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Book Review: Jesus: A Theography

Let’s face it. The Bible is often viewed as a disjointed array of stories, events, laws, propositions, truths, ethical statements, and moral lessons. But as we will demonstrate in this book, the sixty-six books of the Bible are woven together by a single storyline. One of the best ways to look at the twenty-seven books of the New Testament may be to see them as a commentary on the Old Testament. The entire Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are unified by a common narrative. And once our eyes are opened to see that narrative, everything in both Testaments gels into a coherent, understandable, and amazing story. And what is that story? Well, it’s not enough to call it “salvation history” as many people do. No. It’s the story of Jesus Christ. The end product of biblical Christianity is a person— not a book, not a building, not a set of principles or a system of ethics— but one person in two natures (divine/ human) with four ministries (prophet/ priest/ king/ sage) and four biographies (the Gospels). But those four biographies don’t tell the whole story. Every bit of Scripture is part of the same great story of that one person and that one story’s plotline of creation, revelation, redemption, and consummation.

Sweet, Leonard; Viola, Frank (2012-10-02). Jesus: A Theography . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Jesus: A Theography, by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, is quite a book at 409 pages. A significant number of those pages consists of footnotes for each chapter. This immense “theography” of Jesus covers Christ, from eternity past to His second coming (and everything in between). It’s not only an objective study of Christ, but also very practical at times.

Honestly, Jesus: A Theography is a difficult book to review. I found some parts of the book very enjoyable, but other parts somewhat tedious. There are different perspectives taken throughout the book and I think that this ensures that every reader will find some enjoyment of Christ within its pages.

If you enjoy reading the Scriptures, there are references. If you enjoy types and symbols, these are considered. If you enjoy a historical view, historical aspects are presented. Plus, I think you will find much, much more. But, you can find all of these things in many books.

What makes Jesus: A Theography unique, is that it’s entirely focused on Christ. Not only Jesus of Nazareth, but the eternal Christ Jesus. Our Lord Jesus is so lovely, so vast, and so all-inclusive, there is no single book that can fully express Him. But, Jesus: A Theography gives us a wonderful view of Him, and it is rooted in the Scriptures.

I recommend this book to all saints, who desire to know our Lord more deeply.

Although, I received this book for free from Booksneeze, but I also purchased an electronic version, so that I could read the footnotes more easily, and so that I could share it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review: The Voice New Testament (Kindle Edition)

The Voice New Testament by Ecclesia Bible Society

With so many Bible version already produced, I often wonder why anyone would create a new translation. Many of the translation available are too similar. But, if you are looking for a unique version of the Bible, you may be interested in The Voice New Testament. The Voice New Testament is certainly a unique translation of the New Testament, although it seems to have quite a few downfalls.

I didn’t read the entire Bible, word-for-word. I read some of my favorite books to get a feel for the Bible overall. I compared the translation to other translations, as well as the original Greek. Then, I attempted to read it to see if I could enjoy Christ through its words.

Previously most Bibles and biblical reference works were produced by professional scholars writing in academic settings. The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists. The goal is to create the finest Bible products to help believers experience the joy and wonder of God’s revelation. – Ecclesia Bible Society. The Voice New Testament (Kindle Locations 244-247). Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Some key features of The Voice New Testament are:

  • “Logos” or “Word” translated as Voice
  • “Christ” translated as “God’s Anointed, the Liberating King”
  • Daily reading plans
  • An introduction to the New Testament
  • Introductions to the books of the New Testament
  • Topical guide to the notes
  • Descriptions of the some of the titles of Jesus

My favorite aspect of The Voice New Testament is the translation of the Greek word “Logos” as “Voice”, rather than “Word”. I also enjoyed that it is easy to use and navigate, even in electronic format.

On the other hand, there are too many things that I don’t like about this Bible.

My first issue is the amount of words in italics. The words in italics are words added to the Scriptures, to make them more readable. Most versions have a few italics here an there, which is understandable, since languages don’t always translate smoothly. The italics in The Voice New Testament often impose the translators’ interpretation of the verses on the reader.

Secondly, I don’t like that the original grammar is changed in the translation. For example, a Greek noun is translated with an English verb. Translating Scripture, in this way, can change the original meaning.

Next, the notes are often superficial or impose the translators’ interpretation on the readers. Some of the notes and introductions had historical and cultural value. Unfortunately, much of the notes that I read, either restated the text in different words or interpreted it.

I am sure the translators had good intentions and believe that their interpretation is correct. But, I felt that the notes distracted me from the text and more importantly, distracted me from enjoying Christ through the text.

I could only recommend The Voice New Testament to those who find it the easiest Bible for them too read. Even then, I would not recommend it unless you had another version to read, as well. A few good aspects of this translation are overshadowed by the multiple ways that the translators’ interpretations are imposed on readers.

On the other hand, by all means, read The Voice New Testament for yourself. You may find that you disagree with my opinions. It may have more value to you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson

Christians are called to pray without ceasing. In “In Constant Prayer” Robert Benson introduces to a new generation the “Daily Office”. Robert Benson roots the Daily Office in Jewish and Church history. It is a time to seek and worship God. The Daily Office consists of various set prayers, songs, psalms, and scriptures. The Daily Office can be said one time per day or many times per day.

 

Much of the book is devoted to Robert Benson’s life and how the Daily Office is an important part of it. He writes in a very down to earth and friendly style. I have no doubt that he has enjoyed the Daily Office and that he has found it a benefit to himself.

 

In my opinion, the book failed in its task. The Daily Office is far from being constant prayer. It is simply set times of prayer throughout the day with set prayers. Robert Benson did not back up his historical claims for the Daily Office with any references, therefore, I am not so convinced that it was important to the early Church. The Daily Office may be of some help if you need some help knowing how to pray, but it will not gain you intimacy with your Father. It seems to me a religious act which belongs with the old covenant. We should be able to go beyond set prayers and enjoy Christ with whatever He sets in our hearts.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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