Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: The World of Jesus. . . . . . Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus’ Day

I've known since I was a child that the Bible is history.  Even before I was saved, I knew it was history; but, for me, it was just a bunch of stories floating out there somewhere in ancient times past. It didn't really fit into the rest of world history to me.  I've studied Rome and ancient Greece with my children; but, Jewish and Christian history wasn't included.

I've been reading and listening to the Bible a lot lately. I've found that the more time I spend in the Word, even just listening, the more it comes together in my mind in one cohesive unit. The more I read, the more I understand, the more I want to read. Funny sentence, but true. I understand more than ever before. Still, there were questions in my mind.  You know, questions like, "What happened between the Old and New Testaments?  "Why are the Israelites called Jews now?"  "Who were the Pharisees and Sadducees?" "Why did they hate Jesus?"

I've found answers in this little book by Dr. William H. Marty, The World of Jesus, Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus' Day.  Dr. Marty is a professor at Moody Bible Institute.  He integrated political history, religious history, and Jewish laws and customs to reveal the setting into which Jesus was born.  This is a complex subject, but Dr. Marty has given an excellent overview that is not too complicated for this gentile woman to grasp. ~smile~
I am so glad I found this book.  I look forward to sharing it with my children during their high school years.

From the Publisher:  
Know Jesus Better by Understanding What Shaped His World 
Sometimes it’s hard to find your bearings in the New Testament, as you enter the time and place of Jesus and His disciples. There are confusing practices, new people groups, and even unexplained religious conflicts. How did it all come about?
Dr. William Marty walks you through the history leading up to the arrival of Jesus in order to help you better understand His life and teachings. He answers such questions as: • Why did "Israelites" start being called "Jews"? • What's a "synagogue" and what happened to worshiping in the temple? • Who were the Pharisees and why was Jesus so upset with them? • Why didn't anyone like the Samaritans? Get to know the times in which Jesus lived, so you'll better understand His teaching and ministry. And along the way, discover how God prepared the world for the One who would turn it upside down.
Paperback:  Published May 2013,  Suggested Retail Price $12.99, ISBN9780764210839, 192 pages

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Hey! Thanks for sharing the book suggestion! Just like you said "I've been reading and listening to the Bible a lot lately. I've found that the more time I spend in the Word, even just listening, the more it comes together in my mind in one cohesive unit." - I, too, have been reading and listening a lot and it makes more sense the more I (ear)read it, but I have a bunch of questions, too! Looking forward to reading the book you suggested.

  2. Hi Bibi!

    I really think that this book would be helpful to you. I was excited to find the answers to a few questions that I hadn't been able to find before.

    You wrote a good post about Gomer on your blog, Simple Summit.

    Thanks so much for dropping by Harvest Lane Cottage. I hope we'll become blog friends.


  3. Laura thank you for this lovely post, you always give me gifts to think about,
    Lots of love

  4. Hi Dorothy,

    My eleven year old daughter was just looking over my shoulder.
    She was startled by your name. We have a friend who's gone to
    be with Jesus with your name! I explained you are another Dorothy
    who lives in the U.K. ~smile~

    Have a great week. Thanks for the encouragement.


  5. I always love to hear about good books to read.

    Thank you for writing about this.



  6. Hi Sue,
    I feel the same way. This one will be on my shelf for a long time.


  7. This looks like a wonderful resource. Understanding the history, the customs, the community and setting all help me understand scripture more. God's Word is absolutely of highest importance, but reading history helps with the context of it all. Thank you for this review.

  8. Hello Laura,
    I think you meant to link up to my HOME party and linked up to Tea Time Tuesday instead.
    No matter, a couple more have done the same thing. I host two parties and I guess some new folks are getting them mixed up. My HOME goes up at 2:00 PM.

    Having been in the Ministry for many years, we have read all kinds of fascinating books. This one sounds like a great read too. Hubby is always looking for a new book to pour over. Thank you for sharing and have a beautiful day.


  9. Hi Sandi!

    Oh my, I'm sorry! I'll try again.



  10. Laura Lane



    Hi hsmominmo,

    You're very welcome. Context is everything with history and so many other subjects. Learning how everything is inter-related has been one of the best parts of homeschooling for me.

    I'm on my way over to visit you at .

    Blessings to your family!


  11. I love books like these because they make it come more alive. Thank you for recommending this book. And thank you for linking up with A Little R & R Wednesdays!

  12. You're welcome Rosilind. I'll be back. ~smile~

  13. Thanks for stopping over at WholeHearted Wednesdays and sharing these books. This post was a good encouragement to soak ourselves in God's Word. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Hi Judith,

    You're welcome. I'm happy to share.


  15. Sounds like a great book. I really need to read my scriptures more. I always set it as a goal to read daily, but have not accomplished it. I need to take a lesson from you my friend! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  16. Hi Jann,

    You can do it! Ask the Lord to make it easy for you to remember and get started. He wants to meet with you daily.

    Happy week!


Thank you for praying for me! Thank you for encouraging me so much through this cancer treatment. I have the best blog friends in the world! Yes! You!

I read all your comments and respond as I can right now.
Please make sure I have your email if you want me to respond or pray for you. For some reason Blogger isn't notifying me of comments right now, so I may be a bit slower.

God bless you all! This life only works with Jesus. The next life is a continuation of this one—make sure you spend it with Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God the Father!

Your blog friend,
Laura Lane
Cancer Survivor