Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Informative, but Still a Little Confused

Bethany House Publishing provided a complimentary copy of The World of Jesus: Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus' Day in exchange for an honest review.
     Author, Dr. William H. Marty, endeavors to take a journey  back in time to the 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. By the time Jesus was on the scene in the Bible, changes had taken place, since the time Malachi was around. When one understands what occurred during those interim years, one can better grasp the culture that Jesus lived through. The World of Jesus is divided into four epochs: Persian, Greek, Jewish and Roman. It amazed me the volatile, political situation so many populations had to endure.
     Sometimes when I read the Bible or other book pertaining to biblical times I come across a name or group of people I am unfamiliar with. Between Herod Agrippa, the other Herods, Seleucids and Ptolemies to name a few my head is left spinning. Then to realize that these people had a direct or indirect affect on the times of Christ it is no wonder His world seems so far removed from our time and culture. Dr. Marty explains whom these characters were and how far their actions reverberated throughout the lands they reigned, or at least tried to.
     Honestly, I would have to read this book several times over to completely have a handle on all of the groups and men addressed. Marty does a terrific job of discerning the subject, but I am still confused. It is hard to keep track of everyone, even though the book is well written and the headings are clear. I do have a better general working knowledge of those times and can better appreciate the culture Jesus was familiar with.
    The World of Jesus would be a great addition to the Christian's library or the history lover. The book was not one of those reads I flew through, only because I read some paragraphs over and flipped back pages as I attempted to keep characters straight in mind. This book was enjoyed for the most part. However, there were a few pages here and there I was glad to finish. The World of Jesus is valuable for its knowledge and is a welcomed addition to my collection.


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