Explications of particular passages and clear explanations of key words are backed up by extensive maps, works of art and photographs.
The production team for the book included advisors from different denominations, ensuring that all faiths are treated with equal respect. Jewish and Middle Eastern history and traditions are explained in context, providing a better understanding of the period and the rise of Christianity. As a reference for both youngsters and adults, this beautifully designed, thoughtfully arranged book offers a superb introduction to the basic Biblical stories and to the significance of the Bible. (Ages 10 to adult)
It's like an ideally arranged compendium of Sunday School booklets, with helpful background sections introducing major parts of the Bible. It uses a classic style of graphics, combined with various types of art as DK Publishing excels in.
Everyone who is studying Christianity should read this first, to set up a basic framework of understanding. This book portrays clearly and efficiently a point of reference to answer "What is the orthodox conventional reading of the Bible?"
This book reveals the anti-Semitism that builds up in the book of Acts; the Jews who supposedly persecuted the Christians are always shown in a two-dimensional, cardboard way, with mean expressions on their faces. This book clearly portrays the conventional Christian reading of this material. It's a good, clear portrayal of the standard orthodox way of reading the Bible.
There is an appendix of people's names in the back. The book lacks, most of all, a set of genealogy diagrams. It has a fairly good map in front, but could use more maps or at least a guide to the little maps that are dispersed throughout.
It has a great index. After reading the book cover-to-cover, I highlighted the 50% of the index entries that are least clear to me, to do a 2nd, review pass. I played a Bible trivia game and was inspired to read this book because I lacked too many of the standard Bible stories. I can tell that I'll do much better in that Bible trivia game, and will do even better after reviewing more of the unfamiliar entries I found in this book's index.
I felt that getting through this book required the most perseverance when wading through the section about the kings who did or didn't worship God, and the section about Jesus' parables -- these are covered well, but these weren't the sections of the Bible I was most interested in. My favorite sections of the book -- the subjects I was already most curious about -- were the stories between Eden and the later kings, and the stories between the Crucifixion and Revelation. The book has a nice treatment of Revelation and explains its political context. In the middle of the book, the parables and wisdom literature is covered.
I treasure this book and am glad to have read the Bible in this clear and understandable form. Next, I may read the Bible Handbook by DK Publishing (John Bowker). I'm reading Bowker's 2002 book from DK Publishing, God: A Brief History. I've also read the pocket-size Bible handbook from DK Publishing, which isn't very enlightening -- it's a tiny, somewhat random subset of the Illustrated Family Bible. I also recommend the books by DK Publishing, which I have read, covering Christianity, Myth, World Religions, and Philosophy.