Title: Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches About the Unseen World–and Why It Matters
Author: Michael S. Heiser
Publisher: Lexham Press
Back Cover: Supernatural
Dr. Michael S. Heiser, a Scholar-in-Residence at Faithlife Corporation, presents fifteen years of research on what the Bible says about the unseen world of the supernatural–unfiltered by tradition or by theological presuppositions. “People shouldn’t be protected from the Bible,” Dr. Michael S. Heiser says, but theological systems often to just that, by “explaining away” difficult or troublesome passages of Scripture because their literal meaning doesn’t fit into our tidy systems.
Who were the “sons of God”? Who were the Nephilim? Where do angels fit into the supernatural hierarchy? Why did God find it necessary to have the Israelites destroy the populations of entire cities–man, woman, and child? What relation does Jesus bear to the rest of the supernatural world? Dr. Michael S. Heiser tackles these questions and many more in his book Supernatural and The Unseen Realm.
In both books, Dr. Michael S. Heiser shines a light on the supernatural world–not a new light, but rather the same light the original, ancient readers–and writers–of Scripture would have seen in it.
After reading these books, you won’t be able to read the Bible in the same way again.
Supernatural, What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World–and Why it Matters presents this approach to reading and understand scripture for the person in the pew. The Unseen Realm covers the same material but at a deeper, complex, and highly documented way, for pastors, the seminarian, or serious students of the Bible.
Book Review: Supernatural
Supernatural is a condensed version of The Unseen Realm. Apparently, Michael Heiser had some friends read his book The Unseen Realm and advised him to write to simpler, less complex versions of his book for the readers that may not be interested in the depth and heavy documentation that he used in The Unseen Realm. And while Supernatural is not as heavily documented as The Unseen Realm, it is still well documented.
Supernatural, while it is less complex, lacks nothing in quality. Micheal Heiser was able to help the reader appreciate the unseen realm that is all around us each day. He also allowed the reader to see events in the Bible in a new light. By incorporating the Hebrew meanings of words and much needed back story on several puzzling events in Scripture, it allows the reader to get a better understanding of what really happened, how it impacts us now and how it can impact us in the future.
This book is well written and while written by a scholar, I would not say this is a scholarly text. Supernatural will challenge the way you see many events in Scripture. I agree that the Bible is written in layers. There is the very obvious meaning of the passages we read, but it can also be unpacked for greater revelation, insight, understanding and application. Supernatural allows us to unpack God’s Word for greater truth and understanding. Why is that important? Because as we learn more of God’s Word, we can apply more of it to our lives, draw closer to Him and know our enemy better for our daily fight.
My thoughts about Supernatural
I have to admit that I started listening to The Unseen Realm on audiobook and found myself hitting pause, rewinding it, trying to take notes and scratching my head a few times. When I heard him mention that some of his friends suggested that he write Supernatural, I had to get it.
I knew, after listening to the beginning of the audio version of The Unseen Realm, that I needed to back up and get more of a big picture of what Michael Heiser was sharing in The Unseen Realm. I’m glad I made the choice to get this book and read it before going back to The Unseen Realm.
Supernatural allowed me to see several events in the Bible with new eyes and their relationship to our past, as well as our present and our future. There are passages that are never discussed in church, because most pastors simply don’t know what to do with them. Which is exactly what inspired Michael Heiser to write The Unseen Realm to begin with.
Each passage, each word, in God’s Word is there for a very good reason. It’s like Chuck Missler once said, “God is not one to waste words, He says what He means and means what He says.” Our task is to listen to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to open up God’s Word for us and be like the Bereans to study the Scriptures daily.
While there were still moments that I had to scratch my head at what I was reading, it wasn’t because he was unclear or complicated in what he wrote, but rather that I couldn’t believe all that had been hidden in plain sight all these years. I love studying God’s Word and to watch it open up more and more as time passes is always exciting and fills me with great joy and is it’s own reward.
I did end up buying a hardcover version of The Unseen Realm (review to come once I complete the book). While I love listening to audiobooks, there are some books that I prefer to have as a physical book so that I can make my highlights and notes, not to mention for those times that I need to pause, slow down or possibly even re-read something.
Would I Recommend Supernatural
Yes. Supernatural is a great place to start if you are desiring to study God’s Word in more depth. If there are some stories in the Bible that have made little sense to you and you’re hope is to no longer see these passages get dismissed as unnecessary or irrelevant, you will appreciate Supernatural.
This book is a great addition to any library of Bible students or those that would like to begin weaning themselves off the milk of the Word and start chewing on the meat. There comes a time in our spiritual journey that we find we want more of God, we want to know Him and His Word on a deeper level and books like Supernatural can help us do just that.
I would not say this book is for everyone, because it may be a bit too basic for scholars (though they may appreciate having Supernatural as a reference book), but it’s perfect for the rest of us, allowing us to begin to digest more of God’s Word and better understand it. After reading books like Supernatural, it’s so much easier to read books like The Unseen Realm and continue to grow in our faith, as we increase our understanding of all the wonders, treasures and truth that God’s Word holds for us.
And, that’s a wrap…Supernatural
I hope you found this review helpful. If so, please share it with your family and friends, so they can learn about this great book too. You can click here or on any image of the book on this page to see it on Amazon. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and God bless!
“I’ve learned that strange passages (and lots of other little —known and little—understood parts of Scripture) are actually very important.“
-Michael S. Heiser, Supernatural