Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Deeper into the Word- New Testament by Keri Wyatt Kent

Deeper into the Word is a collection of 100 quick and easy Greek word studies presented in a highly accessible format. The length and Kent's conversational style make for an easy read; however, they limit the book's potential as a reference tool. The writing definitely has a warm devotional feel and would provide a little more meat than most devotionals that populate stores today.  

Keri Wyatt Kent's first volume of word studies is a palatable mix of devotional reading and reference work. The vast gap between those two kinds of writing makes the success of her combination of information, interpretation and inspiration impressive; however, some may find that the book is limited in its depth and scope. Kent recommends using the book in three ways: first as a reference work, second as a guide for launching word studies, and third as a devotional. That said, the book is probably weakest as a reference work and strongest as a devotional. Most reference works on word studies may be a bit dry but will also be deeper in their informational content. The brevity of the studies and the anecdotal atmosphere of the writing has positives and negatives but in the realm of reference works these attributes definitely detract from a clear and pointed presentation of complex information. Kent has a way of connecting objective information, such as definitions of Greek words, to subjective experience, which may aid in application of the information which the book presents but goes beyond the objective of a textual aid, which ideally would remain within an objective realm, focusing on minimizing interpretation in order to allow the reader to apply the information themselves.

As a devotional the book is much more successful and the writing follows a fairly standard devotional format: the presentation of information on a word and some biblical texts, followed by interpretation and personal anecdotes and concluded with questions to challenge the reader to thought. Kent applies this format well and merges what could be dry information with rich experience, adding a deeper level to the work. While I am not a fan of most devotional literature, this book presents a quick and profoundly simple introduction to important Greek words and their meanings, and it does so in an easily digestible format.  I would recommend this to devotional lovers and those searching for a quick and easy word reference, which skims the basic applications and connotations of the Greek.

My thanks to Bethany House for providing this free review copy. I was not required to give a positive review, but an honest review.

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