IVP’s A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem book review – Rating 9.5

IVP's A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem by Ben Witherington III
After our trip to Israel last year, I thought that “A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem” by Ben Witherington III would be a very interesting book for me to check out.  I requested a copy from IVP for me to do a review on this intriguing book.  I have read Christian fiction books before, but this is my first Christian Historical Fiction work that I have read. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect honestly.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of historical facts and locations that the author included in his work. I did find this book engaging for me to read. However, it may have been due to my recognizing of so many of the references and locations that I was physically at back in late March of 2017.  Some people may not find it as interesting as I did if they have not been there or maybe done some of their own studies of the facts and locations like Jerusalem, the Galilee region, and Judean areas.

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I would give this book a 9.5 out of my normal 10 point rating scale.  On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a solid 5-star rating.
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In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by InterVarsity Press to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
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QUICK SUMMARY:

IVP’s “A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem” by Ben Witherington III was a very engaging read for me. This book is a historical fiction, so obviously, there are some liberties taken by the author with some of the facts and characters, of which some are familiar Biblical characters that we read about.

The characters are engaging in my opinion, but they aren’t very tightly tied to each other through the overall plot of the book. Still, these stories are really vignettes that do actually intersect at a few points in time.

I was in Israel back in March of 2017 and did find the many references to locations and artifacts that are used in this book as a good recollection of that visit. The author uses callouts and separate panels to provide different aspects of historical facts as he weaves them into the story. Some of these callouts are a short paragraph, photo or drawing of some kind, while some others are a full page or even more giving the background of the historical aspect of what you are reading. I really appreciate this aspect, however, I do admit that the placement of these historical facts within the actual story felt just a tad disruptive. For me, this was minor as I overcame this by reading the whole chapter and then going back and reading those callouts. You may want to read them prior to reading the chapter though.

Overall, this was very engaging for me to read and it really was a joy. I did have a hard time putting this book down, to be honest.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from IVP and all opinions are my own.
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DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK:

Type of Book:  Biblical Studies / History & Culture
Editors: Ben Witherington III
Publisher: IVP (InterVarsity Press) #IVPress @ivpress @ivpacademic
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0830851737
Price:  At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com.  They have it for $11.99– suggested retail from the publisher is $16.00. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

If you would like to purchase this book, please support my page and purchase by clicking any of the links to Christianbook.com on this page like the one below.

851737: A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem
By Ben Witherington III / IVP Academic A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem is an imaginative retelling of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Ben Witherington III helps recreate the historical and social realities surrounding this event, looking at the lives of various individuals and how their lives might have been impacted by this life-changing event. Throughout the narratives, Witherington includes multiple excerpts that expound on the real places, terms, and people connected with this time. While being an entertaining narrative, it is still historically grounded in archaeology and historical sources, making for a very accessible read that is also informative.

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Physical Characteristics:
•Paperback
•192 pages
•Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches

The Goal of Book:

This book is to help readers gain an idea of what it might have been like for different Jewish and Roman people during a one week period when the Romans violently overtook the city of Jerusalem. This is a historical fiction work, so you have to take many aspects of this book just as that – it’s fiction. But, there are many historical facts interwoven throughout the book.

My Favorite Part:

I really enjoyed the historical aspect of this book.  This may have been due to my recent trip to Israel and be reading about many of the places and sights that we saw when over there. I did like how the author tied the characters very strongly to these historical facts and locations.

Recommendation:

I would recommend this book to anyone that would like to get insight into a little bit of the Ancient Near East culture. While not perfectly Scriptural (it is a fictional work after all), this book does a great job in giving you a feeling of what it might have been like for those that watched or heard about the fall of Jerusalem as it was happening. Very engaging book and I would recommend it for sure.

Contents

Chapters:
1 – Where There’s Smoke
2 – Miryam of Pella
3 – The Daughters of Jerusalem
4 – Sorrow and Woe
5 – A Tale of Lentils and Lentels
6 – Levi’s Flight
7 – Respite in Jericho
8 – Prophecy and Interpretation
9 – Visitors in Worship
10 – The Parting of the Ways
11 – Julius Reports Back
12 – The Travels and Travails of Torah
13 – The End of Levi
14 – Uncertain Paths
15 – The House of the Fisherman
16 – Another Journey Begins
17 – Of Spices and Snakes
18 – The Secrets of Bethsaida
19 – The Remains of the Week
20 – Prayers and Providence
21 – Old Scrolls and New Scrolls
22 – Family Reunion
Image Credits and Permissions

About the Publisher:

From the publisher’s website:  As an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing resources that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of Life.  InterVarsity Press is based in Westmont, IL.
@ivpress @ivpacademic

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Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael

https://thechristianreviewer.wordpress.com

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