Book of the Month, January 2024 – The Lion Handbook to the Bible

Maggie Shaw reviews the Lion Handbook to the Bible

Hi, there. Maggie Shaw here, proud owner of Eregendal and author.

As a lifelong lover of reading, each month I choose one of my favourite books – and tell you all about it.

For January’s Book of the Month I have chosen The Lion Handbook to the Bible by David and Pat Alexander (chief editors). My paperback edition dates back to 1992, but the Handbook was first published in 1973 and has been in continuous print ever since.


The Handbook is a fascinating reference book about the Bible, put together so well that it is also a joy to read from cover to cover. It is divided into four main sections: Section 1 which gives an overview of the Bible as a document, placing it in its setting and its use today; Section 2, which covers the books of the Old Testament; Section 3, which covers the books of the New Testament; and Section 4, which provides useful reference indexes such as Who’s Who, Gazetteer, Prayers, and maps.


My copy was a lucky find in a second-hand book shop. As soon as I opened it, I could see its value as a reference book. With its colour photos, illustrations, and short easy-to-read articles about all aspects of the Bible, it looked immediately accessible. For instance, side by side with a review of Jesus calling the twelve disciples in the gospel of March, was a short article about fishing in the Lake of Galilee, with photos of the lake and a fisherman throwing out a net into the waters. Its summary of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is simply worded but very well explained. Its coverage of supporting archaeological finds is also excellent.


This reference book would make a good addition to the bookshelves of both new Christians and Biblical scholars. It provides a good grounding in the basics of reading and understanding the Bible, not just as a historical collection of documents and literature but also, for many people, the foundation of their religious faith.


So there we have it, January’s Book of the Month! Be sure to check back in February when I’ll be revealing another must read.


Maggie x


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