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RSF resident releases new book ‘The 30-Minute Bible – God’s Story for Everyone’

Kathy Stumm, The 30-Minute Bible co-author Paige Vanosky, Joani Wafer
Kathy Stumm, The 30-Minute Bible co-author Paige Vanosky, Joani Wafer
(Robert McKenzie)

Co-author says book is intended to help readers understand the Bible’s story in a straightforward manner

The Bible is the world’s best-selling book, but how many people really understand what it is trying to say?

That question intrigued Rancho Santa Fe resident Paige Vanosky, and led her on a personal quest to both understand the story the Bible tells when its individual parts are viewed as a whole, and to be able to explain it to others.

The result of that quest was a Bible study course she devised for a group of friends that continued for 12 years, and her latest endeavor, a book that seeks to lay out the Bible in readable terms for those who want to know more.

“The 30-Minute Bible – God’s Story for Everyone,” was published in June by InterVarsity Press, a Christian publisher based in Illinois. Vanosky co-authored the book with Craig Bartholomew, a Bible scholar based in the U.K.

“If you ask most people what they think is in the Bible, you’ll come up with different answers,” Vanosky said. Some consider it a book of rules to live by, while others say it is a chronicle of the life of Jesus Christ.

“It’s actually a long story from the first page to the very last page, it’s one long story,” Vanosky said. Essentially, she said, the Bible, which encompasses both the Old and New Testaments, is the story of the world from creation to its end, and it follows one branch of a family tree from Adam and Eve to Christ.

The Bible was written over a period of 1,400 years, by 40 different authors, she said.

While she grew up reading the Bible in a Baptist household in Texas, Vanosky said, it wasn’t until she completed a 12-year chronological study of the Bible as an adult, and was asked to prepare a short book review for her book club, that, “I found this amazing story I had never known existed,” she said.

She decided to write the book, she said, after she received a number of requests from friends and acquaintances for copies of the study guide she had prepared for her Bible course.

Her next step, she said, was to search for a co-author who was well-versed in Biblical scholarship who could help her bring her vision of the book into reality. Her online research led to Bartholomew, director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, U.K., and an author of several scholarly tomes on the Bible.

“He jumped at the chance to co-author the book,” Vanosky said.

The co-authors spent more than a year on the first draft, with Bartholomew writing chapters and Vanosky editing and adding commentary. They then turned the manuscript over to their publisher. An artist was hired to create illustrations for the book.

The result is a book in 30 chapters, each highlighting a different segment of the Bible, including passages of scripture and a short essay explaining how the passage fits into the Bible’s larger narrative. Vanosky said the book can be read in 30 minutes per day for 30 days.

Each chapter, “tells a little about the story and a little bit of explanation, and helps connect the dots along the way for the novice reader,” Vanosky said.

Vanosky said the Bible is a complex book written on many levels, but her book is intended to help readers understand the story in a straightforward manner, without delving into controversies over the Bible’s application to modern life, such as the role of women in the church or gay rights.

“This is really the top layer, there are so many layers under it, this is like the CliffsNotes version, this is the big overview of what you find when you read the Bible,” she said.

“I think just knowing the story is worthwhile,” Vanosky said. “When I found the story of the Bible, I found all these questions answered, about God and Jesus and life in general. I was surprised by how much clarity I received when I knew the whole story.”

The book is available online at Amazon.com and InterVarsity Press. For more information, visit 30minutebible.com.


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