The Bible in World History: Putting Scripture into a  Global Context  -     By: Stephen Leston, Christopher Hudson
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The Bible in World History: Putting Scripture into a Global Context

Barbour Publishing / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

What was happening outside the ancient Middle East during the biblical era? This illustrated reference puts Scripture into global context during the times of the Jewish kingdoms, the prophets, Jesus' ministry, and the early church. Informative entries cover Chinese, Indian, African, Mayan, and other cultures to help you understand how world history and Scripture intersect. The Bible in World History will help you see how God has worked through the entirety of human experience.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Barbour Publishing
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 X 0.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1602606455
ISBN-13: 9781602606456
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

What was happening outside Bible lands during the time of the patriarchs, Jewish kingdoms, the prophets, Jesus’ ministry, and the early church? Find out with The Bible in World History. This brand-new, fully illustrated reference breaks biblical and early church history into eight major time periods—from “Creation to the Tower of Babel” through “Anno Domini,” the years from Jesus’ birth to about AD 330—and shows what was happening in other parts of the world during those times. With references to Chinese, Indian, African, and Mayan cultures, among others, The Bible in World History will help you see how history and scripture intersect.

Author Bio

Dr. Stephen Leston is pastor of Kishwaukee Bible Church in DeKalb, Illinois. He is passionate about training people for ministry and has served as a pastor at Grace Church of DuPage (Warrenville, Illinois) and Petersburg Bible Church (Petersburg, Alaska).

Christopher D. Hudson is founder of Hudson Bible, a book packaging company in DeKalb, Illinois. He has written and edited for numerous Bible and reference projects.

The Bible in World History by Dr. Stephen Leston is an illustrated book about Bible events and the world surrounding them. The chief question asked in the introduction is: "Where is history headed?" The author has a biblical perspective and answers this question by using Revelation chapters 19 through 21, saying that, ultimately, history will lead us to "a new world where God will establish His kingdom among people."

Dr. Leston uses two things to support his theory. He frequently uses Bible verses, connecting them accurately to historical events, and then he uses those connections to show how God shapes the world to fulfill his divine will. Leston writes in a style similar to the stereotypical history textbook. Thankfully, he does make clear points and explains his thoughts better than some textbooks. But, overall, his style is rather academic. The book has many illustrations, though sometimes they do not correspond directly with the content of the page and can be distracting. Dr. Leston is qualified to write this book because he is a pastor, holds a doctorate, and has contributed to several Bible commentary books.

The author steps through biblical and world events from Creation to the downfall of the Roman Empire. Throughout these events, Leston uses Bible verses to connect world events with biblical references. One particular example of this is how he shows how one Babylonian king corresponds to a king mentioned in the Bible, even though they are known by different names. He emphasizes how God seems to balance world powers, by observing how the empires of the ancient world rose and declined. Leston says that "one thing we learn from scriptures is that God is ultimately the one who elevates and deposes kings and kingdoms" (see Daniel 2:21). He uses these things to aim the reader toward a realization that someday Jesus will replace the governments of the world.

Though well researched and illuminating in some areas, I was expecting the author to tie in Bible predictions to the entire globe; when he leaves his area of expertise (the ancient Middle East), he fails to connect other worldwide events to theology. Still, he does manage to make his points convincing, and his use of the Bible is clever in the fact that he manages to balance his own opinions with support from the Bible verses. Leston's strengths are in his knowledge of history and the Bible, not in his writing delivery. I think this book would be fitting for a church library and for adults interested specifically in biblical history. It's accurate and deep, but very slow reading. Joshua Spotts,

Editorial Reviews

Expansive. Illuminating. Colourful. With clear diagrams, pictures, and photos strategically placed throughout, this book is a pleasure to behold. Unlike some encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, or similar survey of biblical history, this book packs a wallop without becoming too bulky to carry. Convenient to carry around, the reader will be captivated by the beautiful illustrations, and the clear point by point explanation of the Bible in history. The author's main purpose is to understand world history through the Bible.

Believers who are also history buffs will appreciate this side-by-side presentation of biblical and world events. Although pastor Leston is not a history professor, he clearly outlines how Scripture is historically grounded and impacts world culture.

From its beautiful paper to its color photographs and illustrations to its detailed maps and timelines, this book is a gem.

Product Reviews

3.8 Stars Out Of 5
3.8 out of 5
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.5 out Of 5
(3.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Clinton Twp . MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    May 15, 2013
    Clinton Twp . MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    It gave me a greater understaning of the time line of

    events. Very informative and well written.
  2. Austin, TX
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent resource for seekers & Bible studies
    April 25, 2013
    Austin, TX
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The material in this book is well researched and documented extensively. It is presented in easily understood terminology and you won't need a PhD to appreciate the content. The way the author was able to relate other historical cultures and activities to the timeline with the unfolding events of the Bible is enjoyable and impressive.
  3. Spencer, TN
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Christian bird's eye view of History w/illust.
    January 28, 2013
    Spencer, TN
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Short enough to read in 2-3 hours. Very informative highlighting 6,000 years, while grouping logical periods of time together. A mix of History, Bible, and Archaeology through words, photos, and timelines. A keeper for me, and I'm purchasing other copies to share.
  4. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    for new Christians, lots of pictures
    August 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    "This book focuses on events that took place in world history while the events of the Bible unfolded." (5) "...[T]he events of the world are not separate from the events recorded in Scripture." (9) The author does not intend to solve all the historical mysteries (such as issues of dates) but to connect the events of world history to the events of the Bible.

    An underlying assumption is that "God is the God of all history." (6) "As we study the fulness of history unfolding before us, we can see God at work in the world, carrying out His plan for the ages." (8)

    Abraham's rejection of a polytheistic religion in Ur sets the stage for the creation account. That all mankind was created in the image of God and is descended from one couple has important ramifications. The first sin gives us important insight into the condition of society today. (The murder of Able murder could have been later in Cain's life. There might have been 120,000 people on the earth in 800 years.) Industry, trade, language, writing and the development of religion are addressed. The authors continue with the violent nature of civilization at the time of Noah, then the implications of the Tower of Babel.

    The developed culture or Ur, from which Abram came, is shown as is the society in Egypt. Next is the sophisticated culture of Canaan during the Bronze Age, the time of Abraham's migration, and the contemporary Code of Hammurabi.

    Archaeological discoveries revealing information about the conquest era are covered, including the religion of the Canaanites. The rule in Egypt during the Israelite enslavement is briefly considered, as are changes in India and Greece.

    The shifts in world powers during the existence of the nation of Israel are examined "to see how God interacted in the midst of them with the nation of Israel for His redemptive purpose." (95) During the time of David was the Mayan civilization in the Americas and the rise of the Zhou dynasty in China. The Assyrians and Babylonians, were influential during the divided kingdom. Sparta, Athens, Pythagoras, the development of Buddhism, the Medes and Persians (with added emphasis on the Persian empire and the story of Esther), Confucius, Sun Tzu, the influence of Greek thought, the transition from Greeks to Romans and the inter-testamental history, and the expansion of the church are all explored.

    This is not a scholarly work. Do not expect discussions on details, such as the date of the Exodus. This book records the overall work of God in history. It is aimed, I think, at the relatively new Christian. It will make a nice coffee table book but is not suitable for intense study on any particular aspect of the Bible and world history.

    There are lots of full page color pictures, maps, and time lines. (I am not sure of the purpose for some pictures, as a full page spread on The Art of War by SunTzu, or the full page photo of a statue of Aristotle, or the full page photo of the bust of Pericles, or the full page photo of the bronze doors in the Roman senate, or Hannibal.)

    At the end of each major section is a reflection as to the relevance of the previous information to Christians and how they live in the world today.

    Leston's prayer is that we would have a bigger view of God after reading this book. His encouragement: "Therefore, let us take hope in the power of our God and the promise that history is moving toward the establishment of His King." (91)

    I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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