Help Me Understand the Bible by Clarence Whetstone is an educational book which aims to help the reader understand the Bible on a deeper level. The book focuses on creating a new perspective of the Bible to enable readers to better understand the lessons contained within. It addresses the fact that people often look at the Bible from a Greek and western view. Help Me Understand the Bible helps the reader alter their mindset and view the Bible from the perspective in which many of the books it contains were written: Hebrew.
The author tackles the subject of perspective well by looking at individual words, phrases and imagery used in the Bible and looks at what they mean from the Hebrew perspective. The author also introduces each chapter well by beginning each section with two characters who have an initial conversation that will be unwrapped. Additionally, when looking at verses and parables in the Bible, the author gives the reader a clearer understanding of the passage it addresses and includes good references to other books in the Bible.
One of the most interesting parts of this book is when the author addresses the parable of the Good Samaritan. The author addresses the cultural differences between the people in the parable and then discreetly challenges the reader to use this story as an example of how Christians should break unhealthy social norms.
This book conveys the information in simple to understand language. You don’t need a degree in theology to understand the ideas expressed in this book. I enjoyed how this does not reads like your average theological book. It feels much more like you are listening to a knowledgeable friend, minister, or pastor explain things to you on your level. The author raises valuable points throughout the book that offer plenty of information to reflect on.
I would recommend Help Me Understand the Bible to anyone who is ready to change their perspective on the Bible and is ready to approach the Bible in a new way. This is an educational book that can help modern readers understand the culture, language and time the Bible was written in, and in so doing it provides a better understanding of the Bible.
Pages: 294 | ASIN: B0792K88KM
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He Chose the Glory: The Life and Legacy of Obed-Edom by Louis McCall is a beautifully written book depicting stories told in the Bible. The book details the conditions and storylines surrounding the building of the Ark and how many townspeople were eager to look inside it or treat it as a trophy, only to receive retribution for their actions. As many kings aimed to take the Ark as evidence of their triumph, the book details the many times the Ark was protected against those attempts.
The book closely follows the Ark of the Covenant, as it is well known to many people of different religions and faiths. The golden Ark contained laws on stone tablets given to Moses by God. This story closely follows the family of Obed-Edom, and the lineage connected with the Ark, which is written in a lively and colorful way that can spark a new or renewed interest in these stories and their histories.
The author follows the descendants of Obed-Edom, and how they believed that a newer covenant would take the place of the Ark, teaching future generations about God and his laws. The story also personalizes the experience through its characters. They wonder about their fate and grapple with many realities in their world, including life, death, abundance, wealth, murder, sins, and destruction. It’s a book that discusses the birth of new beginnings, including what led to the New Testament. The author does a great job of articulating many of these stories to a broader audience, creating more intriguing developments and an opportunity to debate or discuss topics associated with faith and religion.
I recommend this book for its clear narration and the author’s ability to reignite interest in a topic that may not come alive in other discussions or books. I recommend He Chose the Glory: The Life and Legacy of Obed-Edom for its excellent ability to portray Biblical stories in a new and exciting way.
Pages: 67 | ASIN: B091G4TTNT
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Acts of the Women follows the women of the New Testament telling their story in the days after Jesus’s resurrection. What was the inspiration for telling this story?
When I published my first book, Second Born, reimagining the life of Jesus as he grew up with his brothers and sisters in a wealthy family in the capital city of Galilee, I realized I had given voice to his forgotten brothers but neglected his sisters and the countless other dynamic women who played crucial roles in the birth of Christianity. So, Acts of the Women starts right where Second Born left off. But this time it is narrated by the women, and it is not the story they taught us in Sunday School.
What drew you to the genera of historical or biblical fiction?
It’s odd, I usually write humor and satire. But I have a strong faith based in Christianity and have studied it for years, including biblical studies courses at Stanford University and other sources scattered around the country. I have always been bothered by some of the central notions held either consciously or unconsciously by so many Christians. For instance, that this exceptional man was not human but a god, THE God, for that matter. Or that he already knew everything that was going to happen, so he didn’t need to have the faith that we are expected to have, because he already knew the end result. Or that we humans are powerless to correct the wrongs we see in the world, that we must ask Jesus to wave his magic wand like Harry Potter to repair the evil around us. I am convinced that Jesus was a man, and that he had the same fears, joys, worries and victories that fill all our lives. I think he found a way to become one with God, and he was showing the rest of us that we can too.
So, this contradiction that faced me every Sunday when I went to church bothered me. What do I do when I get hot and bothered? I’m a writer. So, I started writing about it. Second Born and Acts of the Women are the results so far.
Was there anything that surprised you in your research for this novel?
As much as the male-dominated church has tried to suppress the history of women’s enrichment of the faith, a lot of evidence can still be found right out in the open. For instance, in the gospels you will find Jesus’ brothers identified by name, but his sisters are barely mentioned in passing. But in other places women are mentioned briefly for traveling with Jesus’ group and providing financial support. Well, it would be a scandal in that culture for a woman to travel with a group of men unless she was close kin or married to one of them. Read through the gospels from beginning to end and start identifying some of these women. And examine Acts of the Apostles and all of Paul’s letters. Watch for references to the women. You will find some real gems that you may have missed before.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
In this genre, I will complete the trilogy with a mystery surrounding the First Council of Nicaea, which occurred in 325. The council was called by Emperor Constantine to determine a universal (i.e., catholic in its non-capitalized definition) view of the nature of Christ. People with alternate views to those adopted at the Council were branded as heretics and, in many cases, excommunicated. I will treat the subject with my usual reverence for orthodoxy. That is, there will be little or none in evidence.
But I have an itch to get back to humor, so I am simultaneously working on a modern-day tale of love and romance on the Internet. When will these two books be available? (Glances at wristwatch while stroking his beard.) Hmm, it’s already 10am and I have an appointment at 1:30, so I won’t be able to finish them today. Maybe by November? And then there’s the lengthy publication process. (Comes out of his musings with an upward snap of his head and suddenly widening eyes.) I hope to have them out in 2023. And before you ask, no, I am not accepting pre-orders currently. But thank you for thinking of offering, as I am sure you were about to do.
Posted in Interviews
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Bible, God And Free Will takes an in-depth look at the Genesis, Scriptures, and the concept of Free Will. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I have wanted to write this book for many years. I read a lot of books about the Bible and the different interpretations that were given to the Scriptures. I have noticed some inaccuracies about Genesis in the Bible and have tried to give my own interpretation even though it may not be the most acceptable. I was very impressed to read the books of the hermits in Christian Egypt (written more than 1,000 years ago); what I liked most was their tenacity in seeking God. I have been making notes for years and a year ago I decided to structure all my notes and compose them in a book. I believe that everyone finds God where they feel. For our inner peace we need God; how we visualize or “materialize” it is not important. I considered it important to discuss the Bible, God, and Free Will in order to emphasize my view that God does not forbid us or oppose anything.
What challenges did you encounter when writing this book and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I had in writing this book was how to write it so that no one would be offended by my interpretations. I tried to overcome my fears by treating the various topics with sincerity.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I think that those who read my book should have a very sincere introspection. They need to look deep inside and discover. They need to know who they really are and what their priorities are in life.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am a visual artist – abstract painting and for a long time I want to write a book about the “beauty” of abstract painting. I think in 2 years the book can be ready.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, bible, Bible God and Free Will, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, christianity, church, ebook, faith, god, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, religion, spirituality, story, Vasile Ghiuta, writer, writing
Author H. Peter Zell’s Poems for the End of the Age is his interpretation of The Book of Revelations. In these thought-provoking poems, the author tells of a catastrophic war between the U.S. and Russia. The poems titled ‘Reflections of a Believer’ and ‘Empire of the Apocalypse’ are the author’s interpretations of the apocalypse. The poems ‘Discourse on the Mosel or The Century Poem’ are from other poets who provide their views of recent historical events and predictions for the future.
I found the preface in the book to be an insightful addition that corroborates the author’s poems which touch upon Christianity and politics and how it all comes back to the apocalypse. In addition, the author’s writing style is conversational and informative. This style allows the reader to form their own opinion of The Book of Revelations, and this combination of providing insight while allowing me to find my own path made this book engaging. I also appreciate that the author acknowledges that some readers may not agree with his interpretation, but the author still discusses his findings and his truth.
After reading the author’s poems, I found it alarming that The Book of Revelations does touch upon many events that have happened and are currently happening in the world today. The most disturbing one of all is the War between Russia and the U.S. by 2030. Zell’s poems serve as a wake-up call for awareness and early intervention of U.S. nationals. The author provides a fresh perspective of The Book of Revelations and challenges readers to question how our nation’s current actions affect the future.
Poems for the End of the Age is a thought-provoking book for those interested in politics and religion. This interesting read will help readers understand how the two topics correlate with one another. In addition, this is a perceptive and intriguing collection of poetry that will stay with you long after putting the book down.
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After Jesus’ crucifixion, the women in author Patrick W. Andersen’s cast of characters take center stage, influencing the plot and world history through their teaching, diplomacy, and public relations abilities. As a result, Acts of the Women is a different take on the Bible. As the author himself states, “In the decades after the crucifixion, men gave speeches and wrote history books about their own noble deeds. But women did most of the work.”
The book additionally begins with a “cast of characters” page that is very helpful for those with limited knowledge of the Bible. Those familiar with the Bible will recognize many of the characters and events. Still, Andersen’s well-developed plot and exciting spin on the material will keep even those religiously inclined engaged. I personally benefited from having this list of characters easily accessible to keep me oriented while reading.
The story opens with the crucifixion of Jesus and the aftermath from the perspective of the women who helped him. The disciples are also in disarray, having scattered after Jesus’ arrest. However, they soon reunite and begin to regroup. The women in the story, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Rachel, and Susanna, are instrumental in this process. The women themselves know this, often giving men the “Stare” and even stating, “The men did most of the talkin’, but the women did all of the work.” Andersen weaves together biblical events with his own flair and imagination, making the stories come alive. He has an effortless, fluid writing style that makes the book a quick read. The characters are well-developed and likable, making it more interesting to see how their faith sustains them through their hardships.
Andersen does an excellent job of making the material accessible and engaging. He brings new life to familiar characters and events. His writing style is clear and concise, with short chapters and an easy-to-follow plot.
Acts of the Women is an intriguing work of fiction based on historical events and biblical accounts. It provides a new perspective on Christianity and its origins. This well-written and enjoyable book is ideal for anyone interested in the Bible or history.
Pages: 264 | ASIN : B09PGRGKKP
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Bible, God And Free Will examines each term of the title, analyzing, interpreting, and determining its intricate components. Author Vasile Ghiuta draws on Genesis, the Holy Scriptures, and personal religious reflections to analyze the words and messages in the Holy Bible.
The book is divided into four parts, with the first three used to enlighten on the Bible, God, and Free Will. The fourth part – conclusions – presents the summation and overview of the key components of the ideas and beliefs discussed in the first three parts.
This first part of the book examines the Old and New Testaments, shedding light on their origins, evolution, and content. Questions such as ‘Can atheists and believers alike comprehend the complexity of messages in the Bible or is it altogether out of human understanding’ constitute the basis for this section. Furthermore, the author attempts to decipher the important book of creation, Genesis; on what day He created the universe, the human, the soul, the heavens, and angels, or was the day really bound by temporality? Finally, part one finishes with the concept of time and morality.
The second part continues the elaboration on God as a creator, and energy, with a comprehensive and thorough interpretation of God in both the old and new testaments. It explores the relationship of God to humans, the three hypostases of the Holy Trinity, and the value of love of humans expressed towards others and in deeds as the supreme expression of God.
A key component of part three deals with Man’s free will, endowed by God with the authority to decide and put God within him by relating both human and divine will. This part concludes with a new perspective on sacrifice in light of Jesus’ sacrifice, which brought upon death as a stage for mankind’s eternity.
This thought-provoking book sets forth logical, comprehensive, and coherent explanations of a vast array of enigmatic topics through philosophical interpretations of different concepts from the Bible. For example, one of the author’s claims is that social behavior toward God’s creatures, even in the absence of trust in God, is fully capable of bringing one salvation. While some points in the book seem to have been repeated in chapter after chapter, the repetitions emphasize the might of God and his message of life – love.
Bible, God And Free Will is written in a manner that Christians, atheists, or agnostics can find meaning in this illuminating book. The book focuses on human love and deeds rather than being a pious man with no principles.
Pages: 171 | ISBN : 978-1-7775695-1-8
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At one time or another, we have all questioned our purpose. The story of Job is one of the first recorded instances of humans posing these same questions. In addition, it is likely the most well-known account of an exchange between friends that goes far beyond the standard existential crisis. Job and his friends tried their best to understand the ways of God as they questioned why humans are allowed to suffer. The story of Job contains everything from sarcasm and rhetorical questions to innuendo and what amounts to a battle between God and Satan.
A Deux, by author Alexey L. Kovalev, is a new and fresh take on the biblical story of Job. The dialogue between Job and his friends and God takes on a whole different look in Kovalev’s work. Prefaced by a thorough prologue, this book exists as an exchange between Job and God as it would happen today–quite a modern spin on the age-old tale.
I was blown away by the beauty of Kovalev’s style of writing. What looks on paper like a straightforward narrative is actually a dialogue that reads like the most intricate of poetry. The flow of the text is phenomenally stunning, peppered with modern references and deep, philosophical discussions that read more like an exchange between two strangers seated on a bench waiting on a long-departed bus.
There is almost a comical banter at times between the two main characters. Expecting a more serious tone, I was pleasantly surprised at their familiarity. What could easily have been made into a very difficult read has been shaped into a much easier and more pleasurable read.
I was expecting a much different read when I picked up this book and ventured into the text. Instead, I was truly overwhelmed and surprised at the unique take on Job’s story. This book, written primarily as a dialogue, will capture readers’ attention and keep them enthralled from cover to cover. In addition to creating a conversational tone, Kovalev has also given readers a trip through history. It’s a truly fantastic read from beginning to end.
A Deux will entertain anyone who enjoys reimaginings of Bible stories. In addition, this modern telling will make the traditional story more accessible to younger readers and more relatable to a modern audience.
Pages: 110 | ASIN : B09MPKZDFK
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