Local Author Offers New Look at Bible Characters

Written by Hannah Lemke on . Posted in Local

LessthanperfectAnn Spangler, known for her in-depth and unique studies of biblical stories, this time turns to the flawed characters in the Bible for spiritual insight in her new book "Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We can Learn from Them" (Zondervan).

"I like to say that every story in the Bible is about God; I thought it would be interesting to look at these stories and offer cultural and historical context to see what they reveal to us," said Spangler. "I looked at a range of people, from the despicable like Herod the Great to some who are more like us: a mix of light and darkness."

"Less Than Perfect" offers 30 stories of biblical characters from Adam and Eve to Saul, from Gomer to Judas Iscariot to Mary Magdalene. Each chapter provides an in-depth look at the character's story, commentary on the times in which the character lived, and several questions the help apply the story to readers' lives.

"I think studying and meditating, kind of slowing down and poring over these stories, is how you chew on it," she said, adding that small groups could use the book for study.

Spangler guides readers through the characters' lives in the order they're told in the Bible, allowing readers to see how God was moving through the centuries and showing how some kinds of trials were repeated time and again. Readers may recognize similarities between their own stories and what they are reading, giving them the opportunity to look at these historical figures in a different light.

"I am always looking for fresh ways to help people approach the Bible because I think it's an intimidating book--even though it's a wonderful book. Written over the course of many centuries, there are some cultural issues that make it hard for modern people to connect," Spangler said. "It was a way to help people get into the Scripture, but also trace the biblical story through the underside."

For more information, visit www.annspangler.com. The book is available at Baker Book House and online.
     
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