Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: The World of Jesus by Dr. William H. Marty

The time between the Old and New Testaments in the Bible are sometimes called “The Four Hundred Silent Years”. Dr. William H. Marty explains through The World of Jesus that even though God was/seemed silent during those years there was a lot going on. This book starts with the return from exile. He divides the years into four distinct periods (Persian, Greek, Jewish, and Roman). He also covers many points on the timeline such as the Decree of Cyrus, the Rebuilding and Completion of the Temple, Abomination of Desolation, the Maccabean Revolt, when rulers and high priests governed, and Jesus beginning his ministry. There is also a glossary in the back of the book, helping readers to understand terms related to the history that is taught throughout the book.

I never understood that there was so much time between the Old and New Testaments, and that time period could be considered an era until I read this book. Four whole centuries of time passed. It was interesting to learn more about how some Jewish people adopted a Greek way of life, and that there were Jewish people trying to preserve their original way of life. I had no idea how many languages Jesus spoke either, which according to this book was Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. I also liked being reminded that the thick curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was torn when Jesus died to signify that access to God was available to everybody.

I am so glad I came across this book to review. It contained so much historical information that I could probably pick up new information if I read it again. It will most likely help people answer questions about what happened between the times of the Old and the New Testaments, and give them a much better understanding of how God was at work during that time.

I received this book free from Bethany House for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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