Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review - The Final Days of Jesus

In The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived the authors, Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor, give us a book that is simple yet profound, and modest yet informative. This book provides an account of the final week of Jesus. It takes into consideration the people and events surrounding Christ from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday.

The book is organized around each day of the week with each particular day, if applicable, divided up into major events. Significant selections of Scripture, as well as  maps and charts, add to the effective commentary by the authors.

The writing and explanations throughout this valuable work are simple and unembellished. And this somewhat unadorned style is very persuasive. The authors discuss the main people and events of Jesus' last week and do not veer from this central narrative. The book is not bereft of exposition; the authors explain things when necessary. But, for the most part, they let the Gospel accounts speak for themselves. The austere-ness of this book does not inhibit the book from moving the reader. This story, unadorned, is captivating and thrilling; just having the facts presented without overmuch fanfare effectively conveys the gravity and wonder of this King of the Jews and his final seven days. Where the authors do wade in to longer discussions, it is helpful and informative.

The somewhat modest approach employed by this book does not disappoint in terms of the information it conveys. The aggregation of the the different accounts in the Gospel gives an in-depth and clear picture of the last days of Jesus. When appropriate, the authors explain how the Gospel's seemingly different versions can be harmonized. Historical background is provided by the when the reader's lack of knowledge may undermine the narrative. The authors have found a balance in terms of helping the reader understand and letting the original authors, the writers of the Gospel, tell their story.

This book will be valuable for all Christians as well as non-believers interested in the last days of Christ on earth. Its simplicity enhances the beauty and wonder of the story. Its lack of verbosity does not prevent it from being informative and helpful. This is a wonderful book at any time, and is of particular value now during Lent and leading up to Easter. I recommend this book.

This book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review.

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