Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review:NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S WHO’S WHO IN THE BIBLE: Unforgettable People and Timeless Stories from Genesis to Revelation

 Unforgettable People and Timeless Stories from Genesis to Revelation
By  Jean-Pierre Isbouts
Publisher: National Geographic
Published: Nov. 5, 2013
ISBN: 9781426211591

Amazon Synopsis:

From the author of In the Footsteps of Jesus and The Biblical World comes a vibrant family reference that brings to life the fascinating characters of the Old and New Testatments of the Bible. From the fall of Adam and Eve to Judas' betrayal of Jesus, the key events of the Bible are expressed through the lives of hundreds of people. Told through exquisite art 
and artifacts, intriguing sidebars, and unique family tree features, this illuminating volume tells the stories of Biblical characters and highlights their greater meaning for mankind. Illustrated with lavish color photography and exquisite historical artwork, this reference runs chronologically, with each person listed by order of appearance.

Book Links
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My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful, hardcover book full of photographs of paintings, statues, carvings and other artwork inspired by the Bible. It contains timelines and maps that will help the reader better understand the when and where of the events that happened.

The book is divided into 5 chapters:
          From Genesis to Deuteronomy
          From Joshua to Kings
          From Chronicles to Maccabees
          The Four Gospels
          From Acts of the Apostles to Revelation

Each chapter gives a synopsis of each of the major players in that section in the Bible and tells some of their story. Artwork from across the centuries depicting scenes from the Bible have been included on almost every page of text. And at the end of each chapter is an alphabetical listing of Who’s Who for each of the five chapters of the book. This alphabetical listing gives the name of the individual, the meaning of his/her name, tells who the individual is and provides references to their location in the Scriptures.

The author uses the Catholic canon of Scripture as the basis for the material that he includes in his book. For those of Protestant beliefs, this simply means that they need to know that there will be a few books of the Bible that they will be unfamiliar with.

Not all the major stories of all the well-known characters of the Bible have been included in this book.  For example, Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea was reduced to a small paragraph on a map whereas in the Bible itself, it covers several chapters. This is understandable in that this book is more about who each person is, rather than all the things that they did.

A list of further reading, references to secular books is given at the back of Mr. Isbouts’ book, divided up as related to each of his chapters. This helps readers to find other material on these individuals found in the Bible. Also at the back of the book is an index for easy reference for the reader to quickly look up any of the individuals mentioned anywhere in this reference text.

I think that Jean-Pierre Isbouts has done a marvelous job in writing this book. It is a fascinating book simply to flip through and look at for the sake of the beautiful art contained within. The information it contains is well-written, interesting and well-referenced. It will indeed make a lovely gift for anyone who is interested in the history of the Bible and the early church.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars!

Thank you to the publisher, National Geographic for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was not required to provide a positive opinion. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Jean-Pierre Isbouts completed his doctoral program on archaeology and art at the university of Leyden and is currently professor of culture and media studies at Feilding Graduate University of Santa Barbara, California. He has written several other books, including “National Geographic’s The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas,” “From Moses to Muhammad” and “In the Footsteps of Jesus.” Isbouts has also written four television programs that explore the legacy of the Bible, including the Hallmark television mini-series “The Quest for Peace,” which won the 2005 God Aurora Award and the 2005 DeRose-Hinkhouse Award.

Contact the Author 
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