'1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ'

Author: Jonathan Falwell
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Life and Thought
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Categorically, I would have to say that this book is definitely milk, not meat. Early on in the book, the author makes the statement that the book is intended for anyone, whether a long-time Christian, a new Believer, or someone who's just curious about what Jesus and His life were all about. Having read the book, though, I would definitely categorize it as being geared towards a new Believer.
1000 Days presents an overview of Christ's roughly 3-year ministry, basically just hitting the highlights. For someone unfamiliar with the ministry of Christ, it could be useful.
That being said, though, I don't know that I would recommend it. There were several instances in which it seemed like the author was reading far too much into a given biblical text. For example, in the chapter discussing the Beatitudes, the author suggests that the statement "blessed are the peacemakers", the word "peacemakers" actually refers to people who are helping others make peace with God. However, neither the original language nor the context of the passage suggest this.
In another chapter, the author is discussing the incident of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. When Satan suggests that Jesus turn the stones into bread and Jesus responds by saying that "Man shall not live by bread alone", Falwell places particular emphasis (his own, not the original text's) on Jesus' use of the word 'Man'. He makes the statement: "Jesus was telling Satan that He was not an animal." According to Falwell, Jesus was implying that He could exercise self-control over His hunger instinct, unlike an animal that simply follows instinct blindly. This may have been a valid point if the wording or context of the biblical passage actually inferred this, but it doesn't.
Statements of that nature (i.e. 'What Jesus really meant was...') always make me very nervous. Yes, the Bible is a deep, many-layered book that requires careful and diligent investigation and searching to understand, but we need to stand guard against making assumptions about 'what Jesus really meant' - especially so when the text itself does not make the issue completely clear.
Along that same line, another issue I had with 1000 Days was the lack of referencing. The author often said things like "Luke 9 tells the story of..." or "such and such fulfilled the prophesy of Psalm 69..." but as a general rule there were very few actual chapter-and-verse references to show where the author got the information he was citing. The Bible makes it clear that we as Christians should not simply take a teacher's word for anything (no matter how qualified or respectable that teacher may be). We are to search the Scriptures for ourselves to determine whether the things the teacher says are true. It stands to reason then that, if a teacher wants to prove the biblical basis for a particular statement, he should provide a biblical reference for it, and this book often failed to do that.
Combining those issues with the somewhat juvenile feel of some of the discussions and study questions at the end of each chapter, I'm sad to have to say that this book was a disappointment. A book that provided an in-depth study of the ministry of Christ, geared towards new Believers, would be a wonderful resource that I would love to be able to recommend to people. Unfortunately, 1000 Days isn't that book.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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