"Everything the Bible Says About Heaven" by Linda Washington

Compiled by Linda Washington. Everything the Bible Says About Heaven. Bethany House Publishers, 2011. 105 pgs. 

This is a book which claims, in the title, to be a collection of everything the bible says about heaven. In terms of format, it is divided 6 chapters exploring Old Testament visions of heaven, New Testament visions of heaven, heaven in Revelation, the time between death and resurrection, hearing from heaven, and who will go to heaven. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction and is then entirely made of bible verses (quoted from whatever translation the 'compiler' chose) and sometimes a brief explanatory word after the verse. 

To be frank, there are so many things wrong with this book I don't even know where to start. First of all, it is plainly not "everything the bible says about heaven." This collection of verses has been sifted and selected to avoid some more difficult issues. An obvious example is how the compiler seems utterly oblivious to the fact that "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven" are used synonymously in the gospels. The next problem is the fact that all of the verses, with or without explanatory notes, are ripped from their context. Scripture was not meant to be read this way. Coming to the explanatory notes, the persistent interpretive bias within is towards a very modern western view of heaven; the resurrection hardly appears at all. Lastly, or at least the last thing I will mention, I have always had problems with books that pick and choose translations in order to find the verses which sound the best for the interpretation presented. Obviously, there are good reasons to switch translations at times. Some handle certain texts better. But when the switching is going on in every second verse it quickly becomes obvious that what is happening is not an attempt to find the best translation of the original language but to find the best translation to make ones predetermined point. 

Conclusion: 0 Stars. Not Recommended. Just don't read this book. Please. 

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

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