Saturday, December 24, 2011

Walk the Land by Judith Galblum Pex

book cover

Walk the Land:
My Journey on Foot through Israel
by Judith Galblum Pex

ISBN-13: 9780975961957
Trade Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Cladach Publishing
Released: July 28, 2007

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Come with John and Judy Pex as they hike the 600-mile Israel National Trail from the Egyptian to the Lebanese borders. During 42 days of trekking through spectacular scenery, Arab towns and villages, past Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian holy sites, they discover:
  • Sights seldom seen by tourists
  • Physical challenges and spiritual tests
  • Cultural encounters and historical insights
  • Lessons about peace, faith, and endurance.

Included are 16 pages of color photos of scenes from the Trail

My Review:
Walk the Land describes the travels of a middle aged couple as they hike the Israel Trail from the south of Israel to the north. It's not a hiking guide--the author didn't directly talk about what to bring or give hiking tips, though some of that information can be gleaned from the narrative. And while you can pick up information about what the land looks like and what hiking it is like, the narrative really focused on relationships.

She talked about how the lessons she learned on the trail were related to her walk with Christ. She talked about the various people they met on the trail and what they talked with them about (which was mainly about the upcoming trail and the fact that the author and her husband believe in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah). And she talked about the challenges of hiking with her husband--since they have very different personalities--and how it strengthened their relationship.

Overall, I found the book interesting and worth reading, though I'd been hoping for a more detailed description of the land. I'd recommend this book to those interested in the culture, the places, and the people of Israel.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt from Chapter One.

King of the Jews by D. Thomas Lancaster

book cover

King of the Jews:
Resurrecting the Jewish Jesus
by D. Thomas Lancaster

ISBN-13: 9781892124241
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: First Fruits of Zion
Released: June 1, 2006

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Back Cover:
While stripping back centuries of cultural misinterpretations, Lancaster reveals the historical Jewish Jesus in vivid new strokes and colors that fire the heart and deepen devotion to Him. King of the Jews digs into the history and literature of early Judaism to demonstrate the authenticity of the Gospels and to dispel today's errant re-interpretations of Jesus.

My Review:
King of the Jews is a Bible background book written by a messianic Jew. While I have no doubt that the author accepts Yeshua as the promised Messiah, some of his comments seem to indicate a belief that the Law is what saves and what Jesus came to do was to call people to repent and follow the Law. I have a problem with that. On the other hand, he does believe that the New Testament is an accurate record (which I agree with).

The author picked certain parables and events in the gospels that he felt he could make clearer or correct a common misinterpretation of by comparing it to related sayings by rabbis of around the same time period. Some of his explanations were, indeed, very interesting and enlightening. Sometimes he "corrected" an interpretation I'd never heard to one I already held--or held something very close to--just from reading the Bible. For some of the explanations, I couldn't follow how the points he explained related to (or cleared up) the verses in the Bible. And, finally, for some explanations, it seemed like a stretch to say they were what Jesus was actually referring to.

So I found maybe a third of the book to be excellent, but the rest was confusing or something I didn't agree with. This book is better than some of the Bible background books I've read, but I've also read many that are better (like Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus).

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Amazon's Search Inside This Book feature.