The trade paperback, The WHOLE Bible Story: Everything That Happens in the Bible in Plain English by Dr. William H. Marty, is a condensed 299 page summary of all the bible. For those familiar with the "Cliff Notes" books of the eighties, this book, which sums up the main events and stories of the bible, is written in a similar style. This ambitious book chronologically covers the main events of the bible in a shortened summary format at the expense of leaving out the spiritual and inspired elements. Perhaps for an history student, this is a good resource. Each chapter lists the "main characters" and geographic setting for the particular biblical chapters covered. A few simple black and white maps and simple line illustrations are included throughout the text. Chapters in this guide are listed and based on the chronology of the bible, rather than specific books of the bible.
Keep in mind this is not a replacement for the bible. In fact, this book really serves to perpetuate the misconception that the bible is too difficult to read and understand. In fact, for anyone who truly wants to get anything out of reading the bible as the word of God, I'd suggest reading a study bible in a modern translation such as the NIV or NLB and using this book as a study guide along-side a traditional bible. Basically what this book does is to reduce the bible to a history book, leaving out all the spiritual parts which could lead to salvation and focusing on the bare minimum facts and events. Unless you are simply trying to get a foundation of the bible as a whole from the historical perspective, I believe a reader would get so much more out of reading the actual bible. As a study guide to be read along the actual bible, this book would be a great resource. As a blogger for Bethany House publishers I recieved this book for the purposes of writing a review and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.