(Book Review) The Jesus Chronicles: Mark’s story


Reviewed by: Virginia Petersonmark

Ministry Title:  Former Rochester, New York church librarian


Introduction

TitleThe Jesus Chronicles: Mark’s Story

AuthorTim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

PublisherBerkley Praise, New York

Publication Date2007

FormatPrint & ebook

Length362 pages

OVERVIEW

Best known for their Left Behind series, the authors here present a fictionalized biography of the author of the Gospel of Mark.  With Mark widely believed by Bible scholars to be a confidant of the apostle Peter, and the recorder of his experiences with Jesus, the book describes the known and probable interactions between Mark and Peter as the early church grew and spread after Jesus’ death. It also describes the apostle Paul’s interactions with Peter in his role as another prominent member of the early church.

Understandably, the authors wanted to have the characters accurately speak what is recorded in the books of Mark, Acts, and other epistles, but the insertion of whole portions of the NKJV Bible text, only lightly paraphrased at times and without footnotes, was a little jarring. The style differences made me want to skip ahead because of familiarity with the insertions and the non-naturalness of some passages used as spoken speech. Also the book could have benefited from an authors’ introduction or epilogue that would explain which parts of the story are taken from tradition, in addition to the biblical text, and which are purely fictional on their part.

The authors have written similar books for the other three gospel writers.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

3.5

Suggested Audience

Teen and adult

Christian Impact

Good for filling in some of the historical gaps in the Bible record and in fleshing out some incidents.

The end of the book contains the complete text of the Gospel of Mark, and 1st and 2nd Peter, in the New King James Version.


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