Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The World of Jesus Book Review

Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus' Day

SUMMARY:  Know Jesus better by understanding what shaped his world.
     Sometimes it's hard to find your bearings in the New Testament, as you enter the time and place of Jesus and His disciples.  There are confusing practices, new people groups, and even unexplained religious conflicts.  How did it all come about?
     Dr. William Marty walks you through the history leading up to the arrival of Jesus in order to help you better understand His life and teachings.  He answers such questions as:
  • Why did "Israelites" start being called "Jews"?
  • What's a "synagogue" and what happened to worshipping in the temple?
  • Who were the Pharisees and why was Jesus so upset with them?
  • Why didn't anyone like the Samaritans?
     Get to know the times in which Jesus lived, so you'll better understand His teaching and ministry.  And along the way, discover how God prepared the world for the One who would turn it upside down.
REVIEW:  This novel is a wonderful reference book that helps explain the situations and circumstances leading up to the time of Christ in a way modern-day Gentiles can understand.  The book starts out with a VERY brief history of the Israelite nation.  The author's main focus is on the circumstances of the exile into Babylon, the return of the Jews to Israel and the "Silent Years" where God's Spirit did not speak to the prophets before Jesus' birth.  The author explains the changes in political power in an easy-to-understand way along with how these changes affected the language and religious worship in the Middle East and the conflicts that developed.  This book helped me better understand this often overlooked time period in history and explains people groups and other events better than other books I've read.
     This would be a great book to have on hand as a reference when you read the gospels and even other parts of the New Testament.  It is one I will definitely keep and refer back to often.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without compensation.
Dr. William H. Marty is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and author of the bestselling The Whole Bible Story.  Bill and his wife, Linda, attend Willow Creek, Chicago, a church they helped start.

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