Jesus of Nazareth

The Story of His Life Simply Told
Book cover: 'Jesus of Nazareth: The Story of His Life Simply Told'
Mother Mary Loyola
Little Flower Home Education
Number of pages: 
358 pages

"We did not see what the people of His own land saw every day, but we have the story of His life written by those who knew Him intimately, and it ought to be familiar to us all... It is of more importance to us by far than anything else we have to learn. It was written, not for mankind in general, but for each of us, one by one, that we might study it and copy its lessons into our own lives." p. 22

There is no substitute for reading the story of Christ's life in the Gospels themselves. First hand sources are always the best, but this book can assist in developing a more complete understanding and familiarity with the life of Jesus. The author is obviously well-acquainted with the geography, history and culture of Palestine and its people and gives us many of these sort of details which are not explained in the Bible. She is also well-versed in the Bible - particularly Our Lord's life and the foreshadowing and prophecies of the Old Testament related to it. I found the details of how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies particularly fascinating.

The story is very beautifully written and the events are related in terms of what we know from the biblical accounbts, relevant prophecies and considerations and meditations on why Our Lord did certain things and what He and others may have been thinking about each event.

Some may dispute the "Simply Told" aspect of the title because of a certain amount of antiquated language. Be assured that definitions given in the footnotes (at the bottom of each page)are very helpful. Footnoted scriptural references allow for a more easy comparison of the relevant passages from the original text. The author shows some reluctance (as seems rather common with authors of that time period) to discuss certain events connected with the Annunciation and the Incarnation such as Saint Joseph's thought of divorcing Mary when he found that she was with child and his reassurance by an angel in a dream.

I think this book would make a rather nice family read-aloud during Lent. We found it very nice (even for our six year old) when we read a chapter or two at a time (the chapters are rather short) and spent some time discussing events as we went along.

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