Top Ten Book List for LDS Students of the Scriptures
Posted by nhilton on October 24, 2007
A student in my Gospel Doctrine Class began telling me about a book she was currently reading, “The Politics of Jesus.” (One reviewer says, “If I had only one work of twentieth-century theology to read, this would be it .”) My friend and her husband are Peruvian converts struggling with some aspects of their gospel understanding…as are we all! They are highly educated in their country but struggling with visa issues that dramatically affect their life in the United States. I feel somewhat responsible for my friend’s spiritual safety, as she comes to me weekly expressing thanks for my lessons and asking deep doctrinal questions. On Sunday as we discussed her reading and she mentioned the author’s reference to the last line of the Lord’s Prayer, I interrupted her and made note that the line in question is considered a scribal insert by most scholars and how this insert dramatically changes the message of the prayer (as we’ve discussed on another post). Her eyes opened wide and she remarked on how important an observation this was in light of the author’s thesis regarding Jesus’ mission. I really couldn’t speak to that, since I hadn’t read the “The Politics of Jesus.”
I cautioned her to always consider her source before reading and to use Moroni’s counsel as a guide in choosing her books. Then the big question: “Which books should I read?” Ah…I really didn’t know which book to recommend first, if any. Did I really want to venture there? Read the scriptures, duh. But what else? If you were asked this question, what would your answer be?
Secondly, this isn’t a unique question. I’ve asked it myself. After and simultaneous to scripture reading and study, what are your “Top Ten” books on scripture? Please, offer your lists here! Please put an asterisk by LDS authors and include a BRIEF summary of the book and WHY you recommend it. You can offer anecdotal experience with the book, too, if you’d like. We’re talking TOP TEN here, not a complete library. We’re thinking “BEGINNERS” here in the sense of the FIRST books to read as one embarks on a lifetime of scripture study.
As this post wraps up, I’ll try to summarize the list by comparing all your suggestions and include the “winners” by consensus. If this proves a valuable post, maybe we’ll do a follow-up for people who’ve already read the top ten & would like to venture into the second ten, etc. :)
Thank you for your thought & time in sharing here!
Book List As Of 12/28/07, *indicates written by LDS author. O.k., so this list exceeds ten titles. Granted. It’s a work-in-progress & I’m editing it periodically. If you see “your” book on this list & it’s mis-titled, please let me know in a comment & I’ll try to fix it. Or, if your book didn’t make it onto the list, it’s probably because you weren’t specific enough for me to include it. I need a title and an author, please. Please indicate with an * if the author is LDS. At some point I think I’ll delete books that don’t get at least more than one recommendation, & just consider that book a “sideline” of reading, i.e. the “Jesus Christ & the World of the New Testament” got several recommendations so it’s certainly in the top 10. I’m really interested in developing a concise list that is “do-able” by the average, yet actively serious in their study, LDS student of the scriptures. Perhaps I’ll just put a P.S. with the other recommended books included for those over-achievers. Additionally, you can see by the following list that I’m basically “cutting & pasting” your recommended titles. So, if you include a link to that book it makes it that much easier for people to go to a site where they can read about & possibly purchase it.
Book of Mormon
- *Givens, By the Hand of Mormon
- *Sorenson- An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon
- Reader’s Edition of the Book of Mormon, edited by Grant Hardy
- Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube’s Chronicles of the Mayan Kings and Queens
- Chris Hedges War is a Force that Give Us Meaning
- *Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon
- *Richard Dilworth Rust, Feasting On The Word, The Literary Testimony of the Book of Mormon
- Living the Book of Mormon, 36th Annual BYU Sperry Symposium Compilation
- Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
- *Barlow, Mormons and the Bible
- International Theological Commentary series
- NIV Study Bible
- Interpretation series
- HarperCollins Bible Dictionary
- Strong’s Concordance
- The Book of the Acts of God by Fuller and Wright
- Jerome Biblical Commentary
- Alter’s Art of Biblical Narrative
- Oxford Companion to the Bible
- Jewish Study Bible
- Shanks, Ancient Israel
- Miller/Hayes’ History of Ancient Israel
- The Oxford History of the Biblical World
- Life in Biblical Israel
- de Vaux’s Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions
- How to Read the (Jewish) Bible
- John Barton’s Reading the Old Testament (not for the novice)
- Jon Levenson’s Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible.
- Gerhard von Rad’s two-volume Old Testament Theology
Doctrine & Covenants
Pearl of Great Price
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