How (Not) to Read the Bible

Making Sense of the Anti-women, Anti-science, Pro-violence, Pro-slavery and Other Crazy-Sounding Parts of Scripture

by Dan Kimball, Sean McDowell

On Sale: 2020-12-01

Book Summary

In How (Not) to Read the Bible, pastor and bestselling author Dan Kimball tackles one of the most pressing apologetic challenges of the twenty-first-century church--how do we read and interpret the Bible? He looks at five of the most common challenges, including questions about science, violence, and the treatment of women.

About the Book

Is Reading the Bible the Fastest Way to Lose Your Faith?

For centuries, the Bible was called "the Good Book," a moral and religious text that guides us into a relationship with God and shows us the right way to live. Today, however, some people argue the Bible is outdated and harmful, with many Christians unaware of some of the odd and disturbing things the Bible says.

How (Not) to Read the Bible tackles big questions like:

  • Does the Bible degrade women?
  • Is the Bible anti-science?
  • How could a loving God command such violence in the Old Testament?
  • Does the Bible endorse slavery?

Bestselling author Dan Kimball guides you step-by-step in how to tackle many of the real questions that people wrestle with when reading the Bible and how to make sense of many of the more difficult and disturbing Bible passages.

Filled with fun stories, visual illustrations, and memes reflecting popular cultural objections, How (Not) to Read the Bible is a lifeline for anyone—Christians and doubters alike—who are confused or discouraged with questions about the Bible.

Yes, there are puzzling and disturbing Bible passages. . . But there are explanations!


How (Not) To Read The Bible is a 'right now message.' This book will help a generation see how beautiful Jesus truly is.

Dan Kimball gracefully shows that those who mock and dismiss the Bible don't know too much, they know too little. Along the way he helps us to read the Bible-- especially the parts that seem crazy to modern ears-- as it was meant to be read. This is an extremely valuable book for this culture. Mom's and Dad's, get a copy for yourself and your teenager and study it together. The issues Dan addresses here are the ones that needlessly tear kids away from the faith. I can't recommend this book more!

Dan Kimball's How (Not) To Read The Bible is a brilliant book that delivers evidence for the skeptic and provides confidence for the saint. Kimball has given us a go-to scholarly reference that offers thoughtful explanations to the most controversial and troubling topics in all of Scripture. How (Not) To Read The Bible is a rare book that requires having two copies -- one for you and another to give away.

I can't count the number of times I've rolled my eyes and groaned when confronted with yet another online meme bashing the Bible and thought, 'If only I could recommend a book on how to read those passages of scripture intelligently'. Well, now I can! Dan's book is a superbly accessible resource for skeptics, seekers and Christians who want to understand the Bible better, especially the embarrassing bits we often skip over in church and our daily devotionals. The good news is that you'll not only be able to respond to those eye-rolling memes, but you'll end up appreciating again the strange, wild and ultimately beautiful picture the Bible gives us of the God who is made known in Jesus Christ.

I use color coded markers to underline particular passages when I read the Bible. Yellow means - 'pay attention!', blue means - 'very poetic', green means - 'super weird or hilarious.' There is a lot of green in my Bible! Dan helps make sense of the more bizarre and demonstrates why we can have confidence that the Bible is a trustworthy and God-inspired.

In a world of quick and instant information accessible online, there are many criticisms being raised about the Bible's credibility. For that reason I'm so grateful that Dan Kimball helps us sort thru the puzzling messages emerging in this generation. In How (Not) To Read the Bible, Dan addresses how to make sense of the confusing parts of the Bible and provides us the confidence needed to embrace God's word. I'm very excited see this message get into the hearts and minds of the younger generation.

In our culture the Bible has, for many people, become an obstacle in their journey of faith. Biblical stories about sex, slavery, and divine violence are often too bizarre and disturbing for most modern readers. Dan Kimball understands this from personal and pastoral experience, and he's given us a thoughtful guide for reading these problematic parts of the Bible. If you're struggling to make moral sense of the Bible, or know someone who is, this book is for you!

In our internet-driven culture, some of the more strange and uncomfortable Bible verses have been creatively crafted into social media ammunition against the Bible itself. These passages, to contemporary readers, can range from a light-hearted weirdness to the seemingly shocking and offensive and disillusioning to Christians reading them. Dan Kimball's book 'How Not to Read the Bible' helps us to make sense of the more frequently tossed around passages by uncovering the culture and context of these strange findings. He further invites us into some best practices when reading the Scriptures that seem to have gotten lost in all our digital noise. And he does all of this with a unique mix of depth, whimsy, and humility that is truly a rare find!

There is no one in the world better to write this book than Dan Kimball, and here's why: the Bible presents many problems to many readers, and they can be forceful and fearless in their questioning traditional beliefs in the Bible. They are not looking for pablum or authoritarian decrees, which is what most offer them. They are looking for 'professionals' who see what they see, who feel what they feel, and offer responses that have integrity. It's because the pastoral heart of Dan Kimball has heard people ask these questions and because he has worked through their issues that this book is designed for Dan to write it. A book full of theological wisdom and pastoral care for honest Bible readers who have genuine and difficult questions about the Bible.

We need this book. Dan Kimball has long been a guide for a generation trying to find their footing in a post-Christian world. For those of us who want to believe, yet struggle to make sense of the Bible in our age. Yet again, he steps in to offer kind, intelligent, wise, and, as you'd expect from Dan, funny guidance; this time around, on how (not) to read the Bible.

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2020-12-01
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2020-12-01
  • Trim Size: 152.000mm x 227.000mm x 20.000mm
  • Weight: 462.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Biblical Reference / Handbooks
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Life / General
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Biblical Studies / General
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Biblical Studies / History & Culture
  • Category 5 : RELIGION / Christian Education / General
  • Category 6 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Personal Growth
  • Category 7 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Discipleship
  • Category 8 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / Apologetics
  • Category 9 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / Ethics
  • Category 10 : RELIGION / Christian Education / Adult