How do you summarize the most important book in history? Where would you even start? Well, In his commentary Explore the Scriptures: An Overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, John Phillips does an excellent job outlining, condensing, and evaluating each book of the Bible.
Each chapter in this book starts out with a basic outline. It highlights the major chapter divisions in the book and gives references to every bullet point. This is helpful if you are just looking through and need to find a major idea, theme, or event. Every point is alliterated which makes these short outlines horribly helpful.
Phillips also does an excellent job of condensing each book of the Bible into a manageable fashion. Each chapter is only about three or four pages long. Only the main points are highlighted in Explore the Scriptures, so it is very easy to get a broad idea of the point of the passage. There are also very useful maps and diagrams which help the stories to come just a little bit more alive.
The final aspect to highlight is the evaluation from Phillips. It seems that Mr. Phillips takes a very traditional approach to the searching of the scriptures. When he comes to a controversial passage he give several of the popular interpretations of the passage and lets you decide which is the closest to scripture.
Over all I thought Mr. John Phillips did an excellent job just giving a brief survey of the book we stake our life on. He wrote very useful outlines, helpful summaries, and good interpretations. No book can replace the Bible, but if you want to better understand your bible and get the big picture, this is an excellent resource.