When the Good News Gets Even Better: Rediscovering the Gospels Through First-Century Jewish Eyes by Neb Hayden
David C. Cook - Bible Study
I took When the Good News Gets Even Better, a 12-week Bible Study book (which hasn't made it into my sidebar, but I'll work on updating my sidebar, soon) along to Memphis on our weekend trip and then I opened it up and said, "Oh, darn, I didn't even think to bring a Bible along."
Bless those sweet Gideons who stick Bibles in the drawers of every room in every hotel. I have just begun this Bible study and I tend to be very, very bad about doing Bible studies independently, but I absolutely love this one, so far. The chapters are a manageable length, which I love. I've been through some intense Bible studies and for home use appreciate a book that isn't so overwhelming that I'm likely to abandon it without the motivation of a discussion group.
The author's objective is to give readers an accurate historical viewpoint by focusing on the events of Jesus' life (as described in the four "gospels": Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) through the eyes of the Jews who lived during that time -- the idea being, I suppose, that we tend to filter the information through our modern perspective and, in so doing, don't get a clear understanding of the time and place.
There are additional notes along the sides of the main text and those are among the best I've seen for filling in blanks and adding meaning to a study. Often, sidebar notes simply repeat relevant information that is within the text and you can generally ignore them because they're not in any way informative or illuminating. Not so in When the Good News Gets Even Better. They add dimension (and some opinion); they're thought-provoking additions rather than wasted repetition.
I'm not finished with this Bible study, but I'm already going to recommend it to Christians in search of a Bible study that can be used either by groups or individuals. Read the sneak peek in the post below for a glimpse into the book, but be aware that the free chapter doesn't give you a full view of the layout and lacks the symbols that define perspective (although, I must admit, I don't find the symbols all that necessary, as the author's writing is good enough that even without being told you're getting an "aerial view" or looking "through Hebrew eyes", the point is made).
In other news:
It took quite a while to cool off our house, which unfortunately breathes just a bit too much, but it's nice and cool in the House of Bookfool, now. Since we had already reserved another night in a local hotel and I have seldom gone anywhere by myself, I lobbied for a night alone and had a great time doing essentially nothing but read, sip drinks to rehydrate and play on the computer a bit. I finished reading A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand then checked my calendar and discovered I actually should have read the other Hilderbrand first, since I've got a tour date in July. Ah, well. It was fun and I'm happy. I'm also excessively curious what a second Hilderbrand will be like -- whether scandal is par for the course.
Our weekend in Memphis, which was rather a last-minute jaunt, threw me off a bit. And, then the non-functioning A/C made me entirely useless for a day (I twittered all day -- that was all I could handle), so I've fallen behind on my reviews a bit. I may have to do a little double posting, but I'll try not to let my blog posts become overwhelming. I've still got The Corinthian and The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane to review and I need to get Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer read and reviewed sometime this week. Shimmer by Eric Barnes is also on the agenda. I'm absolutely loving the books I'm reading, these days.
I was going to share a zoo photo, but I keep getting an error message when I try to load our photos from the Memphis Zoo, so I guess I'll do that later. It was hot at the zoo, but we had a fantastic time.