Dig Deeper is truly a gem. It’s one of the best introductions to biblical interpretation I’ve ever read. Written in a fresh, readable style, the authors cover an amazing amount of territory in a very short book.
In the introduction, the authors write, “We want to help you to dig deeper to find hidden riches in the Bible…Pastors and scholars are a gift from God, and we should be grateful for their help. But we shouldn’t be content to leave it entirely to the experts…This book is based on the idea of a toolkit…a set of practical tools to help you get to the bottom of any Bible passage.” They then proceed with 16 different tools, from the Author’s Purpose tool (most important), to the Vocabulary tool; from the Structure tool, to the “So What?” tool.
I’ve heard many people say, “I try to read the Bible, but it’s so hard to understand!” This book could radically improve your Bible study and devotional life. It moves at a rapid pace while not missing weighty concepts. It gives a broad sample of biblical texts and warns of common interpretive errors. One of its greatest strengths is a short exercise at the end of each chapter, and then a brief example of how all the tools work together at the end of the book.
There are two areas that would have made this book even better. First, the authors should have included a full chapter on history and cultural background. They could have called it the “culture tool.” Re-creating the original setting, manners, customs, geography, archaeology, etc. are all a vital part of fully understanding a passage. Secondly, I have to respectfully disagree with their approach to prophecy (p. 107 and 122). They represent a classic covenantal position which misses the unconditional nature of the Abrahamic covenant and departs from the same literal hermeneutic they recommend elsewhere.
But with these 16 practical tools in hand, you can finally dig deeper into God’s Word. Read it. Study it. Enjoy it. And let God radically change your life.