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Life from the Living Word (A guide to help understand the Bible) - Full Colour Edition - Stuart Creed

Life from the Living Word (A guide to help understand the Bible) - Full Colour Edition - Stuart Creed

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Life from the Living Word


If you are keen to understand more of the riches of God's Word here is a book for you.

Over 12 chapters, "Life from the Living Word" by Stuart Creed presents an easy-to-use method to help understand any passage of Scripture. Written in straightforward English and using many sketches, diagrams, illustrations and worked examples, the book takes the reader through the steps of observation, understanding and application with a memory aid to prompt key questions. 

With "Additional Tip" and "Danger to Avoid" boxes for further reading, and extensive end of chapter exercises with suggested thoughts by way of answer in an appendix, the book will leave you inspired and equipped to know Jesus better in the pages of God's Word.

Foreword by Jonathan Lamb


Some years ago a man called J B Phillips was working on a paraphrase of the New Testament, and he explained that it was like working on the mains electricity of a house, but doing so with the electricity still switched on! It was an “electric” experience. The book was “live”, it was powerful and energising.

Martin Luther said something similar: “The Bible is alive - it has hands and grabs hold of me, it has feet and runs after me.” And of course, the Bible itself is full of dynamic descriptions of the Word of God. Jeremiah said the Word was like fire in his bones, or like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces. Paul described it as the sword of the Spirit. Jesus said that the Word was the seed which produced a wonderful harvest.

Then we must add the lovely story in Luke 24, when two disciples were walking home to Emmaus after Jesus’ crucifixion in Jerusalem and were joined by the risen Jesus. Luke explains that the disciples didn’t recognise him, and Jesus deliberately chose not to reveal himself, other than through the Old Testament Scriptures. “He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” In other words, it was through Scripture that they encountered the living Christ.

The reason why we seek to understand the Bible and explain it to others is because we believe God’s Word has the same dynamic impact today. It transforms lives, because it draws us into a living relationship with the author, with God himself.

I can say with certainty that it is this fundamental conviction that has motivated Stuart Creed to write this book. Throughout the following pages we will come to understand the truth that all Scripture is God-breathed, and therefore it is authoritative and powerful. This is the most important reason for giving our time and energy to understanding and explaining the Scriptures: it is a matter of life and death.

Alongside this fundamental reality, the following pages take seriously a second significant truth: that the Bible is written by human authors. We often refer to the Bible’s dual-authorship - the many human authors who wrote under the inspiration of the one divine author. In turn, this demands both a humble submission to the Lord of the Word, and a careful study of what the human authors themselves recorded so skillfully.

That’s why Stuart’s book is particularly valuable. Founded on the conviction of the life-giving power of Scripture, it is an accessible handbook that opens up the key ways in which we can understand what the human authors were saying. By understanding their cultural context, their place in history, their writing style and their deployment of images and ideas, we come to understand their message, and why that is so significant for our own culture and our own day.

Let me give a few hints for reading this helpful resource. First, the author repeatedly urges us to read the Scriptures themselves - to read, and to read, and to read! This is the first and most important discipline that will help us understand and apply the Bible. No short-cuts! Might I encourage every reader to look up the Bible references and work on the passages which are suggested in each chapter. One of the helpful features of the book is the many examples used in every section, as well as well-chosen exercises to work on, ranging across both Old and New Testaments. Please do work on these passages, since they are windows which allow us to understand what the Bible authors were saying, and provide a model for our careful reading of different parts of the Bible.

Second, the book is built around the three important disciplines of “observing, understanding and applying”. This is the simple but demanding journey we must take with every Bible passage, and the book will help us with each step, using some key questions and memory aids. As I worked through the book, I realised that this is probably not a book to read in one session (though that would be worthwhile), but a book to have alongside your Bible as you work on different sections week by week, practising the exercises which the author so helpfully provides. The book is best read slowly because it is packed with many valuable study ideas. Many of them can be found in other books, but rarely in such a concise and comprehensive format - it is like having a small library in your hands, a one-stop shop for some of the most important ways to understand and apply Scripture.

And third, it is a book which provides much encouragement along the way, so that we will not feel overwhelmed or disheartened, but will begin to see the illuminating and life-changing truth embedded in every corner of the Bible.

So if we would like to understand both the grand sweep of the story-line of the Bible alongside the rich details and insights of its individual sentences, and if we long to experience its life-giving power and want to be equipped to explain its truth to others, then here is an engaging resource to help us.

Like J B Phillips working on the New Testament, or like the early disciples from Emmaus, I am sure that, as we read the Scriptures using the guidance of this book, there will be moments when we too will encounter the Lord Jesus and will also exclaim: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

Jonathan Lamb

Keswick Ministries


Title: Life from the Living Word

Author: Stuart Creed

Illustrations by: Michael Hobbs

ISBN: 978-1-913741-12-9 (Full Colour Edition)  / 978-1-913741-14-3 (Coloured Sketches Edition)

Details: Paperback with 24 large and 12 small sketches

Dimensions: 6 inches by 9 inches (15.24 mm by 22.86 mm)

Pages: 322 total (250 plus 72 appendices)






Chapter 1: Starting Out: Vital Truths to Grasp                                                       

Stage 1: Observe

Chapter 2: Memorable, Repeated and Surprising

Chapter 3: Words and Images

Chapter 4: Structure and Emphasis                                                                      

Stage 2: Understand

Introduction to Understand                                                                                      

Part 1: What did the text mean then?

Chapter 5: Context Part 1 – Immediate and Book Context

Chapter 6: Context Part 2 – Whole Bible Context

Chapter 7: Situation                                                                                               

Part 2: What does the text mean now?

Chapter 8: Jesus Part 1 – Promises

Chapter 9: Jesus Part 2 – Patterns

Chapter 10: Jesus Part 3 – Bible Themes   

Stage 3: Apply

Chapter 11: Application – Key Principles

Chapter 12: Application – CHRIST 



Appendix 1: Suggested Thoughts for Chapter Exercises

Appendix 2: OT Storyline – The Story of Israel

Appendix 3: Foreshadows of Jesus

Appendix 4: Other Bible Patterns

Appendix 5: New Testament References to the Old Testament

Appendix 6: Bible Covenants

Appendix 7: Summary of the MRS WISE Method                                                  


Andrew Sach - Tutor on the Cornhill Training Course and author of the Dig Deeper books

There are three things to love about this book. The author cares about Christ - he keeps in mind the goal that we know Christ better and give glory to him. The author cares about the whole Bible - there are examples and explanations from every corner of the Old and New Testaments. The author cares about people - he’s taken great care to make his explanations as accessible as possible to people of all backgrounds and cultures. I pray God will use it to open the eyes of many to the wonderful things in his law (Psalm 119:18)

David Jackman - Past President of Proclamation Trust and Director of the Cornhill Training Course

This is a vibrant study-course manual, a handbook to get the aspiring new Bible handler moving in the right direction, with practical hints and helps all along the way. But I doubt that there is any experienced Bible student or teacher who would not be enlightened and challenged by its contents and who would not be refreshed and encouraged by its insights, vitality and enthusiasm. Moreover, for every pastor seeking to develop young preachers, this will be a hugely valuable aid.

Christopher Ash - Writer-in-Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge

The writer’s enthusiasm bubbles through page after page of this very readable handbook. The style is simple to understand and accessible to beginners. While there is always room for debate about details of interpretation, we are offered a clear and accessible method, conveyed with an infectious zeal. I hope this helpful book will get many started working hard at understanding the Bible

Syldio Determine Dusabumuremyi - Director of Studies, Word Increase Ministry, Rwanda

If understanding the Bible is like working a garden to yield an abundance of fruit and flowers, here is a wonderful handbook for any gardener. Not only does “Life from the Living Word” provide some useful tools, but it carefully teaches a method to use those tools. With plenty of examples and encouragement along the way, here is a fresh and very welcome guide for anyone longing to meet with God in the pages of his Word.

Laurent Repond - Homegroup and Youth Group Leader

As a homegroup leader, I want to help others see what the Bible says for themselves. This book offers practical, clear, and true guidance in doing just that. Most importantly, Stuart helps us see the Bible’s greatest treasure on every page: Christ. It is rare to find a book that can effectively train you to read the Bible better. It is even rarer to find one that consistently shows you, Christ. This is that book.

Anne Orange - Teacher and Women’s Ministry Leader

This should be on the bookshelf and in the hands of everyone who wants to understand the Bible and explain it clearly to others. It’s an invaluable resource for teachers and students of God’s Word.

Fortunate Aharimpisya - Shop Keeper, Entebbe Uganda

When I got an opportunity to read this book, my first feeling as someone whose second language is English, was concern that this book might be too hard for me, but there was no need to worry! I found it so easy to understand and personally, I loved the fact that it refers you to the Bible making it relevant and fun to read. Thank you for getting yourself a book that will change your life.

William Buchanan - Undergraduate Student, University of Durham

Read this book! It has given me a new perspective and confidence as I read the Bible. Stuart Creed provides tools that equip you to read, use and share how the Bible points to Jesus. I’m sharing it with my mates.

Nat Schluter - Principal at Johannesburg Bible College, South Africa

You have here an encouraging, refreshing, accessible, informative, and practical book that will help you grow in the amazing gift of understanding the very word of God revealed in Scripture. Thank you, Stuart.

Rodgers Atwebembeire - Eastern Africa Regional Director, Africa Centre for Apologetics Research

In a world of great deception like ours, where the authority of Scripture is minimized, and Scripture often misinterpreted and misapplied, here is a book that makes a compelling invitation to proper Scripture interpretation. Speaking through various illustrations and case studies to bring clarity, “Life from the Living Word” empowers readers to study the Bible for themselves with great conviction and courage. The book helps ordinary Christians, especially those with little or no theological background to appreciate the treasures of God’s Word in ways that are biblical, simple, and relevant. Here is a treasure chest and a tool kit for every believer who longs to faithfully interpret Scripture.

Download a sample chapter

Download a double sided printable summary of the MRS WISE method