Monday, March 19, 2012

A Visual Guide to Gospel Events by James C. Martin, John A. Beck, David G. Hansen

book cover

A Visual Guide to Gospel Events
by James C. Martin,
John A. Beck, and
David G. Hansen

ISBN-13: 9780801013119
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Baker Books
Released: September 1, 2010

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Back Cover:
Why was Jesus baptized in the Jordan River? Where did Jesus heal people? Where did he choose to reveal his authority, and why? What is the significance of the locations where he told parables or performed miracles? Where did Jesus choose to interact with Gentiles? Why are the places of his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection important?

A Visual Guide to Gospel Events reveals the fascinating connections between the events recorded in the Gospels and where those events took place. The beautiful, full-color book includes hundreds of photographs and maps to bring to life the world in which Jesus lived. The engaging writing style makes this resource perfect for anyone--student, scholar, pastor, or layperson--who wants to understand Gospel events in a deeper way.

My Review:
A Visual Guide to Gospel Events takes different events in the gospels and examines the significance of where the event happened. The authors pointed out previous Biblical events that happened on the site which helps bring new depth of meaning to the gospel event. They also explained cultural background information and included pictures of what the scene and location would have looked like. The plentiful full-color pictures and maps help the reader visualize the scene and location.

The book was written with a formal tone, but it's easy to follow. The majority of the authors' insights were solidly based in Scripture. While they did put some speculation in, it remained in the realm of the plausible. Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting book.

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 "Look Inside."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg

book cover

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus:
How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life
by Lois Tverberg

ISBN-13: 978-0310284208
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: March 6, 2012

Source: eBook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Book Cover:
In Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg brings the Bible to life as she explores the cultural context of Jesus' teachings. With well-researched information and a highly readable style, Tverberg explains

  • How understanding Jewish idioms and expressions can help us better grasp what Jesus was saying

  • How viewing Jesus within the context of Middle Eastern culture can enliven his parables in surprising new ways

  • How the Jewish world of Jesus can teach us many wise insights, like how to pray with chutzpah or think with both hands

By understanding the religious and cultural atmosphere in which Jesus lived and taught, you will begin to understand why his first disciples abandoned everything to follow him. You will also learn the meaning behind key Hebrew words that make Bible reading a richer, more powerful experience. And you will see how Jewish customs, culture, and beliefs can enrich your life as a Christian whose faith first emerged from Jewish roots.

Come eavesdrop on the conversations among the rabbis of Jesus' time. Learn how hearing Rabbi Jesus with the ears of a first-century disciple can bring new depth to your spiritual life. Along the way you will discover both practical ways to live as Jesus' disciple and an invigorated faith that will draw you closer to God.

My Review:
Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus is structured around a series of word studies that included information on the Jewish cultural understanding of the word (beyond its dictionary meaning). The author also explained how fully understanding these words as the listener of that time would have understood them helps us to better understand the Bible. She discusses frequently used words whose full meanings don't easily translate into English words and our culture's way of thinking.

I've heard some of this information before, but I still found the book very interesting and insightful. It's easy to read and understand, and the author did a good job of bringing out points that bring deeper understanding of the Scripture. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book.

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.