IVP Books, 2013, 372 pp., $17.99
Eric Larsen’s Frameworks is a simple, creative resource for understanding and navigating the Bible. This resource helps students of the Bible navigate its pages, as well as the greater context of a passage in relation to the whole. Part one of Frameworks gives a good overview of the New Testament context, highlighting Jesus’ ministry years, maps of Israel, biographies of New Testament authors, and the essential structure of the order of the books. Part two unpacks and analyzes each book, focusing on theme, purpose, a simple outline, and how to navigate through the book with wisdom and clarity.
Akin to a New Testament theology or commentary, Frameworks is an understandable and simple resource for studying the Bible. It knows its audience—everyday students of the Bible, particularly teenagers—and responds with compelling graphics and visuals, simple fonts and interesting stories. I appreciated Larsen’s emphasis on how individual passages and books fit within the whole, and his encouragement for Bible readers to find times to read the whole book in one or a series of sittings. My only critique is very minor: It’s a large, heavy book, so it can feel weighty to read or carry in a backpack; but its weight exemplifies the importance of its content/ this is a solid resource that will help young people understand and enjoy reading the Bible.