Two Christian biblical scholars share how they zeroed in on key components of God’s Word.

The Bible may be the best-selling book of all time, but it’s certainly not the easiest to understand.

As a collection of 66 books, written by dozens of authors in at least two distinct languages, God’s Word is a complicated text, to say the least—and one that can be used for almost any purpose. It has been bastardized to enforce chattel slavery, held aloft as a political photo prop, and even commodified as a product for “patriots.” But two Christian scholars hope their new book will remind both the faithful and irreligious of the Bible’s purpose and how it should not be used.

Dr. Edward D. Gravely, a Southern Baptist elder and one of the coauthors of Bible 101, specializes in Koine Greek and the New Testament. Gravely is a professor in Christian studies at Charleston Southern University along with coauthor Dr. Peter Link, who teaches biblical Hebrew and the Old Testament there.

Their new book, Bible 101: From Genesis and Psalms to the Gospels and Revelation, Your Guide to the Old and New Testaments, joins an arena of handbooks and study guides claiming to break the Bible down into layman’s terms for easier engagement. Contrary to what one might expect for such a feat, Bible 101 is not a whopper of a text. Like other books in the “Adams 101” subject-specific series (a Simon & Schuster imprint), Bible 101 is only 288 pages and smaller than an iPad mini.

Reporter Nicola A. Menzie spoke with Link and Gravely about their guiding principles in getting down to the key components of Scripture, their thoughts about taking the Bible out of context for various causes, and more. The transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

A lot of books out there claim to make the Bible …

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