Before You Open Your Bible: Book review 

By Rachel O'Connell

Before You Read Your Bible book cover

I bought this book about a year ago because it was small, unintimidating and had very large text, and therefore I thought there was a slim chance that I might actually read it! 

I read about two chapters then and despite it only being a very brief skim, I picked up some gems of wisdom which I still remember and put into practice now, which is a testament to the impact of the clear, concise and practical wisdom found inside. 

Having now read the whole book, I can confirm I still agree with past Rachel. ‘Before You Open Your Bible’ seeks not to claim to take precedence over the Bible itself, or even to be the absolute key to understanding it, acknowledging, in fact, the cruciality of the Spirit in reading the Word. It simply aims to facilitate an understanding of how to approach God’s Word in a way that allows you to get more of what God wants to say to you out of it than you may have before. To release you from the frustration and guilt of the chore that fruitless Bible-reading can become.

It is honest, straightforward and challenging, but in a way that is accessible and not overwhelming. It highlights and explains truths which most of us will already be aware of, but in a manner that refreshes and extends your understanding of these truths such that you better comprehend how they change and shape your personal heart attitudes towards the Bible. The ideas are easy to understand and apply but state profound and crucial truths. And honestly, the chapters are so short. You’ll feel so accomplished after reading even one. 

So, whether you haven’t touched a book since Of Mice And Men at GCSE English and are the last person to consider yourself a biblical scholar, or you are an avid biblical Greek and Hebrew nerd who likes nothing more than settling down with a dictionary of biblical terms – or something in between the two – I would recommend reading this book. It may open a world of new perspectives and possibilities about the Bible; it may remind you of something you easily forget, and paint it in a new light.

And it took me less than 2 hours to read it. Why not? 


Get it online, or (for OCC regulars) get a free copy by emailing the church office

Rachel O'Connell