible.
I’m not saying that it’s less academic, or “dumbed down” in any way. What I am saying is that Max Anders delivers the enormous subject of Bible doctrine in such a way that it’s not only easier to learn and recall, but also to explain.
That’s essential when people start asking what you believe about the Holy Spirit or about salvation.
The last big takeaway is also another one of the author’s key learning components:
Learn to master the Bible so well that the Bible masters you!
That’s such an important concept that it has it’s own section in this book. It’s also a significant part of the Christian life, which I point out in my post Why it’s Critical You Study the Bible.
Max Anders breathes life into Bible study with his section on mastering the Bible. I cannot express strongly enough how much you stand to gain on following this extraordinary teaching with as little as 15 minutes a day for a month.
Who is 30 Days to Understanding the Bible Written For?
This book is one I can wholeheartedly recommend to any Christian at any point in their walk with the Lord.
New believers and well seasoned Christians will gain great understanding of the Bible after a month in this book. Even after only 15 minutes each day. Bible teachers, small groups and Sunday school classes will gain clarity in their understanding of the Bible.
Not only that, but they’ll have a more productive time teaching others as well.
Discipleship ministries will also benefit from 30 Days to Understanding the Bible (affiliate link), and that’s exactly where I intend to use this resource. This book will also make a great gift for those you care about. No doubt I’ll be giving some copies away as presents!
About Max Anders
Dr. Max Anders is the author of over 25 books and the creator and general editor of the 32-volume Holman Bible Commentary series. He has taught on the college and seminary level and is a veteran pastor. Max was also one of the original team members with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. He provides resources and discipleship strategies at MaxAnders.com to help people grow spiritually.