ONCE IN A WHILE I go to websites that sell my books and I take a look at what people are saying in their reviews.
It’s always a mixed bag.
Happily, the overwhelming majority of reviews are good ones.
Of the many books I’ve written in recent years, one of the best sellers has been The Complete Guide to the Bible.
Just today I took a look at the reviews on Amazon. There, you can rate a book up to five stars. This particular book has 75 reviews at the moment:
- Five-star: 58
- Four star: 10
- Three-star: 4
- Two star: 2
- One star: 1
Pretend you wrote that book. Let’s say you spent a year of your life working on it, as I did.
Read the reviews with that in your head.
Here’s a sampling of what you’d see.
Five-star: I have been studying the Bible for nearly 40 years and have all of the best guides to the Bible I know of on my bookshelf. I would NOT be without this one! This book is like having a knowledgeable friend, “talk you through” the scriptures: simply explaining what otherwise may be complex, thoughtfully challenging common assumptions, convincingly answering difficult questions and, most importantly, boldly asserting divine authorship. Like sunshine, Miller’s Complete Guide to the Bible helps to, “clear the fog.” I will recommend it to everyone who attends my BibleLEARN seminars. I only wish it would have been available four decades ago! Dr. Al Gossan Jr., D. Lit., Religious Education
Four star: The information in the book is very useful, and I’ve been learning a lot. My only wish is it would have even more. DovesCry
Three-star: I love the illustrations but Mr. Steve Miller should be ashamed to call himself a Christian!!! He pretty much doesn’t believe God has power to do anything. He agrees with evolution and mocks numerous things in our Bible. I was so upset after reading his comments. He will be lucky to escape the flames of hell with a book like this!! I’ll pray for you Steve. Please accept Jesus before you write a book like this. Dion
Two star: This book has a very poor interpretation of the book of Revelation. It seems to teach that the Antichrist was Nero. Smith Wigglesswoth “smith”
One star: I thought this book was going to help me learn more. As I was reading about Moses, Stephen Miller writes that the Israelites buried Moses. It clearly states in the Bible, Deuteronomy 34:6, that the Lord buried Moses. I wonder what else is false in this book. Pberger
I suspect that if you had written this book and then read these reviews you would – like me – want to:
- Thank Dr. Gossan and DovesCry for their kind words.
- Thank Dion for his prayers that you somehow get lucky enough to escape hell.
- Assure Smith Wigglesswoth “smith” that you have no idea who or what the Antichrist was, is, or will be – and that you were simply reporting a variety of theories suggested by some of the top biblical scholars.
- Thank Pberger for his note about the burial of Moses and let him know that you revised the next printing of the book to clarify that point of confusion.
Who buried Moses depends on which ancient manuscript we read, or which modern translation.
Some ancient copies of Deuteronomy replace “he,” which some say refers to God, with “they,” which refers to the people who were with Moses.
Some modern Bible translations, such as the NRSV (favored among scholars), don’t identify God as the undertaker:
“Then Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the LORD’S command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day.”
If you had written The Complete Guide to the Bible – or any other book for that matter – you might want to offer a piece of advice to people who review your book.
The advice might go something like this:
“Speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15 NLT).
I’d give that advice five stars.
And to practice what I preach, I’d kindly suggest that Dion consider how his writing might be improved by lightening up on the exclamation points – and reducing the presumptions. In which case his 3-star review would read:
“I love the illustrations. I’ll pray for you Steve.” Dion