Published on December 22, 2016 by Steve West

Crossway, 2016 | 304 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

About the Author

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church and is author of over fifty books.


This book examines how believers can have absolute confidence that the Scriptures are the very word of God. Piper explains that our confidence in the Bible is rooted in the peculiar glory that is seen in and through it. God reveals his own glory and the glory of Christ through the glory of the meaning of Scripture. When we are given light from God and the Holy Spirit opens our eyes, we cannot help but have our vision flooded with the glory of the Lord through his word. Piper explores and defends this theme through exegetical, theological, and historical reflections.

Table of Contents


Part One: A Place to Stand
Chapter 1 My Story: Held by the Bible

Part Two: What Books and Words Make Up the Christian Scriptures?
Chapter 2 Which Books Make Up the Old Testament?
Chapter 3 Which Books Make Up the New Testament?
Chapter 4 Do We Have the Very Words of the Biblical Authors?

Part Three: What Do the Christian Scriptures Claim for Themselves?
Chapter 5 The Old Testament
Chapter 6 Jesus’ Estimate of the Old Testament
Chapter 7 The Authority of the Apostles

Part Four: How Can We Know the Christian Scriptures are True?
Chapter 8 A Shared Concern with Jonathan Edwards
Chapter 9 What It Is Like to See the Glory of God
Chapter 10 Pondering Pascal’s Wager
Chapter 11 John Calvin and the Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit

Part Five: How Are the Christian Scriptures Confirmed by the Peculiar Glory of God?
Chapter 12 The Glory of God as the Scope of the World and the Word
Chapter 13 Majesty in Meekness: The Peculiar Glory in Jesus Christ
Chapter 14 In the Fulfillment of Prophecy
Chapter 15 In the Miracles of Jesus
Chapter 16 In the People the Word Creates
Chapter 17 The Place of Historical Reasoning


Part One: A Place to Stand

All of us stand in some relation to the Bible, whether we love it, hate it, never think about it, etc. The Bible is like a divine letter, addressed personally to hearts and minds. God is a Person who has created persons in his own image, and he communicates with them. Piper grew up in a home where the Bible was held to be the infallible Word of God and all of life was shaped according to Scripture. When he pursued his academic degrees, Piper found many challenges to this view of Scripture, but he was able to grow in his appreciation and vision of the Bible. He found that the glory of the Bible was like beautiful scenery: it is there and it fills our vision. We look at the Bible but we also see by looking through the Bible—it is both the window and the scenery. Piper began his first job as a seminary professor, but then through biblical study began to feel called to preach. He was beginning to see the glory of the sovereignty of God and beginning to feel led to preach and proclaim this truth in the church. Could the truth of God’s Word be effective and sustained in the life of a church, if every passage was taught in its completeness? Would people be sustained by seeing the vision of the glory of God in the Scriptures? Over a large number of years as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist, Piper and the elders crafted a statement of faith that all of the elders would have to endorse. In this statement, a high view of the doctrine of Scripture is clearly articulated. The elders and the church found that standing on the Word of God is necessary and sufficient for the life of the church. They do not merely hold to a view of Scripture, they are held by it.

Part Two: What Books and Words Make Up the Christian Scriptures?

Only Jesus has the words of eternal life. To reject the words of Jesus is to reject eternal life. A book that is the word of God, then, is the most important book in the world and infinitely valuable. This book is the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. These sixty-six books make up. . .

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A Peculiar Glory

Crossway, 2016 | 304 pages

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