The Seven Arrows Bible – A Book Review
While the Bible is the most read book in the world, it is sometimes not easy to understand. There are sections that are long genealogies and others that contain commands that seem odd to a modern audience. The Seven Arrows Bible is a study Bible that seeks to cut through the confusion by explaining difficult passages and how they relate to the Gospel.
Matt Rogers, a father of five and the pastor at the Church of Cherrydale in Greenville, South Carolina, developed the Seven Arrows Bible to “attempt to show students how the Bible is one story telling of God’s plan to save sinners and fix the world through Jesus Christ.” The Seven Arrows Bible makes God’s Word more accessible for students from middle school all the way to college.
Rogers started the project after meeting with a young man named Tim who had recently come to faith. As a pastor, Rogers wanted to provide a set of questions that would help Tim read the Bible by providing a roadmap. The questions Rogers came up with eventually turned into the Arrows, meant not to interpret the Bible for the reader, but instead to provoke deeper thinking about Scripture.
The Seven Arrows Bible looks like any other Bible except it is divided into nine chapters, each relating to a specific aspect of the Christian story: Creation, Fall, Plan, People, Kingdom, Judgement, Jesus, Church, Eternity. Rogers divided the books of the Bible up this way to connect all parts of the Old and New Testaments to each other, showing how the whole Bible is one story. The Arrows also help to facilitate thinking about how to better live out the Word of God.
Within each book are what Rogers call “Arrows.” The Arrows highlight specific points of Scripture and give a short explanation of them. Different Arrows have different purposes, some of which include, “What did the passage mean to its original audience?” “What does the passage tell us about God?” and “What does this passage prompt me to pray?” All the Arrows are meant to help the reader think about how they can turn the Word of God into specific action.
The Arrows are effective in connecting the passage to the overall message of the Bible: the good news that Jesus came to Earth to give us new life. For example, in the notes corresponding to Deuteronomy 21:22-23, the Arrows show how the law of the Old Testament is related to Jesus’s death on the Cross. Moses is teaching people how to treat the murderers and thieves after executing them. He tells the Israelites to display the sinners hanging from a tree as a warning against sin. The Arrows going with the verses display how this is related to Jesus dying on a tree for all of our sins.
The way the Arrows Bible presents Scripture will be effective in a youth ministry context because the explanations are clear and succinct. All the notes do a good job of pointing towards the gospel, making clear otherwise difficult passages.
Watch this short video to hear Rogers explain his vision for using the Arrows to study the Word.