Showing posts with label Gospel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gospel. Show all posts

January 15, 2018

Christ Chronological – a book review

God does provide! Right when the research for my newest writing project required a chronological account of Christ, B&H Lifeway Bloggers kindly sent me a review copy of Christ Chronological, which I highly recommend for Bible students, teachers, pastors, writers, and all who want to follow the sequential movements of Jesus as shown in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation of the Gospels.

Beginning with “The Prehistory and Birth of Christ” and ending with “The Resurrected Jesus Completes His Ministry,” this hardbound book presents each color-coded Gospel account of Jesus with headnotes or footnotes in black ink to illuminate each passage. Regarding “The Birth of Jesus,” for example:

“Matthew seeks to show the cohesion between Jesus’s birth and OT prophecy through his many ‘fulfillment’ quotations (1:22-23). Luke, however, gives an account of the events that triggered the pilgrimage of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem as a means of placing Jesus’s birth in the context of Greco-Roman history. Chronologically, Luke’s account could fit seamlessly between Matthew 1:25 and 2:1.”

In “The Anointing of Jesus at Bethany,” we learn:

“There is little variation between Matthew and Mark on the account of Jesus’s anointing. John, however, fills in a number of details that are left unstated in the Synoptics. John, for example, highlights the role of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, three key characters in his Gospel. A harmony of the three accounts would seem to indicate that Jesus, his disciples, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were all present at the home of Simon, a man presumably healed of leprosy by Jesus. John singles out Judas Iscariot’s indignation, whereas Matthew and Mark refer more generally to all the disciples. This shows the underlying contrast John is seeking to make between Mary’s devotion and Judas’s impending betrayal.”

In discussing “The Passion of Jesus,” footnotes tell us:

“All four Gospel writers record the arrest of Jesus at the hands of his betrayer, Judas. Each author, nevertheless, has his own emphases. Matthew is characteristically concerned with showing how the unfolding of the events fulfills Scripture. Mark has a similar interest in fulfillment but adds an interesting detail about a naked bystander – an insertion that many believe to be a cryptic reference to the author himself. Luke adds more vivid detail to the event, including Jesus’s healing of a servant whose ear was severed. Not surprisingly, John offers the most detail about the characters. In addition, Judas’s role is overshadowed by Jesus’s surrender. Through this, John demonstrates how Jesus remains in complete control of the unfolding events. Collectively, the four accounts give a full-orbed picture,” which could well be said of this entire book.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer

CSB Christ Chronological, hardback

April 7, 2012

Good News Bible: good to read

Many contemporary English translations, paraphrases, and Bible story books have been published since the Good News Bible came out years ago, but this remains a favorite. Also known as the Today’s English Version (TEV), the translation (not a paraphrase) is crisp, lively, and direct, avoiding the big problem that paraphrased Bibles have in adding too many words when one good word would do!

As soon as you open a TEV, you get the picture. Yes, this is the translation with those amazingly brief yet potent line drawings by Annie Vallotton that look like a quick sketch but totally capture a mood or scene. Those illustrations also illustrate the brevity and clarity of the word choices in the entire translation.

“Entire” describes the TEV, too, because you can get either a version that excludes the “apocryphal” or deuterocanonical books or an edition that includes them. I want it all! So I prefer the latter but have the former since I bought my leather-bound copy, published by Thomas Nelson, in 1976. That edition is no longer available, and maybe it’s just as well since the quality of glue produced a few decades ago does not hold as long as the adhesive used now, so I’ve had to reattach some pages. But then, I’ve read my copy over and over and over, giving hard wear to the easy-to-read pages because this is THE Bible that first let me know what the King James Version actually says!

Hmmm. I just noticed that my brown leather-bound TEV in the photo on the upper right was sitting between the KJV with Apocrypha that I reviewed last time and the Oxford Study Bible, Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha discussed the time before. That wasn't planned, but I like it.

I'd also like it if I could find a duplicate of my beloved brown leather copy of the Good News, but I haven't been able to, so I looked through newer copies on the Internet and found one I’d probably pick today for Today’s English Version. And, in case you haven't guessed, I still highly recommend this translation, produced by the American Bible Association and United Bible Societies, especially for its readability and artwork, both of which are worth serious study by Christian artists, poets, curriculum writers, children, Bible teachers, Bible students, and anyone who likes a "good read" from cover to cover of any kind.

Good News Bible, large print, hardback


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler