When I was a young Christian in high school, I struggled to read the Bible consistently. It’s not that I lacked the desire, time, or ability, but rather I didn’t know what to read or if what I was reading would make a difference in my life. One thing that tremendously helped me read the Bible more consistently with more fruit was being given a new Bible that had notes and helps that aided me in my reading—it gave me the added boost I needed to soak in God’s Word and understand it.
This is why when I first heard of The Wayfinding Bible from Tyndale, I was intrigued and excited to find a Bible that sought to “take you through a series of chronological readings that capture the main storyline in God’s Word…” (A8).
Could this edition of the Bible help make the Bible more accessible to others like the one I received made it more accessible to me?
I once heard someone describe the Bible as a topographical book: that is a book with a diverse and beautiful landscape of many mountain peaks and valleys, rivers and oceans, forests and deserts. Not all parts of Scripture are as glorious as the top of Mount Everest (although some are: Romans 8!), but each part contributes uniquely to the whole landscape of God’s saving work through Jesus Christ.
If the Bible offers a rich and diverse landscape, The Wayfinding Bible is the tour service that takes you to see the beautiful and diverse topography of Scripture.
- The Flyover Route gives a broad overview of 54 Scripture readings.
- The Direct Route ventures on an intermediate trek through 215 readings.
- The Scenic Route goes more in depth with 386 readings.
There are many helpful features like the “Get Your Bearings Summary” that serve as tour guides describing to readers why what they are about to read is significant. Brief, yet helpful book introductions give a paragraph explanation before each book and also show how the book points to Christ.
The premise behind The Wayfinding Bible is basically to make the entire story of the Bible more accessible to people by giving a guided tour. The tours begin in Genesis and moves through the Bible in chronological order. The three different plans give readers structure for their Bible reading, guidance in selecting passages to read, and short comments explaining the significance of each passage. Creating a Bible that can do all of those three things—and do them well—is a tremendous resource for many Christians.
Another favorable quality is that this Bible is very aesthetically pleasing (or in other words physically eye-catching). The graphics, maps, photos, and infographics jump off of the page with vibrant color and appeal. I expect the format and sharp design will excite many to read and study God’s Word.
While The Wayfinding Bible has much to offer, I will share a few minor critiques. First, although the ‘itinerary’, or list of passages for each route, does a decent job trekking through the Bible’s most important passages, some of the selections leave me scratching my head:
- Is the revolt of the Northern Tribes in 1 Kings 12:1-33 really so much more important than the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7 that it should be on the Flyover Route while the Davidic Covenant (a promise of huge importance) only gets “side trip” status?
- Should the Flyover route skip a major turning point in the Bible, the call of Abraham in Genesis 12, while highlighting lesser things like Joash repairing the temple in 2 Chronicles 24 or Daniel in the lions’ den of Daniel 6? I would argue no.
No doubt the editors of the itinerary had to make some tough choices editing their lists– the Bible is too rich not to have to cut great passages! For a seasoned Bible and Biblical Theology geek, I found myself disappointed slightly in some of the editors’ choices. Even though I would have chosen a few different passages, this does not discount on the service The Wayfinding Bible provides for readers: doing a more than adequate job of taking readers through the Bible story. It is possible the itineraries could change for a future edition.
The number of readings in each plan is another minor critique:
- Why have a plan that has 54 readings, instead of 52 (one for each week in a year)?
- Why have a plan with 215 readings, instead of 180 (one for each day for 6 months)?
- Why have a plan that has 386 readings, and not 365 (one for each day of the year)?
54, 215 and 386 seem like arbitrary numbers that keep this edition of the Bible slightly less marketable than it could have been.
All minor critiques aside, I think The Wayfinding Bible is a worthy tool that does a helpful job trekking through the big picture of the Bible. I expect many students, new believers and seasoned believers will find The Wayfinding Bible accessible, illuminating, and exciting.
Any new edition of the Bible that can excite people to read the Word of God is a tool I can’t help but recommend.
Buy The Wayfinding Bible on Amazon.
According to FTC Disclosures, I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Media to provide an honest review.