Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bringing Jesus to the Desert by Bradley Nassif

book cover

Bringing Jesus to the Desert
by Bradley Nassif

ISBN-13: 9780310318309
Trade Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: March 6, 2012

Source: eGalley from publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Through the third to sixth centuries, great Christian men and women colonized the deserts of Palestine, Syria and Egypt, shaping the church through their examples of faith and devotion. History now knows them as the Desert Fathers and Mothers and their lives display an unswerving commitment to the love of Christ. Bradley Nassif surveys the lives of Anthony of Egypt, Pachomius, Melania and others, Nassif demonstrates how the wilderness experiences chronicled in Scripture guided the practice of Christian faith in biblical lands.

My Review:
Bringing Jesus to the Desert talked about prominent men and women from the third to sixth centuries who lived in the deserts of Palestine, Syria, and Egypt with the hope that doing so would allow them to grow closer in likeness to Christ. The book was full of color pictures of the desert, monasteries, paintings of saints, and more.

The author started by mentioning places in the Bible where people lived in the desert and how it impacted them, and then he moved into a description of the early monastic movement. He described what drew people to the monk lifestyle in early centuries, what they believed, and what their goals were in going to deserted places and living in certain ways (such as a hermit, in a communal monastery, and even on a pillar).

He then described the lives of several monks, their teachings, how their experiences in the desert helps us better understand Biblical narratives & teachings, how their lives and teachings influenced early Christianity, and what we can learn from them. He covered the lives of Anthony of Egypt (chapter 2), Makarios of Egypt (chapter 3), Pachomius (chapter 4), Melania the Younger (chapter 5), John the Little, Moses the Ethiopian, and Simeon the Stylite (chapter 6).

I found this brief overview of these people's lives interesting, and it made me curious to learn more about them. I gained some insights about the early monastic movement and what they believed. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in learning more about early church history.

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 Google Preview.

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