Okay, I am a pretty huge Kiss fan. They were the first band I got into as a young kid of 11 years-old. I discovered the band in 1977 right around theOkay, I am a pretty huge Kiss fan. They were the first band I got into as a young kid of 11 years-old. I discovered the band in 1977 right around the time Kiss Alive II was released, and I heard it at a friend's house. I promptly went out and purchased their latest studio album Love Gun, and became an instant fan. Prior to that, it was music like the Grease soundtrack, and the Bee Gees, and other poppy disco stuff of the time. So, Kiss was my first taste of hard rock, and I consumed all they had.
They were my first concert experience, seeing the Dynasty tour in 1979 and many times after that. The only thing I really knew about the band was what I saw. Not an avid reader, nor a real follower of the latest tabloid/magazine world, I did not spend much time following the behind the scenes publicized dirt. They were super heroes to me - amazing musicians who put on a great show.
Now, 35 years later, I am still a big fan. I have all of their albums, I have a bunch of merchandise too. I follow them religiously to a degree. Obviously I like hundreds of other bands now, but still Kiss ranks up their as a key player in my eye. I have followed the solo stuff, I have followed the former members (Ace & Peter), but still, only paid a small amount of attention to the publicized dirt.
I bought Gene's biography, but never read it. I did read his other book, Sex, Money, Kiss, which I laughed off as just a bunch of his egotistical self-centered money-hungry crap that it was. I read Ace's biography a few months back, and it really focused a lot more on his own personal struggle. The early formative years of Kiss were brought to life as seen through his eyes, but overall, the book seemed more centered around his own personal dark struggles, with not quite as much bad-mouthing as we find in this book by Peter.
After finishing Peter's book, I have to say, my opinion on the band is drastically twisted. I am torn between two opinions. First, on one side, Peter was self-destructing and a real arrogant jerk who seemed to care less about others or even himself. With the amount of drugs and trash that he got into, just like I felt with Ace's book, it is surprising these two are still alive. Peter made so many bad decisions, he acted so ignorantly, impulsively, and abusively that it makes me despise him for the most part, and I often feel like he got what he deserved. Before, during and after Kiss, he just always seemed like a jerk.
On the other hand though, after hearing the horrible stuff that Gene and Paul put him through, I can almost feel sorry for him, and that stuff makes me lose all respect for and despise them. But still, I see two sides fighting head-to-head, with Peter being a jerk, and Paul/Gene also being major jerks continually. It is hard to tell if this was cause and effect or not. As a musician myself, I can relate to some of the behind the scenes aspects of it. If I were like Gene, a sober, serious musicians looking at the business aspect of all that gets done (which I do tend to be), would I react the same way if a member of my band was a drugged out jerk-wad always getting in trouble and soiling the band's name and image? Probably so.
Were Gene and Paul reacting to the horrible lifestyles of Peter and Ace, and that pressure caused more tension backlash from Peter and Ace? That seems to be the story we hear from one side. But Peter's story at times makes you feel Gene and Paul were abusive from the start, regardless of the drugs, etc. My real question is, with the amount of drugs and alcohol that Peter and Ace claim to have been constantly consuming all those years, how could they really remember very much about all of these details as they claim to in their books? Maybe their perspective is greatly clouded by their activity, and so they think things were worse than they were. It is tough to really say, since it becomes just his word against his word against his word. Now Paul is working on his biography, so we can soon add a fourth version. Paul and Gene were sober, so could their telling be more accurate? Or are they just twisting it to make their selves look good. Were they taking advantage of the always drugged up guys all along?
Peter seemed fairly clean and sober during the reunion tour, so for sure it seems they really screwed him and Ace during that time period, making Gene and Paul out as simply appalling people, which seems to be not just coming from Peter's words only. The trail of disgruntled former Kiss members can attest to there being some kind of real issue with the Gene/Paul team. I will chime in on the current replacement members wearing the Cat and Spaceman makeup - it is despicable and reprehensible. I have seen the band live twice with the new guys (I know, somewhat hypocritical to do that), and the band as a unit is amazing, and the new music they make is great. But there would have been no sense of fun lost at ALL if Tommy and Eric had their own characters, just like Eric Carr and Vinnie had. I believe it would have been a much more professional and honorable thing for them to have done, rather than allowing new people to wear the characters of the original members. After reading this book, I see this action as purposely being a personal attack against Peter and Ace - again, showing Gene and Paul to be truly horrible people.
I have followed all of the seasons of Gene's Family Jewels show, and have gotten to somewhat know the man more than I have from just years of listening to his music. I found him to be quite human and loveable, and at times felt sorry for him on the show. Occasionally you get a peak at the hard-edged business man on the show, but these books show more of that side than the show ever does. The show gives us some of the silliness and family side of things, but at times I feel it might be scripted and set to be more entertainment than true reality. Peter's book takes away all of that love-ability that I built up from his show, and flushes it down the toilet. Gene comes out as a truly scumbag, bottom-feeding, womanizing, self-gratifying despicable character.
In the end, Peter is/was a self-destructive, horrible person who made a lot of bad mistakes, abused himself and others frequently, and did a lot of wrong to a lot of people for a lot of years. It sounds like now he is on the road to settling down from that lifestyle, and the last section of the book discussing his relationship with God is a promising step forward, but the damage done in his wake is a long way from being rectified, and he still comes out looking like a bad guy through this all. So, he has opened the door to really reveal the filth that was his own life, and in the process whines incessantly about how he was treated.
The fantasy is gone - the band Kiss will now forever be tainted in my mind. No longer are they just this cool, mysterious band of larger-than-life excitement on stage, but they are now a bunch of low-life self-pleasing jerks who only look out for their own best interests regardless of who they have to plow over to get what they want. Maybe this is nothing new for a rock band, but it really destroys the view of my first-loved rock band. Will I still listen to them? Yes, absolutely - the fantasy lives on in the music, tainted as my mind may be now. ...more
Biographies have never really been my reading preference in the past. I have always rather chosen to read books that would broaden my understanding, eBiographies have never really been my reading preference in the past. I have always rather chosen to read books that would broaden my understanding, education, or worldview. However, a couple of years ago I read a biography of someone musical that I was a fan of more or less. At first I was thinking, why read this, it is about the life of someone else, and dealt with things that are not directly affecting me. However, I found it to be really enjoying. As a musician myself, and with so many years being so involved in following the music scene in general, and with such a wide range of musical likes, I guess musical related biographies appeal to me a bit more than other types.
I chose to read this one on Iommi, mainly because I had heard good things about it. Honestly, I was only a nominal Black Sabbath fan, as they were sort of before my time of getting into heavy music. Well, classic Sabbath was at least. When I first got into heavy music, it was the Dio years for Sabbath, and I only followed them at that point, and then I followed the Dio and Ozzy solo paths, basically ignoring Sabbath before and after. I was familiar with early Sabbath mainly from listening to Ozzy doing them (ala Speak of the Devil for instance), but that was about it.
It has only been in the past ten years or so that I have really started going back and getting into the amazing classic bands that were before my musical tastes had ripened. Bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and a few select others were on my list of great bands I spent time listening to, but still not much Sabbath.
Then, just a couple of years ago, I started buying the remastered/deluxe edition releases by bands, and delved into the Sabbath catalog more. So, with that being a recent happening, and hearing good things about this book, I decided to jump into it.
The book was a great journey for me, reading of so many amazing musical things this band did and what they went through. I was captivated by the stories of how they did some of what they did, in an age when their were no computers, and recording was very much harder and more complicated.
The best parts were hearing all of the behind0the-scenes antics that are not as public, as well as the large amount of big-named celebrities that have interacted and been a part throughout the Sabbath timeline. Sabbath was, as were most bands of their time period, a band with a long history of drugs and alcohol, and with some of the stories, it is amazing that not only are they all still alive to this day (if you can call Ozzy "alive"...lol), but that they are also still making amazing music.
The book covers from Tony's childhood all the way through 2010, shortly after Ronnie James Dio's death. Talk of a future recording with the original band has surfaced, but nothing has started. Now, here I am sitting in late 2012 reading this, knowing that the original band (minus Bill Ward - which makes more sense now that I have read this book) are currently recording a new album.
Overall, a real page turner for someone like me who is so much into music. And throughout the reading of the making of each album, I found myself listening along to the releases, or buying them if needed. What a wealth of music that has been made by this man over the last forty years.
This is a very nice, concise treatise looking back at the history of God's dealings with his people Israel and Judah, and all of the times of covenantThis is a very nice, concise treatise looking back at the history of God's dealings with his people Israel and Judah, and all of the times of covenant breaking, idolatry, harlotry, etc. that they had performed time and time again, and how God promised over and over again how they would be brought under judgment for it. To me this is great to have, a single shorter work detailing all of the issues of the people over the centuries in one place.
Taking this detailed history, and comparing it to the words spoken to that harlot "Babylon" in Revelation, their is only one viable conclusion you can make; Revelation's mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots, drunk with the blood of the martyr's, is Israel, and specifically those in Jerusalem at the time of the prophecy being spoken.
In the end, this book shows how Revelation is speaking directly about the divine judgment that came upon those old covenant people in AD 70. Good stuff....more
I really enjoyed this book. Some of Wright's stuff is a bit more technical and theological, but I felt this was easy to read and comprehend, and his cI really enjoyed this book. Some of Wright's stuff is a bit more technical and theological, but I felt this was easy to read and comprehend, and his case was well made. I admit, I have read two other books by him just prior to this, as well as another on a closely related topic by Scot McKnight, so maybe this topic just struck me more on the heels of those.
Wright lays out the problem - that for the past few hundred years or more, the church has glossed over and missed much of the thrust of what the four gospels are telling us when they give the details and history of Jesus' life and works. He starts by looking at the early church creeds, and how they jump from the birth of Jesus right to his death and beyond, and how that same mentality has caused us to greatly miss the importance of all of the details in between and what they tell us about the story of Israel, God and the Kingdom.
That, combined with an already lack of understanding by the modern church about the importance of understanding that Jesus has come to fulfill and bring in the end of the long story of Israel as laid out in the first testament, has caused further points to be missed when reading the gospels.
Thanks to things like dispensational theology/eschatology, their escapist mentality regarding the world we live in, and the division of Israel and the church into two separate worlds, the truth of Jesus' coming to fulfill Israel's story and promises and establish God's kingdom in this world is pretty much totally missed.
I believe this book, along with the last few Wright wrote on this type of topic (Simply Jesus, and Surprised By Hope in particular) are much needed reading by all in the church, but especially the church leaders and minsters. We need to rethink and get our heads around the true meanings of what is being given to us in the Word of God; it is not all about personal salvation and just surviving until we get to leave this world and go to heaven. We are called to have a much deeper and wider vision and worldview; one that requires us to be the hands and mouth of God to work within this kingdom he has established by the works and accomplishments of his Son Jesus....more
In my continued studies on the Hebrew backgrounds to the Bible, including the New Testament language and culture, I ran across this title and scoopedIn my continued studies on the Hebrew backgrounds to the Bible, including the New Testament language and culture, I ran across this title and scooped it up. I found it to be very informative, even though somewhat brief. The major part of the book is set out to prove that the New Testament books, most specifically the four gospels, were originally written in Hebrew, and later translated into Aramaic or Greek.
The book then sets out to show how translating Hebrew idioms and known Hebrew cultural sayings can, and have, caused misunderstandings and mistranslations from Greek into English versions. While the main portion of the book briefly looks at some of the verses and issues created, it is the last portion of the book, the appendix, that is a more detailed examination of those verses.
One of the key parts I found the most beneficial, was the discussion on the term "kingdom." The Greek terms used in the translation are easily understood to mean not yet here, while the original Hebrew term for it actually means "It's here, it has arrived!" (pg. 62). It is things like this, where the Greek gives a totally opposite or greatly different view point when used, that make this small book pretty fascinating.
The concept of "kingdom" is perhaps the most important spiritual concept in the New Testament. In English or Greek, "kingdom" is never verbal. It is something static, something to do with territory. But, in Hebrew, "kingdom" is active, it is action. It is God ruling in the lives of men. Those who are ruled by God are the Kingdom of God.
"Kingdom" is also the demonstration of God's rule through miracles, signs, and wonders. Wherever the power of God is demonstrated, there is His "Kingdom." ... We see God;s Kingdom when we see Him in action. In the same way, people saw the Kingdom when they saw Jesus in action. This is what Jesus meant when he said: "But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you." (Luke 11:20)
Jesus also used "kingdom" to refer to those who followed him, the members of his movement. His disciples were now to literally be the Kingdom of God by demonstrating his presence and power in their lives. (pg 64)
I really enjoyed this look into the darkness and trials of one of rock's great guitarists. The band KISS was the very first band I ever bought an albuI really enjoyed this look into the darkness and trials of one of rock's great guitarists. The band KISS was the very first band I ever bought an album of back as a little tike; I am guessing I was probably about 12 years old or so. I was hooked, and from that time on, they were always one of my favorite bands.
Last year I read through a fairly major biography on the whole band, with sub-sections on each member's history (see KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography), but that was based on a series of band interviews back from the late 70's when they were just starting to peak. I also have read through a detailed history of drummer Peter Criss in Sealed With A Kiss. So, when Ace's book came out I marked it to read, and thanks to a friend who bought and read it first, then loaned to me, I got the chance.
The book reveals a lot of early behind the scenes things that were previously unknown to the general public. Not just Ace's childhood stuff (I should say Paul Frehley's childhood), but also the very earliest of the formative years of KISS. Some of the stories have been told by others, so some sound familiar, but I found more detail here than I had previously heard. Also, hearing it from someone other than Gene Simmons and the "official" record, gives it a way different twist than expected.
Of course it was all of the history outside of Paul Frehley's stint in KISS that was a real highlight. Seeing his struggle with drugs, alcohol, sobriety, addiction again, car wrecks, jail time, and all of the debauchery his life was filled with was both enlightening as well as hopefully could serve as a warning to others who seek to live the "rock and roll life" (I am just glad my years in music never led me to dabble in any of this stuff).
Rock has lost so many legends of the industry, many from drug and alcohol use. You would think people would have learned a thing or two from it. Paul Frehley is one of the lucky ones - and as of the book's writing, he has been five years sober. Hopefully he can stay that way, and will not end up like so many others. ...more
I had read some mixed reviews on this book before starting it myself. Some were saying it was complicated, some saying it is a rehash of stuff from aI had read some mixed reviews on this book before starting it myself. Some were saying it was complicated, some saying it is a rehash of stuff from a couple of his previous books, books which presented it better. However, I found it to be a great read. Having read a handful of Wright's stuff before, I have found some to be very deep theological (which I enjoy), and others not so much. This for fall into the category of the not-to-deep.
The more I read, the more I felt like I was becoming a part of the first-century era, and started to see the actions and words of Jesus in a new light. Of course having just finished reading two other similar books on the first century life around Jesus' time may have had an influence on the enjoyment factor for me.
I was really intrigued by the history lesson of those before and even after Jesus, who had stood up and made the claim to be the anointed one, and how they went about fulfilling that claim. Based on the expectations of the first testament scriptures, they had a plan, and of course ultimately failed. Jesus came on the scene, and we see parallels in his plan, but with a serious twist that shows his plan to be the real one. Understanding that really brought a better understanding to why they placed a sign saying "King of the Jews" on the cross of Jesus; whereas not knowing this past history it made a bit less sense.
The section on exactly what it meant to stand up and claim to be king, and what that meant at that time was also similarly enlightening. What exactly that meant and how it played out, which is the heart of the book, was a real thrill ride.
Of course the whole journey comes to a real head with the closing section which wraps this package up beautifully and should challenge believers to be a part of the kingdom and stop trying to escape the world. The church has failed its mission over the past few hundred years, and men like Wright are steering the "sinking ship" back on course to the kingdom mission Jesus left his followers to do.
I finished the book inspired and desiring to be more engaging in the culture around me. A much needed read by pretty much anyone claiming to be a disciple of Jesus....more
I guess it might have been that this book ended up not really being what I had hoped or expected, but it was also that it was very week and "Greek" thI guess it might have been that this book ended up not really being what I had hoped or expected, but it was also that it was very week and "Greek" thinking throughout. I was hoping it would be a study in cosmology type things, but it ends up being just a very, very milk tradition view of death, heaven, hell and angels.
No real discussion on the differences in the words (and places) referred to as "hell" in the Bible. When he dealt with the story (I said story, not parable as he and others call it) of Luke 16 and the rich man and Lazarus, he only looked at it as some form of story about hell and suffering - nothing being said about the Jewish concept of the realm of the dead, underworld, Hades, Abraham's bosom, etc. I guess this was not too shocking considering how the Reformed world in general has sought to ignore the "unseen realm" and redefine the whole life after death concept of pre-Christ understandings. I guess I just did not expect someone of Sproul's caliber to do so without even mentioning them.
When he started by applying Rev. 20 & 21 about the New Heavens and Earth to "heaven" I had a bad feeling this book was going to not be a winner. For a post-mil pastor with heavy preterist leanings to see the this as being "heaven" kind of had me scratching my head, but so be it.
I guess for such a small writing, he didn't get into any depth on much, so this is like theology 101, heaven and hell "fluff" with no real depth. However, when a lot of it is used in error or totally ignoring the Hebrew understandings, it makes it that much worse.
I guess I have just studied too much deeper material of the Hebrew culture and mindset on these topics (and how the bible uses them) - and that understanding tends to "stray" from what many mainline, very conservative Reformed churches (and their "Greek" redefinition of things at times), that this book was a huge let down in my studies. ...more
**spoiler alert** Okay, before getting to the meat of the review of the writing, I'd like to discuss the actual manufacturing of the book. It is self**spoiler alert** Okay, before getting to the meat of the review of the writing, I'd like to discuss the actual manufacturing of the book. It is self published, with a cover price of $29.95, with 264 pages on a fairly thick stock paper, with the width of the pages being only a tad over 5" wide. This makes for a tougher than average read, since the page width makes the pages stiff and harder to open the book wide enough for comfortable reading. It really should have been printed on a standard 6" width. On top of the that, the font size is way to large (unless a large print book was intended), and a reduction to a more standard sized font, as well as increased page width, would have made this book probably half as many pages, with a great reduction in list price and better readability. Okay, enough criticism on that, now to the meat of the book.
I was a bit taken back to find the content from this Christian author. He attempts to glean understanding of the Hebrew Scripture stories using the Zohar (a foundational work of writings from the Jewish mystical Kabbalah teachings). The Zohar is said to have been written by a rabbi of the 2nd century during the Roman persecution who, according to Jewish legend, hid in a cave for thirteen years studying the Torah and was inspired by the Prophet Elijah to write the Zohar. So, a man, in a cave, being spoken to by a supposed spiritual being - how is this different from the book of Mormon (I think to myself)?
The whole first few chapters of the book shockingly seem to attack the early biblical stories, claiming they are in fact just a echoing of the older Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian writings, and that many of their understandings and names of gods crossed over and became "the sum and substance for the Genesis account of the creation story" (pg. 27) as well as other parts of the Hebrew teachings. This is not a fairly uncommon view, but many good books have been written on this topic, such as Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible which I read a year or so ago.
He sets forth a story of how each nation of the ancient world had a ruling, real living deity that was in a temple and consumed food. In time "one arose above the pantheon of all other gods and chose Abram and his descendents as the people to worship him alone, forsaking all other gods" (pg. 46). From there is goes on explaining certain Scripture ideas in light of the Zohar and these ancient writings.
For the most part, Bernard is echoing the understanding he has read in the book The Manna Machine. This books sets forth the teaching that, based on a close examination of the Zohar, they feel the "Ancient of days" is not "an ominous god-figure, but rather a machine," being "probably of extraterrestrial origin" (pg. 218). Now, while Bernard never seems to cross the line and speak of space aliens, he refers to these other word beings as angels. The machine, which was supposedly actually built by the authors of the aforementioned book by following the Zohar description, is one that receives in dew, and through a process fueled by a nuclear core, turns that into a life giving algae based food that sustained the Israelites for the 40 years in the wilderness. The machine bellowed forth smoke all day (cloud by day) and a bright light from it's nuclear core (fire by night) that led the people during their trek.
It was because of the high levels of radiation that this machine put off, that it was required to be kept at a safe distance from the people and camp at all times, as well as a reason why some people died when they got too close or touched it (deadly radiation). The machines did not produce manna on the Sabbath, because that was the day the priests had to clean and lubricate the machine. The priests had a special secret knowledge of the machine, and because this secret knowledge was lost over the years, that is why in later years - David's era - when David tried to bring the workings of the Ancient of Days (also known as an ark) back to unite the people, it did not work, and instead, he received radiation poisoning (Psalms 38 through 41, but specifically 38:5-7).
Unfortunately, Bernard makes many wild and assumptive statements followed by large jumps in reasoning and thought, causing many odd conclusions throughout this book. In the end, if believed, this would do much damage to the orthodox historical understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. Now, while I fully understand and agree that many false understandings exist in modern theology camps in regards to Hebrew thoughts and teachings, I do not believe that Bernard makes his case for this being an accurate or acceptable biblical view; and I doubt any other Christian scholars would come to his conclusions on this matter....more
A very fascinating book indeed. The amount of research is mind-boggling. The books contains almost every know story, theory and tradition about the ApA very fascinating book indeed. The amount of research is mind-boggling. The books contains almost every know story, theory and tradition about the Apostles and others, giving readers plenty to examine and weigh out to decide what may be truth and what is mere myth. The author shows his leanings, and I cannot say I always agree with them, but for the most part I am ignorant on much of this and just found it a thoroughly enjoyable journey through the wealth of information presented. ...more
Having just the other day finished what I guess is the first book on this topic by the author, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, this one seHaving just the other day finished what I guess is the first book on this topic by the author, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, this one seemed like an easy transition to move right into. I will say though that this one flowed a bit better and was a bit more cohesive of a story, even though it appeared this book is mainly made up of individual writings by the author that have appeared over time on their web site.
While the last book opened with the first portion attempting to make a case for the idea that the gospel books were most likely originally written in Hebrew and later translated into Greek, this one did not seem to push that idea as much. Instead, to me it seemed more to be stating that the gospel message of Jesus was most likely spoken in a combination of Hebrew and Aramaic, and was therefore filled with Hebrew thought, cultural understandings, idioms, and the like; and that when these sayings, etc. were then decades later written into Greek, the translation into that language caused some things to get lost and misunderstood from the original intent and understanding. This idea is a bit more acceptable than the former, in light of the scholarship and evidence of the early manuscripts.
This book then goes on to lay out an amazing story of Jesus, the culture, his position, the people around him, and the way some of his "difficult" sayings were in fact fairly common in light of their culture. At times I felt like I was walking the streets beside Jesus, seeing what he saw, hearing what the disciples heard, and experiencing much of their culture.
I just felt more engrossed in the happenings of the day, and began to get a whole new sense of the happenings and sayings of our Lord. Understanding Jesus in his day to have been more of a fairly typical Rabbi of the time (though with a more powerful twist to his message), and understanding the rabbinical thoughts, sayings and understandings of that time, allows so much of what he said and did to shine forth in a more clear way.
Section one focuses on Jesus the Rabbi and looks at his education, what it meant to be a disciple of a Rabbi, taking on the yoke of a Rabbi, and the preservation of a Rabbi's teaching.
Section two looked at Jesus in his first century context, and explored the Jewish practice of the day, the dress and traditions of the Rabbi, the name of God, the typical prayer to God (and how it influenced the Lord's Prayer we know), the non-marriage of Jesus and the miracle on the sea of Galilee.
Section three discussed various teachings of Jesus, like the rich man who rejected the kingdom, the Essene vow of hatred (the us versus them mentality), the discussion of Jesus and the jots and tittles of the law, Jesus versus pacifism, poverty, divorce and remarriage.
Section four ends the book with a great look into the Kingdom and it's presence in the first century, what it meant, how it was known, how Jesus was the "prophet" and "olive tree" promised, and what it took for the Gentiles to come in to the root.
Great stuff that really helps clear things up when seen in light of the full-blown Hebrew culture of Jesus' time. This book is a great introduction to understanding the Hebrew roots that assist in making the message of the New Testament much more understandable....more
Overall a nice little book. Being not too long and not too "deep," it gives a good overview of prayer and all kinds of aspects of prayer. Why pray, hoOverall a nice little book. Being not too long and not too "deep," it gives a good overview of prayer and all kinds of aspects of prayer. Why pray, how to pray, what to pray for, the manner of praying, and so much more gets touched upon. The author approaches the topic from a Reformed aspect, so issues such as praying and sovereignty, election and other related topics are raised along the way. ...more
Very enjoyable read. Basically this is two books within one cover.
Book one is Idioms in the Bible Explained and contains about 70 pages is one-linersVery enjoyable read. Basically this is two books within one cover.
Book one is Idioms in the Bible Explained and contains about 70 pages is one-liners organized into groups based on the book they come from. Each one is a Scripture idiom, and a brief interpretation underneath it. This portion of the book is the meat and potatoes of why I bought it. It is a quick reference guide to many idioms to help better understand what specific verses mean. For example, here are a few:
The wolf and the lamb shall dwell together. Isa. 11:6 -- means "An oppressor and a weak nation shall live together in peace."
The weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. Isa. 11:8 -- means "A small nation shall be able to handle their deadly enemies."
Eat bead in the Kingdom of God. Luke 14:15 -- means "Welcomed in the Kingdom of God."
These little tidbits help to clarify so many obscure (to us) pieces of Scripture, that it makes this little book well worth having on your shelf. Even if you do not buy into Lamsa's ideas on the NT being written originally in Aramaic, this little book is still great.
Book two is "A Key to the Original Gospels" and is a brief story of the Scriptures, cultural history and a bunch of small segments dealing with various topics and verses, almost like an expounded edition of some of the idioms covered before, but more story-like. It explains various subjects like what happened at the wedding at Cana, the word Raca, the rich man, letting the dead bury the dead, the two women grinding concept, and more.
The most "interesting" portion of this book was his take on the words of Jesus on the cross, when he said "Eli, Eli, Lmana Sabachthani." He claims that it does not imply anything about being forsaken, but that in the Aramaic means "My God, My God, for this I was kept" and speaks of Jesus crying out that this was his known destiny and the reason he was born. This stands out as the highlight of the whole second book, but it was all enlightening in one way or another. Well worth the read in my opinion....more
A very well written book that delves into the cultural surroundings and understandings of things during Jesus' days. It provides many great insights aA very well written book that delves into the cultural surroundings and understandings of things during Jesus' days. It provides many great insights and adds such depth to many scriptures and stories that we "Greek minded" readers would gloss right over. Not for the light reader, as it is small print,many pages, and lots of information. The student of theology and cultural history will find it a gem most likely.
While it is rather interesting to note the writing style and way that stories were written in a specific pattern, it got pointed out so often that it became a bit tedious; but still interesting just how predominant it is in their style of writing.
The first part of the book started with a real attention grabber, revealing based on cultural understandings, that the birth of Jesus was not in a barn as we always picture it. I knew from that point that this book would offer much more depth to the biblical stories, and it sure did.
Section two is on the Beatitudes, section three on the Lord's prayer, section four deals with the dramatic actions of Jesus, and were all very interesting and insightful, but it got even more interesting in section five, dealing with Jesus and Women. I admit that he said some thing in this section about women that make me wonder how he would put what Jesus said up against what Paul later said. Of course I own Bailey's follow up book, entitled Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians, which will reveal the answer (I assume) - once I get around to getting in to it.
It was the final section, six, on the parables that I was most captivated. The insight behind how those hearing the stories would have understood them, often shed new light and understanding on them which was intriguing.
Though I admit, at times, he tends to try to pull too much out of thing, but it is not so much that it got too annoying. Assuming things from silence could have been left out and the work would not have lost anything; but again, it wasn't so much that it was distracting - just noticeable.
Overall a good study and recommended for people who want a little more than a surface level Westerner view of things....more
I have only read a few of Wright's book so far, but this one stands out as one of the better ones I have read. I am always impressed by the tidbits heI have only read a few of Wright's book so far, but this one stands out as one of the better ones I have read. I am always impressed by the tidbits he gives that get to the cultural and historical root of the subject, and he is loaded with them here.
To view Paul as some kind of heavily influenced teacher of things Hellenistic will guide you down the entire wrong path of understanding every time. I jumped into this book because of how highly it was spoken of by Scot McKnight in his book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited which I found very enlightening. I was not disappointed.
The gospel message has truly been redefined and basically truncated from what it started as. In a nutshell, the gospel message is about the whole story of Israel and how all the promises and blessings come to us through Christ Jesus. When we look at the "gospel" as solely a message of personal/individual salvation (which is an end result included) - a we make the gospel nothing more than a piece of a story that has a limited overall affect in the long term discipleship of believers. The full orbed gospel story needs to be rediscovered and applied in ways long lost by the church.
Aside from that, this book provides a look at many of the writings of Paul and his view on justification, righteousness and more, and provides a good example of just how much historical understanding most church goers are totally ignorant of, and how it greatly affects the understanding of key scriptural passages. I won't say I can agree with everything espoused here, but the greater majority of the book is excellent in my opinion....more