Monday, August 4, 2014

REVIEW: The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury

Title: Family of Jesus
Series: Life Changing Bible Study
Author:  Karen Kingsbury
Published Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
Format: ebook
Pages: 240
Genre: religious fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: America’s favorite inspirational novelist offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, all anchored by Scriptural truth, creating a life-changing and unprecedented emotional connection to the Bible.
Through The Family of Jesus, readers will develop an emotional connection to the family members of Jesus, learning about their lives and falling in love with Scripture along the way. Bible studies and devotionals abound, and in churches everywhere people gather to seek a deeper understanding of God’s word and its application to their lives. But too often these studies engage only the analytic approach to Bible learning.
In The Family of Jesus, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately care more deeply about the Bible by helping you grasp the truths in Scripture not just with your mind, but with your heart. The characters in these short stories were among those closest to Jesus—Mary, Joseph, Jesus’ brother James, John the Baptist, Zechariah, and Elizabeth. Each has a compelling tale to tell. Kingsbury intersperses fictional, emotionally gripping details anchored in Scripture with historical and theological insights and questions that will guide soul-searching and reflection.
The Family of Jesus not only provides a deeper understanding of the relatives of our Savior, but also helps readers acquire tools that will draw them closer to Christ, to the Scriptures, and to each other.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Net Galley.
The stories of Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and James are brought to life through Karen Kingsbury's re-telling. She fleshes them out with each their own hopes, dreams, heartbreaks and idiosyncracies. I have enjoyed reading books like these, that bring the characters of the Bible to life, instead of being dry, and sometimes, very boring, words on a page.
It was fascinating to watch each of these people grow and expand beyond the pages of the Bible and become characters in their own right. In the Bible, except for Mary, the rest were all given a side-note (in relation to the rest of the Gospel), and then set aside in the annals of history. These were all people with their own loves, hates, struggles and dreams, and I love reading a book that brings them into their own.
With each story, I found myself going to my Bible and re-reading sections where the characters were in. It was also an easy book to read one story, put it down, a week later read another. None of the stories truly hinged on the other, and they could absolutely be read separately.

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