Book Review: The Whole Bible Story, by Dr. William H. Marty

Recommended. A straightforward telling of the biblical narrative by a respected Bible teacher.

The narrative of redemptive history–God’s work in and throughout creation and human history, with Christ’s life, death, and resurrection as a focal point–can be difficult for beginning Bible readers to find. Many are those who have set out to read the Bible from cover to cover only to stall out in the second half of Exodus (the law-giving and the tabernacle instructions) or Leviticus. In The Whole Bible Story: Everything that Happens in the Bible in Plain English, I believe Dr. William Marty of Moody Bible Institute has provided a useful tool for grasping the Bible’s story.

TWBS takes on a specific task: to tell the story of the Bible. It is narrative, pure and simple. Marty does not attempt to include laws, discourses, prophecies, parables, poetry, or epistles. He has a laser focus–the give readers the storyline of the Old and New Testaments–and he shows humility in providing just that. I couldn’t find any portion of the text where Marty takes undue creative liberties, and thus this isn’t a book for readers who expect a modern take on the biblical storyline. It reads more like the Bible than it does Dan Brown.

Marty is aware and explicit about his book’s limits. He has not written a paraphrase (e.g., The Message), and, to his credit, he clearly states in his introduction that he in no way intends for TWBS to take the place of Bible reading. Instead, Marty hopes that TWBS will motivate more Bible reading, as an understanding of the biblical narrative will give readers greater access to the riches found even in texts like Leviticus.

I recommend this book as a companion to the Bible you might give to a new believer, and I also think it’s a nice refresher course for those who have read the Bible through numerous times.

Notice: The publisher provided me with a review copy of this product, free of charge. However, the publisher has clearly expressed that I have the right, under no penalty, to honestly review this title, whether that review be positive or negative.


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

3 Responses to Book Review: The Whole Bible Story, by Dr. William H. Marty

  1. Sharon Berkley says:

    I bought The Whole Bible Story and started reading it. I was very disappointed to find that it contains factual errors, for instance that Abram (Abraham) was eight years old when Ishmael was born. This is simply not true. He was 86 years old. This is just one example. I found several more errors so I returned it to the Family Christian Stores location where I bought it. I was disappointed because we certainly don’t need error out there, but also because Beth Moore recommended it and I respect her.

  2. Sharon Berkley says:

    So sorry, I meant to say that the book says that Abram (Abraham) was eighty years old, not eight years old! Looks like my facts are wrong as well!

    • davestuartjr says:

      No worries, Sharon — we all make mistakes! The copy I read was an advanced reader copy, and in those I usually assume that errors like that will not make it to final print! I’m sorry to hear that that was not the case :/

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