Soon after most evangelical Christians begin the Christian journey, they are encouraged to begin a habit of regular Bible reading. Many believers devote themselves to daily quiet times in the Scripture. Very few believers are equipped with basic tools on how to truly study God’s Word. Dig Deeper: Tools for Understanding God’s Word by Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach is a book written to address that concern. In chapter after chapter, Beynon and Sach add new skills to put in a Bible student’s tool box. The result is Benyon and Sach have written a book that is an excellent resource for individuals who want to deepen their understanding of the Bible, as well as for small groups of people who want to learn more about what Scripture means for themselves.
Dig Deeper is not a book that should be read straight through. It is a book that needs to be read one chapter at a time, and then applied to one’s study of God’s Word. Each chapter has a different “tool” that empowers the reader to understand better what the Bible is saying. At the end of each chapter is an example of how to use the specific study skill which takes the form of an abbreviated Bible study.
This book is very accessible for the everyday reader. For instance, when talking about how the biblical writers structure their writing, the authors encourage the readers to look for “bookends and sandwiches” (pp.42-43). Then they carefully explain how writers use a repeated phrase or quote on either end of a section of Scripture to both show you the purpose of that passage, and what that passage means. In other words, they take a skill that people learn in Bible college or seminary, explain in common language, and show exactly how this skill works with a specific portion of Scripture.
Dig Deeper is also structured in a way where the learning from the previous chapter builds upon what you had learned before. Each chapter can be taken independently; however, the student of this book will learn more by approaching it sequentially.
There is little to criticize with the majority of the text. In addition to the skills the authors communicate, they also give a brief overview of the authority of Scripture in light of our cultural landscape. In these sections, I was a little disappointed with the author’s discussion of postmodernism. I felt they either needed to engage the “postmodern situation” in a more fair-minded and in-depth manner, or leave out the discussion of postmodernism as a philosophical and cultural movement entirely.
I highly recommend this book. I plan on loaning Dig Deeper to some of our church leaders. I think it would be a great book for people wanting to learn more about how to have meaningful Bible study, as well as for groups who wanted to go deeper into what Scripture means together. – Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When it comes to reading and understanding the Bible, a dangerous phrase is used by non-Christians and even some believers: "Well, that's your interpretation." It is true that without some care in your interpretation, you can "make" the Bible say almost anything. Dig Deeper is written out of the conviction that there is a right way to understand the Bible and a wrong way, and the authors show us how to read it correctly.
Dig Deeper offers sixteen "tools" readers can use to get to the bottom of any Bible passage and discover its intended meaning. Examples show how each tool helps readers discover something exciting and relevant in a passage, and the "Dig deeper" exercises offer the opportunity to practice using the tools. The book's brevity and easy-to-read format make it ideal for Christians who want to get the most out of their Bible.