Friday, July 17, 2015

Day of Atonement by David A deSilva

In the blank pages between Malachi and Matthew, the course of an entire nation was changed . . . His brother, the high priest Honiah, enjoyed the authority of the high priesthood, and all important decisions needed his approval. But it was Jason who was shaping the future of Jerusalem and, with it, all Judea. He breathed in again, imagining that he could feel the wave of destiny impelling him forward toward his vision as he exhaled . . . The Greeks have taken over the world, but Jerusalem is still the same backwater city Jason has always known. He wants to help his hometown rise to a new age of prosperity and influence. If that means stretching the terms of the city's divine covenant, so be it. But how far is he willing to go to achieve Greek greatness for this Jewish city? It will take the willingness of a handful of Jews to die rather than violate the covenant in order to turn the tide back to God. Written by an internationally recognized expert in the period between the Testaments, Day of Atonement invites readers into Judea during the tumultuous years leading up to the Maccabean Revolt. It was this pivotal decade that reminded Jews of the centrality of the covenant to their national security and taught them that the covenant was worth dying for. The story is so foundational, it is still told every year at Hanukkah. The lessons learned during this turbulent time also shed light on just what was at stake in the ministry of Jesus, whose radical message seemed to threaten the covenant once again. Day of Atonement joins the perennially successful novels Pontius Pilate and The Flames of Rome by renowned historian Paul Maier on Kregel's premier list of captivating and historically accurate biblical novels.

My review:

  We don't know a lot about the period between the Old and New Testaments,  but it has always interested me the little bit that we know. Although fictional, this book fills in what that period of time might have been like based on what we do know from history.

  The book is easy to read, and the author has a great style. It comes through to the reader when an author has done a lot of research for a book, and such is the case with this book. Using some historical facts, he weaves a fascinating story with interesting characters that is hard to put down. I don't think I have ever read a book set during this time period, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it.

About the author:

David A. deSilva (PhD, Emory University) is Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. His numerous books include Introducing the Apocrypha and An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods, and Ministry Formation.

Day of Atonement is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.


Kristine Lilja Morgan said...

Looks good. I will be adding this to my TBR pile..LOL