Reading Challenge Book Reviews Part 2

I'm using Goodreads to do something of a reading challenge this year (I want to try and read 50 books in a year but it's not looking likely). So for the second time I'm posting some mini-reviews of what I've been reading. This time we have a Daniel theme. See if there's something for you.

1. Seeing Things God's Way by Bryson Smith
This is an excellent little study book for individuals or groups on the book of Daniel.

Each study is entitled with one word, e.g. Courage, Humility and Hope. That word is the focus of that study, which is in turn the focus of the section of Daniel. The intention is that these are relatively simple studies and, given the the complexity of some of Daniel, this is admirably achieved. The study is always rooted in the text, is usually helpful in the linking the text to life through Jesus.

There are helpful notes for leaders (and readers) at the back, which give a little more background and detail and there is a helpful summary of the complicated chs.10-12. That said, there will undoubtedly be readers who want more detail and largely the book steers a cautious line through some of the prophetic/apocalyptic material, where some will want firmer or different emphases.

I found this very helpful in preparing studies on the book of Daniel.

2. Daniel: Kingdoms in Conflict by Andrew Reid

This is a handy and helpful commentary on the book of Daniel.

It would be described as non-technical (there's no Hebrew or overt interaction with other commentators) and probably aimed at the enthusiastic Christian or Bible study leader. In fact, that's exactly what I used it for, helping me to prepare and lead a set of Bible studies on the book of Daniel.

Reid is confident with the text, knows his own view on the more complicated passages (you won't find much on alternatives, although he does often flag up that there are other views) and (especially helpfully) keep a Christian interpretation in mind, carefully following through in terms of biblical theology. In particular, he picks up the theme of Kings and Kingdoms as the subtitle might suggest and sets aside short chapters through the book to discuss the development of the themes.

Each chapter ends with questions for the reader. I have to admit that I seldom find these very helpful in these kind of commentaries and this was no different (actually the IBS Study Guide from St Matthias Press on Daniel by Reid and Karen Morris is more helpful), but this may be my problem. It's worth noting that for some there will simply not be enough detail on contested issues and undoubtedly some will disagree with the line taken.

All-in-all a useful little read alongside preparing studies on Daniel.

3. Kingdom of Dreams: Daniel by Andrew Reid and Karen Morris

I have to admit mine is the older cover than the picture. This is a clear and helpful study guide for the Bible book of Daniel. There are 9 studies which cover
the whole book (although chapters 10-12 are covered in the final study).

The studies are perhaps a bit long for most Bible study groups to complete, although if they were well prepared it would be manageable. The studies also work well for the individual. I used them as part of preparation for leading studies.

A useful entry in a good series.


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