Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

As a part of the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop, you can enter to win one of the following two books. This contest is for USA & Canada residents only.

book coverHow Do We Know the Bible is True? edited by Ken Ham & Bodie Hodge.

In this book, over 20 relevant issues are discussed including: Is the Bible totally without error? Did the resurrection really happen? How do we know that the 66 books of the Bible are from God? Does the Bible contradict itself? How were people saved before Jesus came? What is the purpose and meaning of life? Did miracles really happen? Was Genesis derived from ancient myths? How should we interpret the Bible; should Genesis be literal? Do you have to believe in a young earth to be saved?

book coverThe New Answers Book, Vol. 2 edited by Ken Ham.

This book explores over 30 exciting and faith-affirming topics, including: The fall of Lucifer and the origin of evil When does life begin (and why does it matter)? Is evolution a religion (and why should I care)? Archaeology, Egyptian Chronology, and the great flood. Could early biblical figures like Noah really live to over 900 years of age? What was the Star of Bethlehem (and how did the wise men follow it)?

To enter the giveaway:

1) you can twitter me saying "Hi @christfocus. Enter me in the giveaway for [title of the book you wish to win]."


2) You can leave a comment to this post asking to be entered and stating which book you'd like to win. Please also leave some way for me to contact you--or follow this blog so you can see the winner announcement.

This giveaway ends September 7th at midnight. The winner will be randomly selected. I'll announce the winner on September 8th on this blog.

If you entered using twitter, I'll send you a @ or DM telling you of your win and asking where to send the book. If you entered using the blog comments, you'll need to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you or check back to see if you won so you can e-mail me your mailing address. If the winner hasn't responded with a mailing address within seven days, I reserve the right to pick a new winner.

I hope everyone has fun with this!

The blogs participating in the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The World of the Early Church by Simon Jones

book cover

The World of the Early Church
by Simon Jones

ISBN-13: 978-0-7459-5500-1
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Released: March 2011

Link to Kregel book page

Source: Review copy from Kregel.

Book Description from Cover:
In the first decades after Christ a small movement from the Middle East became an empire-wide phenomenon. Soon there were Christian communities from Jerusalem to Rome, all trying to figure out how to live their new-found faith. But how did they live their daily lives?

The World of the Early Church answers just this question, exploring what life was like for the first Christians. Surveying archaeological evidence and contemporary accounts, Simon Jones answers questions like:

  • What was the role of pagan religion?
  • What did people do for entertainment?
  • What was family life like?
  • How did they earn a living?
  • How was society structured?
  • What was the role of women?

Illustrated throughout with photographs, maps, and reproductions, The World of the Early Church is a fascinating survey that brings this period vividly to life.

My Review:
The World of the Early Church provides the social background information that will help you more fully understand the New Testament--mainly Acts and the letters to the churches. The author explained a lot of interesting information in an easy-to-understand way. He also did an excellent job of giving us a balanced view of what life was probably like while also acknowledging the various views out there.

He used archaeological findings and writings from the time to help explain what life was like, and he quoted some of the Roman writers on what life was like from their viewpoint. The text was illustrated with interesting full-color pictures of archeological finds and remains of ancient buildings, paintings, illustrations, reconstructions, and more.

The author also referred to passages in the New Testament that can be confusing and explained how the social context of the time helps to make sense of it. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book. I'm very impressed by it, enjoyed reading it, and plan to immediately read through it again.

Topics covered: city life, homes, work, food/eating, entertainment, social position, the family, Roman religion, and more.

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.

Table of Contents
Read an excerpt

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Daily Life at the Time of Jesus by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

book cover

Daily Life at the Time of Jesus
by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

ISBN: 0-687-04891-5
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Released: 2001

Source: Bought through

Book Description, my take:
Information about daily life at the time of Jesus based on ancient writings and archeological evidence and illustrated with full-color photographs, drawings, and maps.

My Review:
Daily Life at the Time of Jesus gives Bible background information about daily life that helps readers better understand some things that are referred to in the gospels. The author based her information on ancient writings, the New Testament, and archeological findings. The text was accompanied by full-color maps of Israel, photographs taken around Israel and of archeological items, and illustrated artist reconstructions of daily life and buildings. There was also a timeline (with 4 B.C. for Herod's death, for those who are interested in that) and a family tree from King David to Jesus.

It's written at a level for Middle Schoolers to adults. I learned some new and interesting information, and I really liked the chart telling how much the various coins would have bought back then. Though each section was brief, this book covered some information I haven't seen elsewhere. Overall, I'd recommend this book.

The author started with a brief history of Herod the Great up to the time of Jesus. It then talked about Jerusalem, the Temple, the Sanhedrin, pilgrimage, the Antonia Fortress, the Roman Army, crucifixion, a wealthy household in Jerusalem, the village, a village house, working in the fields, domestic animals, the shepherd, olive press, blacksmith, carpenter, weaver, grain mill, synagogue, education, a wedding feast, food and drink, fishermen (including information about fishing net types and how to use them), a country manor, wine press, doctor, burying the dead, Qumran, balsam production, Dead Sea scrolls, Masada, mosaics, Herod's other palaces, Caesarea, a pagan temple, city gate and market, and money and prices.

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.