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Book review: 'Scripture Study Made Simple: The Old Testament' shares text, insights

"SCRIPTURE STUDY MADE SIMPLE: The Old Testament," by Kerry Muhlestein, Covenant Communications, $34.99, 530 pages (nf)

"Scripture Study Made Simple: The Old Testament," by Kerry Muhlestein is scriptural text and commentary contained in one single volume. Muhlestein, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Brigham Young University and Religious Studies Center director of Research for Ancient Scripture, is well qualified to provide expert commentary on the Old Testament.

"Scripture Study Made Simple" is written primarily for a Latter-day Saint audience, containing quotes by Mormon leaders and following the Sunday School gospel doctrine class curriculum. Although its target audience is members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, any student of the Old Testament may apply the commentary to his or her own scripture study.

This book makes scripture study especially easy because it includes history and back-stories to the verses, like "when did the Exodus occur?" and spotlights such as "who was Solomon?"

In addition to the historical commentary, the book includes the author's own spiritual insights. Many readers may benefit from reading about events like David's repentance and looking up the cross-referenced verses in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.

Many students of scripture come to the book of Isaiah and want to run away screaming, but Muhlestein's extensive commentary makes the study of this ancient prophet and his teachings less intimidating and more accessible.

"Scripture Study Made Simple" is the perfect companion for serious and casual scripture study and can enhance anyone's understanding of the Old Testament.

Jennifer Lambert is a freelance writer and editor in Provo.