Andreas J. Kostenberger & Justin Taylor, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of The Most Important Person Who Ever Lived. Wheaton: Crossway, January 2014. 217 pp. Paperback, $17.99.
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Thanks to Crossway for the review copy!
During this holy week, I’m going to be reading through The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of The Most Important Person Who Ever Lived. I’m guessing you might have already heard about the book, so here I’ll just offer some short thoughts about the value.
Some may remember Justin Taylor’s past blog posts during holy week that have collated the texts of Scripture about each day. This book is an extension of that which adds Kostenberger’s commentary, as well as some other goodies (like maps and such). Each chapter of the book is devoted to each day of the holy week, starting with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter. The bulk of the book is obviously Friday through Sunday. But, it is helpful to follow the build up to those days by understanding what happened on Sunday through Thursday.
Though I feel like I say this often, I’m not a huge fan of devotionals. This however, is no devotional. It can be read devotionally, but given the extensive commentary, it lies somewhere between an actual devotional, and an actual commentary. For me, this is probably the sweet spot. Not all commentaries are conducive for devotional reading (nor are all devotionals). Some can be read that way, but devotional reading tends to flow quite a bit smoother than the average commentary (unless its someone like Dale Ralph Davis). The combination of harmonizing Scripture chronologically across the Gospels and explaining where necessary is definitely a winner in my book.
At this point, it might be too late for you to pick this up and read this week. However, this won’t be the last Easter (unless Christ returns), so now you know for next year. If nothing else, because the first few days are relatively light reading, as long as you’ve got this by Friday, it would make for some great weekend reading. I’m looking forward to doing that, as well as reading some of my other atonement/gospel related reads. I’m also looking forward to what I’m tentatively calling Soteriology Summer that will review in more detail several relevant books on the doctrine of salvation. Given my shift to philosophical innundation this fall, the next few months seem like the ideal time to really dig into this doctrine, and Easter weekend is going to be my kickstart. I hope you’ve got something lined up that will help you do the same!