By SUSAN E. RICHARDSON
If Jesus has ever seemed “long ago and far away,” then consider a copy of Jesus, A Visual History by Donald L. Brake, Sr. Here you’ll find the story of the four Gospels brought together in harmony, along with a wealth of archaeological and cultural detail. Photographs add the final touch for this pictorial look at Jesus’ earthly life.
Brake’s use of a harmony of the Gospels allows for little surprises to creep in, no matter how familiar you may be with the story. Seldom do we read it compiled in this way, and the points he brings out add richness. He indulges in a small amount of speculation over how characters may have felt or questioned, but never out of line with Scripture.
The author also adds the latest archaeological discoveries, making the book as up to date as possible. Maps and charts throughout keep the story grounded in place. The overall tone and structure make the book accessible for all readers. You can use the book for reference on specific events or read longer pieces to go along with holy days.
If you wish you could take a trip to Israel, Jesus, A Visual History is the next best thing to going and a wonderful reminder if you have been. Brake includes stories of modern Israel, bridging past and present. With Easter fast approaching, the chapter on Jesus’ final week before crucifixion would make excellent preparation. Consider adding this versatile and fascinating book to your library.