This amazing book of 229 Old Testament stories–in clear, modern English–is helping people just like you
understand and love the Old Testament.
Just like you, I have always accepted the Bible─both Old and New Testaments─as the word of God. However, a few years ago, I had a dilemma relating to the Old Testament. I had spent quite a bit of time studying it; I had read it through multiple times and had even taught Old Testament classes.
I found some parts interesting and even inspiring, but the lack of chronological flow made it hard to see how everything fit together. Also, in some parts, there is excessive detail about things that seemed irrelevant to me. And the unfamiliar 17th century wording was often cumbersome. Though there were many great stories that I had known and loved all my life, there was also much about the Old Testament that I did not love and that seemed irrelevant. I wanted to like it more than I did.
Then, one day, an amazing thing happened. While reading through the Old Testament once again and re-experiencing some of the more engaging stories, I thought about how great it would be if someone could retell those stories in modern English⎼for adults. Bible stories for children are everywhere–but not for adults. I felt that someone needed to retell these stories in adult language and in the sequence in which they occurred. It would bless the lives of millions of people if someone could start with Creation and follow on down until after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon.
After serious contemplation, the idea struck me that I could write that book! I was familiar with the Old Testament, and, because I had written other books, I understood the process. Thus I began⎼though not without serious trepidation.
As work progressed, I was amazed. Everything came together better than I had thought possible. Insights, inspiration, and understandings came from many directions⎼from talks I heard, from conversations, from newspaper and magazine articles, and from understandings that came as I pondered. I can’t explain every source of my inspiration because they were many. There was also serious research involved, including use of various Bible translations, Bible commentaries, as well as the writings of Flavius Josephus and other scholars.
I had two primary objectives: (1) to keep the stories short and simple without being simplistic and (2) to be faithful to the scriptures. I wanted to be both understandable and accurate.
When the project was completed, I was amazed. The book was better than I had ever imagined that it would be! There were 219 incredible accounts that I know you will treasure. You will become acquainted with the people of the Old Testament as you read about them and God’s dealings with them. And, because the stories are in sequential order, you will see the “big picture” and come to love the Old Testament as never before, just as I have. And you will come back again and again!
This unique book, which I named How Often Would I Have Gathered You: Stories from the Old Testament and Related Sources for Latter-day Saints (now in its second edition), is readable and easy to understand. In its twelve sections, there are 376 pages and 229 stories. Most stories are concise⎼less than a page⎼and can be read in a short sitting. A few stories, like those of Job and Ruth, are somewhat longer because they cover entire Old Testament books. Some other stories cover only a part of one chapter of a Biblical book.
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How Often Would I Have Gathered You.
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And when you buy the book, you get ALL of the following:
- The beautiful, award-winning book with 229 stories with 20 original illustrations by Owen Richardson.
- The book will be autographed.
- The book will be shipped free of charge to all purchasers in the United States.
- In addition, the book contains all of the following special features and study aids …
- Unlike the Old Testament itself, these stories are told in chronological sequence so you can gain a historical perspective and better understand the place of each story in the scriptural whole.
- The stories are faithful to the scriptural text and are told in a smooth, flowing style without embellishment or fictionalizing so that you can both understand them and trust their accuracy.
- The stories are told in modern English rather than the language of the seventeenth century Bible translators so that they will hold your interest and enhance your understanding.
- The Biblical references relating to each story are written at the top of the story so you can study the story and its related scriptures together.
- Because the stories are written for adults rather than children, they are simple without being simplistic, never insulting your intelligence.
- The book has two indexes⎼one index to people and one to subjects⎼so that you can quickly and easily find stories that relate to the people and subjects that interest you—an invaluable reference tool for both the teacher and the Bible student.
- In those cases where the Old Testament tells the same story in more than one place, the book takes those divergent accounts and combines them into one story. When the facts disagree in the different accounts, you will find those alternative fact explained in the footnotes.
- The book has a helpful pronunciation guide so you don’t have to get bogged down when you encounter unfamiliar names, either of people or of places.
- The book has a section of maps to help you gain the understanding and perspective that comes only when you visualize the stories in their geographical setting.
- In connection with those stories that relate to the time period when Israel and Judah were divided into separate kingdoms, the book has a chart showing how the kings in both kingdoms relate to each other time-wise. Also, those stories that relate to each king are also listed on the chart. This helps you to easily see how the kings related to each other historically as well as the specific stories relating to each of them.
- All footnotes are on the bottoms of the pages so that background information, helpful insights, and cross-references are at your fingertips and not hidden away where people seldom bother to look. You can use the book’s footnotes to help you gain a better understanding.
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