Fresh takes on an old journey.
Story of Stories: A guided tour from Genesis to Revelation by Karen Lee-Thorp, InterVarsity Press, P. O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515-1426, Pb., pp. 366, ISBN 978-0-8308-5816-3. 2012.
Karen Lee-Thorp is a prolific author, who has written or co-written, more than 50 books, including Bible studies, plus the LifeChange and Doing Life Together series. She is a former senior editor at NavPress and now a freelance writer.
What Lee-Thorp has done in Story of Stories is take stories from the Bible, beginning with Genesis, and add a different aspect. From the Creation, where Lee-Thorp writes, “…It was so splendid that he [God] took another whole day and rested to enjoy it. God is a dedicated artist, but he’s no workaholic,” we see God presented as a multi-faceted person, who sees ahead, but still creates, even though people will make mistakes. After Eden, this world is not a perfect one. People have choices and often are wrong and suffer the consequences (King Saul, for example, who tried to find the prophet Samuel in the underworld with the help of the medium from Endor.)
The famed Tower of Babel, (which in some books looks like a skyscraper) is now described as a many-tiered, multi-colored 153 feet high tower that covered four acres. The Old Testament leads to Jesus, but His story is given 31 pages, while the adventures and teachings of Paul have 51 pages. In a paragraph about Jesus’ mother (Mary), it shows that people were frightened at the time of the Crucifixion, so few actually went to see it. However, women were braver. “Certainly Jesus’ mother didn't care whether the Sanhedrin boiled her in oil now that they were killing her son. But Jesus cared, so he asked John to take her into his household.” The author describes what type of ship Paul may have used for traveling, “Few ships had cabins, so passengers lived on deck with only the sail for shade and shelter….Shipwreck and damage were common…Paul…logged about 1800 miles by sea.” Yes, in spite of danger, missionary work went on and on.
I found Story of Stories to be interesting, readable and accessible. If you are explaining Scripture to someone, this may be a way to begin. The book is written in plain language with suggested questions at the end of each chapter. There is also a Leader’s Guide for the six sections of the book, “A Promise Of Deliverance,” “The Rise And Fall Of Israel, “ “Exile And Return,” The Coming Of The King,” “Messengers To The Nations” and “Letters To The Churches.” A time line is also included, plus maps of the Middle East from 2000 B.C. to present time.