If I had the privilege of helping a new Christian begin to seek the Scriptures, I might be inclined to give them this book.
"God Speaks" is a high altitude survey of the Bible- why it's reliable, why it's valuable, the claims it makes for humanity, and the character of the God who gave it- and occasionally it touches down on particular points, such as what Jesus taught, and how to interpret a passage in context and informed by church wisdom through the ages.
If you're new to your Bible, this book could help orient you as you start out, and whet your appetite for further reading.
As a basic introduction, it has plenty of helpful resources. There's a timeline of events, spanning from the call of Abraham to the writings of Augustine, a giving you a glance at those who lived the Hebrew history and those who articulated the new-born faith.
And here's a chapter about biblical archeology- the study of textual data and material evidence. He includes brief descriptions of discoveries, and explains where those artifacts fit into the scope of history recorded in the Testaments.
If the reader were ready for more after finishing "God Speaks," then I'd begin adding in other books.
I think I'd give them Norman Giesler's "How we Got our Bible" if they wanted to know about the inspiration of the text and collection of the manuscripts and recognition of the canon.
I'd hand out J. Warner Wallace's "Cold Case Christianity" if they wanted to think specifically about the New Testament, and what (if any) evidence suggests its authenticity.
I'd hand out a small library of Ravi Zacharias if they wanted to explore the questions of the human heart *and* look at the Man who claims to be the Bread of Life and Living Water. "Jesus Among Other Gods," "Why Jesus?" and "Can Man Live without God?" would be good ones to begin with.
I'd probably slide Randy Alcorn's challenging-yet-ultimately-comforting "If God is Good..." into the pile if they wanted to read more about suffering and evil in a God-made world.
So yes, "God Speaks" could be an ideal jumping-off point for all sorts of Christian studies.
I would also like to explore more of Dr. Craig Evans books myself. "God Speaks" is the first one of his that I've read. I'll be keeping an eye out for "Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels" and "Jesus and His World" and "From Jesus to the Church: The First Generation."
I thank Worthy Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an opinion.