Dr. Eric Smith attends our church, and gives the Sunday message occasionally. On one of those weeks, they mentioned that he had published a book, called Jesus Prequel: Old Testament Themes Pointing Toward New Testament Fulfillment, and they had several copies that people could buy.
We bought one, and Mama read it. She said it was very good, and all the rest of us should read it too. She put it on my desk and, since my desk is half mine half Becca’s and in the middle of the main-level, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to read it or if someone had just left it there.
So it sat there for like a week, before I clarified that I was supposed to read it. It took me a little while to read because I was at a home-school kid’s conference (you can see pictures on my friend’s blog here), but I did read it eventually and really liked it.
Much of what we read in the Gospel’s may seem strange to us. As first-century Western readers, we’re removed from Jesus’ context in so many ways: language, culture, worldview, time, location, just to name a few. Because of that distance, our view of Jesus may be a bit fuzzy. . . Feeling at home in the Old Testament, I have found, informs how I have read the New Testament. This book is meant to sharpen your picture of Jesus by deepening your understanding of the world Jesus came from and the people he taught. Most of all, I wrote this book to show you Jesus and provoke your worship of him. (x)
That quote from the introduction pretty much sums up what Jesus Prequel is about: it simply gives you a better understanding of the culture in which the Bible took place. When you understand the culture and know the language in which it was originally written, you better understand the Old Testament. And when you understand that, the Gospels make more sense.
Jesus Prequel was not overly-Old-Testament-ish, or hard to understand. It was clear and easy-to-read, and helped me understand the actions of Jesus and the people he interacted with, as well as the actions of people from the Old Testament and the regulations that God gave. You can purchase a copy here.
P.S. Sorry it took me so long to get this posted. Don’t miss the story-post I did this morning.