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The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People, NIV

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The Story is an abridged, chronological Bible that reads like a novel. There are no verse references, and Scripture segments are seamlessly woven together with transition text into a single grand narrative. For those intimidated or overwhelmed by the unabridged Bible, The Story helps people understand Gods Word more fully and engage with it more easily. Simple, accessible, The Story is an abridged, chronological Bible that reads like a novel. There are no verse references, and Scripture segments are seamlessly woven together with transition text into a single grand narrative. For those intimidated or overwhelmed by the unabridged Bible, The Story helps people understand God’s Word more fully and engage with it more easily. Simple, accessible, and easy to use, churches are finding The Story a powerful way to engage their people in Bible reading like never before. As The Story brings the Bible to life, the broad scope of God’s message will penetrate hearts. People of all ages will be swept up in the story of God’s love and God’s plan for their lives. God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters, The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption; and this story’s true! “This book tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves his children, who established for them a way of salvation and provided a route to eternity. Each story in these 31 chapters reveals the God of grace---the God who speaks; the God who acts; the God who listens; the God whose love for his people culminated in his sacrifice of Jesus, his only Son, to atone for the sins of humanity.”


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The Story is an abridged, chronological Bible that reads like a novel. There are no verse references, and Scripture segments are seamlessly woven together with transition text into a single grand narrative. For those intimidated or overwhelmed by the unabridged Bible, The Story helps people understand Gods Word more fully and engage with it more easily. Simple, accessible, The Story is an abridged, chronological Bible that reads like a novel. There are no verse references, and Scripture segments are seamlessly woven together with transition text into a single grand narrative. For those intimidated or overwhelmed by the unabridged Bible, The Story helps people understand God’s Word more fully and engage with it more easily. Simple, accessible, and easy to use, churches are finding The Story a powerful way to engage their people in Bible reading like never before. As The Story brings the Bible to life, the broad scope of God’s message will penetrate hearts. People of all ages will be swept up in the story of God’s love and God’s plan for their lives. God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters, The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption; and this story’s true! “This book tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves his children, who established for them a way of salvation and provided a route to eternity. Each story in these 31 chapters reveals the God of grace---the God who speaks; the God who acts; the God who listens; the God whose love for his people culminated in his sacrifice of Jesus, his only Son, to atone for the sins of humanity.”

30 review for The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People, NIV

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    The Story was written to help make the Bible more accessible to those who may get lost in the language or who do not have the desire to get the whole message from 1000+ pages. I think it was pretty good. I can see how it would help some be more comfortable with the journey through the Bible. However, I feel like there was a lot of it that was just a reprint of the source material and, therefore, was not any more accessible than just reading the Bible. If I had to guess, 60% of the people who The Story was written to help make the Bible more accessible to those who may get lost in the language or who do not have the desire to get the whole message from 1000+ pages. I think it was pretty good. I can see how it would help some be more comfortable with the journey through the Bible. However, I feel like there was a lot of it that was just a reprint of the source material and, therefore, was not any more accessible than just reading the Bible. If I had to guess, 60% of the people who struggle with the Bible would find this helpful. The rest will probably be just as intimidated.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donald White

    I understand the criticism of those who say it is an "edited" Bible, leaving out some uncomfortable portions, however THE STORY does not pretend to be "The Bible." Nor is it like the failed Reader's Digest version that came out in the 70s. It is a collection of excerpts to give one the central themes of the Bible, presenting it as one continuous story of humanity's relationship with their God. Read in that way, it works! And it works well! Our church is going through THE STORY series, in classes I understand the criticism of those who say it is an "edited" Bible, leaving out some uncomfortable portions, however THE STORY does not pretend to be "The Bible." Nor is it like the failed Reader's Digest version that came out in the 70s. It is a collection of excerpts to give one the central themes of the Bible, presenting it as one continuous story of humanity's relationship with their God. Read in that way, it works! And it works well! Our church is going through THE STORY series, in classes and sermons and personal reading, and they have taken to it very well. Many people have said, "I've needed this for a long time."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Keith Beasley-Topliffe

    It seemed like a good idea. Make an abridged Bible that emphasized the main story from creation to end of time and could be read as a novel. Of course a lot would have to be cut, but even a third of the bible is a lot of material and an amazing chronicle of God's interaction with people over a couple thousand years. Then I read it. I've read the entire bible in various translations several times. I've led groups through "The Bible in 90 Days" (also by Zondervan). And so I was more struck by what It seemed like a good idea. Make an abridged Bible that emphasized the main story from creation to end of time and could be read as a novel. Of course a lot would have to be cut, but even a third of the bible is a lot of material and an amazing chronicle of God's interaction with people over a couple thousand years. Then I read it. I've read the entire bible in various translations several times. I've led groups through "The Bible in 90 Days" (also by Zondervan). And so I was more struck by what was left out than what was kept. Gone are the begats. Also gone are almost all calls for God's people to take care of one another. No call in the Law to be mindful of widows, orphans, and strangers in the land. No prophetic denunciation of oppression of the weak by the powerful or of the poor by the rich. No call from Jesus to love one another (though most of John 13 is included) or to love our enemies (most of the ethical content of the Sermon on the Mount is cut). One would never guess from "The Story" that the prophets denounced anything other than idolatry or that anyone but Paul wrote letters to early Christians. One wouldn't see the chaos that made the Israelite tribes long for a king. Of course some people would celebrate the cuts. Some would commend the near absence of calls for social justice. Others might applaud the removal of the book of James with its insistence that faith must be lived out in righteous action (also cut is the call to bear fruit in John 15). Still the pattern is disturbing. And it makes "The Story" seem like a betrayal of The Bible.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Jones

    Kind of pointless. Just read the Bible. That way you won't get things left out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy R

    There was a lot of Bible in this relatively short book! I have never read a book about the Bible like this (meaning reads like a story). This was a good big-picture type read of the Bible. I learned a lot and feel when I go back and study parts of the Bible it will make more sense since I have read a broad version. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to know the story of Christ in a compact easy read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Powe

    This book is a useful tool for study of the Bible. It is not, despite the cover, "selections from the New International Version." It is selected Biblical stories rewritten in modernized American English. It's useful because it allows the student to follow the narrative lines of the Bible. Most of the historical annotations inserted by the original Biblical authors are stripped out. The book fails, in my opinion, in two important respects. First, it does not include annotations that parallel its This book is a useful tool for study of the Bible. It is not, despite the cover, "selections from the New International Version." It is selected Biblical stories rewritten in modernized American English. It's useful because it allows the student to follow the narrative lines of the Bible. Most of the historical annotations inserted by the original Biblical authors are stripped out. The book fails, in my opinion, in two important respects. First, it does not include annotations that parallel its text with the originals. Readers cannot go back to the original Bible and see for themselves what the original stories looked like. Second, it sometimes blurs together accounts that are quite distinct in the original. For example, it runs together chapters one and two of Genesis as though they combine for a single story. In fact, they're two distinct stories of the creation. That said, The Story enables non-theologians to get a clear picture of the Bible as a narrative. This is a good step toward understanding the Bible as a holy book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Garrett

    I came into this book with only a fuzzy concept of the Old Testament. This seemed like just the right thing to give me a clear, chronological picture of events, and it certainly did the trick. However, I had already read much of the New Testament, so I could definitely tell when The Story left out large chunks of it. As a whole, I enjoyed it and I learned a lot. Not only did it read like a page-turner (Imagine that - The Bible as a fast-paced novel!), it was a fantastic tool to gain an I came into this book with only a fuzzy concept of the Old Testament. This seemed like just the right thing to give me a clear, chronological picture of events, and it certainly did the trick. However, I had already read much of the New Testament, so I could definitely tell when The Story left out large chunks of it. As a whole, I enjoyed it and I learned a lot. Not only did it read like a page-turner (Imagine that - The Bible as a fast-paced novel!), it was a fantastic tool to gain an understanding of what happened over a great period of time. This is not a replacement of the Bible by any means, but more of a synopsis to use before diving in to the real thing. I have no doubt that people with more Biblical knowledge than I will also find it useful and entertaining.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    This audio version helped me with my study of The Story. However, some of the readers were slow, the last disc had some sort of manufacturing defect, and certain parts--especially Revelation--could have been much more dramatic. As helpful as it was, I'm trading in my copy first chance I get.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Smart idea, but it has the risk of being interpreted as a "substitute" for the Bible itself. When its purpose is defined clearly, it could be a great evangelical tool. Certain chapters might give great perspective and clarity to some of the lesser-known parts of the Scriptures. Yet other valuable parts of Scripture are taken out, and some of it feels incomplete. Some of the language in the commentary contained a little too much slang for my tastes (you really wanna say they "just plain forget," Smart idea, but it has the risk of being interpreted as a "substitute" for the Bible itself. When its purpose is defined clearly, it could be a great evangelical tool. Certain chapters might give great perspective and clarity to some of the lesser-known parts of the Scriptures. Yet other valuable parts of Scripture are taken out, and some of it feels incomplete. Some of the language in the commentary contained a little too much slang for my tastes (you really wanna say they "just plain forget," instead of "simply forget"?).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Once I got used to the things that bothered me (see "first impressions" below), it wasn't too bad. I still wish it had been more than the NIV, more descriptive, more "current," but it's obviously a Zondervan thing, so I'll have to wish for Tyndale or Eugene Peterson to copy the idea (if they haven't already, I honestly have no idea). I'm glad I listened to the whole thing and got a glimpse of the entire Bible as a story. It's not a foreign concept by any means, but since it's so long, it was nice Once I got used to the things that bothered me (see "first impressions" below), it wasn't too bad. I still wish it had been more than the NIV, more descriptive, more "current," but it's obviously a Zondervan thing, so I'll have to wish for Tyndale or Eugene Peterson to copy the idea (if they haven't already, I honestly have no idea). I'm glad I listened to the whole thing and got a glimpse of the entire Bible as a story. It's not a foreign concept by any means, but since it's so long, it was nice to go through a shorter, condensed version. That said, it definitely didn't cover the entire Bible as in every single book or chapter, but I think it was a good overview. ------------------------- First impressions: Sigh. I should've listened to a sample. A long time ago I bought the NIV Bible on Audible because the whole thing was only one credit, which is a really good deal considering I only paid $14.95 for the credit. I listened to it a bit, but it is dramatized, which I thought would be a good thing at the time. It has music in the background, and everything is read very epically. But it just felt over-the-top, although I guess maybe that is appropriate for the reading of the Bible. So I saw this book and got it thinking that it would read more like something written now (sort of like The Message except better). Not so much. It's just chunks of the NIV with short segments that help one story segue to the next or summary of a story that they aren't using the NIV for. And it's read with the background music and epic voices, and it just sounds kind of ridiculous sometimes. I kid you not, there were laughable background sounds of a woman giving birth that I could've done without. And like I said, it's just the NIV. So at the risk of sounding like a terrible Christian, I wish they would've taken the liberty to fill in gaps with descriptions of emotions, thoughts, intentions, and setting, and made the dialogue more relatable. I'm not listening to this to do a study; I'm listening it for the story (which is the title of the book). So maybe I'm terrible, but I wish it read more like a story written within the last thirty years. It turns out that this wasn't really what I was looking for at all, but I'll keep going for the remaining 14 hours or so... I hope I can get more into it as I get used to it and as I get to stories that I'm not as familiar with.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cathryn Conroy

    If you have ever wanted to read the Bible from start to finish but found the length daunting and the "begats" boring, this is the book for you. "The Story" contains all the big stories of the Old Testament and New Testament in 31 chapters using the New International Version (NIV). When parts are skipped, the author summarizes in italics what happened. I read "The Story" as part of a nine-month Episcopal church Bible study group, and it's ideal for this if you're looking for such a resource. But If you have ever wanted to read the Bible from start to finish but found the length daunting and the "begats" boring, this is the book for you. "The Story" contains all the big stories of the Old Testament and New Testament in 31 chapters using the New International Version (NIV). When parts are skipped, the author summarizes in italics what happened. I read "The Story" as part of a nine-month Episcopal church Bible study group, and it's ideal for this if you're looking for such a resource. But you can also read this on your own, and at the end you will have a sound overview of the Bible. Note: If you decide to read the Bible cover to cover, including all the "begats," it will take you about three years if you read one chapter a day. I know. I did it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Marissa

    While I appreciate the fact they put the stories in chronological order, I can't get behind this. By doing the 'highlights' of the Bible (mostly just the more famous Bible stories), they are neglecting important parts (such as Job!!) and not focusing on the main point of the Bible: God's character. If you want to really witness to someone with the Bible, don't use this; give the person an actual Bible and offer to read it with them. Christians need to stop trying to go for the quickest results While I appreciate the fact they put the stories in chronological order, I can't get behind this. By doing the 'highlights' of the Bible (mostly just the more famous Bible stories), they are neglecting important parts (such as Job!!) and not focusing on the main point of the Bible: God's character. If you want to really witness to someone with the Bible, don't use this; give the person an actual Bible and offer to read it with them. Christians need to stop trying to go for the quickest results (which this would be under) but instead need to work on building relationship.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    I went into this expecting it to be a novel-ish version of the bible because I had heard it was, but it wasn't - actually, it's the bible rewritten so it's in chronological order and more easily understandable. So it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it was still very interesting and good to read. However, I felt that the authors comments in italics were - at least to me - more distracting than helpful and so I quickly started skimming over them or skipping them altogether.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ntombezinhle Nzama

    This book weaved together the story of the bible so beautifully. Although it was not a word for word account of the bible (we would just read the bible if that were the case), it puts the story together. I actually learnt a lot about the bible and how some things fit together. I tool a while to finish this book and read other books in between, but every time I cam back to it I felt so enlightened... I must say though, the old testament was A LOT of history but I actually got to understand how This book weaved together the story of the bible so beautifully. Although it was not a word for word account of the bible (we would just read the bible if that were the case), it puts the story together. I actually learnt a lot about the bible and how some things fit together. I tool a while to finish this book and read other books in between, but every time I cam back to it I felt so enlightened... I must say though, the old testament was A LOT of history but I actually got to understand how everything fits together!! The Isrealites though were so exhausting😓 always whining about something or the other! The new testament really brought it all together. This book promised to show "the bible as one continuing story of God and his people" and that it did!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Racquel

    The Story is a (somewhat) compact version of the stories in the Bible. Of course it starts with Adam and Eve and goes all the way through to Revelations. Although it covers the main points it does leave out a few stories and passages. But that was okay with me because I read this book with the intention that I was only going to get the "meat and potatoes" out of it. I had already planned to get the "gravy" directly from the Bible (KJV) after reading this. In summation, this book gives you a The Story is a (somewhat) compact version of the stories in the Bible. Of course it starts with Adam and Eve and goes all the way through to Revelations. Although it covers the main points it does leave out a few stories and passages. But that was okay with me because I read this book with the intention that I was only going to get the "meat and potatoes" out of it. I had already planned to get the "gravy" directly from the Bible (KJV) after reading this. In summation, this book gives you a pretty good understanding of what happens in the Bible. It's the story-like Cliff Notes version of the Bible. That said, I would recommend it to those who want a general knowledge of what's in the Bible. ..I gave it 4 stars because it gave me what I needed to know from the Bible without the irrelevant details. Now when I read the actual Bible, I can read it not for a story but for a deeper meaning and understanding of the passages. Hope this helps! P.S: There are some parts that are a little dragged out, boring, (Judges, Kings, and the letters Paul wrote to the church) and redundant so be aware of that.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    My church just finished going through this book together (in the worship services and in weekly small group discussions). It's not a replacement for the Bible, it's simply meant as a tool to encourage fuller engagement with the Bible. And it was extremely effective in our community -- it raised biblical literacy, encouraged deeper worship, and allowed us a venue for asking some really tough and wonderful questions. If you're someone who has always been interested in the Bible but for one reason or My church just finished going through this book together (in the worship services and in weekly small group discussions). It's not a replacement for the Bible, it's simply meant as a tool to encourage fuller engagement with the Bible. And it was extremely effective in our community -- it raised biblical literacy, encouraged deeper worship, and allowed us a venue for asking some really tough and wonderful questions. If you're someone who has always been interested in the Bible but for one reason or another felt a little intimidated (by the Bible or by church), then this is a great series to try out. You'll learn a ton and have the opportunity to grow closer to God, if you'd like.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    I read this book to go along with on ongoing sermon series at our church. Between the book itself and the sermons that accompanied it, I learned a lot and understand parts of the Bible that were foreign to me beforehand.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kait Wellens

    I used this book to guide my daily Bible reading, and really enjoyed going through the Bible in this way! This book helped me to get a broader understanding of the Bible as one continuous story of Gods creation and how he is redeeming his people. I also feel that I have gained a much better understanding of the historical timeline and context of the Bible through reading this, especially the Old Testament. I used this book to guide my daily Bible reading, and really enjoyed going through the Bible in this way! This book helped me to get a broader understanding of the Bible as one continuous story of God’s creation and how he is redeeming his people. I also feel that I have gained a much better understanding of the historical timeline and context of the Bible through reading this, especially the Old Testament.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    While nothing could compare with the entire Bible, this book is a good devotional, and helps you see God's Word as a complete story. However, if you haven't read the Good Book in its entirety, you should; there's a lot of important content that was left out of this, such as the General Epistles.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Reading this is like reading the Readers Digest Condensed Version of the Bible, but it does present the narrative arc of the Bible in a useful way. In no way is this intended to be a study Bible. There are no chapter and verse numbers. (Although, the author includes an appendix of discussion questions should you want to read this in a study group.) Only stories that have narrative flow are included, with some other text such as Psalms, Proverbs, and from the prophets when such text helps with the Reading this is like reading the Readers Digest Condensed Version of the Bible, but it does present the narrative arc of the Bible in a useful way. In no way is this intended to be a study Bible. There are no chapter and verse numbers. (Although, the author includes an appendix of discussion questions should you want to read this in a study group.) Only stories that have narrative flow are included, with some other text such as Psalms, Proverbs, and from the prophets when such text helps with the narrative flow. The author fills gaps with additional, non-Biblical text to connect different narratives, and those passages are italicized. I have read the Bible in different forms, such as The Bible As Living Literature by Bates, and The Book of God by Wangerin. Reading the Bible this way can help provide a different, and often illuminating, perspective. I welcome Lucado's re-organization of the text. Getting a sense of the grand meta-narrative is extremely helpful, and get the reader into the context of the Bible. Christians tend to proof-text way too much, without understanding the grander story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ngdecker

    We are reading this book in church and so now that I have gotten up to where the church is, I'll be reading one chapter each week. Although it is abridged and simplified and does leave out quite a bit, it has been in interesting way to read the Bible and I'm enjoying it. Now I have finished it, and I have enjoyed reading it. I have learned quite a bit about parts of the Bible that I really hadn't read thoroughly. It also makes me want to read some of the parts more in depth.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    This book did a great job giving the over-arching story from Genesis to Revelation. The parts I liked best were the authors notes to help explain the story and allow the storyline to flow better. The majority of this book is taken right out of the NIV. By sticking to the overarching storyline of scripture there were definitely minor storylines that were left out. For the big picture - read the Bible :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie Heckman

    I've never read the bible cover to cover so this was a good first stepping stone for me. I don't know enough to know what it left out and now it's given me a good fundamental starting point and enough interest to want to go deeper.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is more of a spark notes summary of the Bible. It's worth a read (especially for the deal I got on it) however, the actual Bible reads better. Cannot replace the Bible, bit for those inclined, can be a supplement to the Bible.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kimmie

    Highly recommend! This book will give you a good overview of the Bible which will in turn make you want to dig deeper.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wayne

    Reads like "a Story" with significant portions missing!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Chantrey

    Hmmm... Let's take a look. Christian book store had this on special for $5.00.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This was an interesting experience. I kept finding myself thinking, "Oh, but we're missing so much depth by skipping this detail!" Which I'd say is a testament to the incredible cohesion of the lengthy epic that is the Bible. Don't misunderstand me; I think this is a quality abridgment that presents the overall storyline well. If it interests you, go for it. Just know, if you've picked this up because you're struggling to get through the whole Bible, there is so much more fantastic stuff to be This was an interesting experience. I kept finding myself thinking, "Oh, but we're missing so much depth by skipping this detail!" Which I'd say is a testament to the incredible cohesion of the lengthy epic that is the Bible. Don't misunderstand me; I think this is a quality abridgment that presents the overall storyline well. If it interests you, go for it. Just know, if you've picked this up because you're struggling to get through the whole Bible, there is so much more fantastic stuff to be discovered. Honest. If you enjoyed this and want to try something more comprehensive, I recommend The Daily Bible® -- in Chronological Order. It has some similar features - a chronological arrangement, avoiding repetition, using the NIV translation - and includes almost all of the source material. One other note: I actually listened to the audiobook version. I'm not usually an audiobook person; I tend to zone out and miss pieces, and in situations where I have time to listen to them, I would rather listen to music. But this audiobook was beautiful. There was atmospheric music and relevant sound effects. The readers gave each speaker their own voice (no small feat). And they spoke with appropriate emotion! We miss so much when the Bible is read in the monotone we usually hear. But I suppose that's a rant for another place. I think I enjoyed this more because I listened to it than I would have reading it, and that's a first for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Frankslycreative

    The style of The Story breathed new life into stories I had let become dry through over-familiarity, not with Scripture itself, but with my memory of Scripture. I saw characters in new light and found myself saying more than once 'Does the Bible really say that?' The Story has led me back to Scripture with new eyes and a hunger to truly know what the Bible says and not just what I think it says. I noticed the discussion questions at the end of the book when I was almost done it, so I am looking The style of The Story breathed new life into stories I had let become dry through over-familiarity, not with Scripture itself, but with my memory of Scripture. I saw characters in new light and found myself saying more than once 'Does the Bible really say that?' The Story has led me back to Scripture with new eyes and a hunger to truly know what the Bible says and not just what I think it says. I noticed the discussion questions at the end of the book when I was almost done it, so I am looking forward to going back and thinking those questions through. If reading Scripture has become a chore for you, I highly suggest The Story to reignite your love for God's word.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily Jusuf

    Given to me by Gloria for my 20th birthday. Twenty months later, I finally finished it. I am in awe, both of what I have read and of all that has happened in the time since I first cracked the cover open. Though it has been abridged and added to in ways that are sometimes helpful, sometimes not, The Story is a very good place to begin with the Bible, and I'm thankful to have been able to start here.

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