Shakespeare lovers rejoice! Bob Hostetler's The Bard and the Bible combines verses from the King James Version of the Bible with quotations from the master playwright himself. Like peanut butter and chocolate, they make a great Reese's Cup of awesomeness. It only took 400 years, but it is great to be able to read both at the same time.
The daily devotionals in The Bard and the Bible will give you something to think about--the book is overflowing with fascinating information about the greatest English language masterpieces of all time. But more than that, you will find daily inspiration and spiritual connection as Hostetler brings new light to familiar and lesser-known passages of Shakespeare and scripture. By drawing on timeless material, The Bard and the Bible speaks to today's readers, keeping a light tone that still provokes thought and reflection.
I have had a love for Shakespeare since High School so when I received Bob's book, The Bard and the Bible, I was thrilled to read it. It did not disappoint. Bob has done a masterful job of mingling Shakespeare's works with that of scripture. I have appreciated this juxtaposition and the depth of understanding that it gives to both scripture and the words of Shakespeare. The contemporary cultural illustrations contribute to the reader's understanding. Each day's selection ends with thought provoking questions that are then followed by facts and figures about Shakespeare and/or the Bible. Not only an enjoyable read but an inspirational one as well.
Bob Hostetler combines a spot of Shakespeare with a bit of Bible in a surprising "Oh-I-see-how-you-did-that" kind of way. And just as you, the reader, are cementing those connections, Hostetler sends a question your way--a question that forces you to examine your life and your day. During my reading of an advanced reader's copy of The Bard and the Bible, I was challenged by questions like, "Are you living for earth and dust, or something better?" "Is there an area in your life where you're not being honest with yourself?" "How can you sincerely seek God's kingdom and submit to His will today?" I would recommend this devotional to readers who want to be entertained by Shakespeare's clever words and challenged by the Bible's strong truths.
A devotional that pairs the beautiful, majestic Elizabethan English of the King James Bible with corresponding passages of Shakespeares equally sublime poetry, and then draws thought-provoking spiritual insights from the themes they addressbrilliant! The Bard and the Bible by Bob Hostetler is an excellent guide not only for meditation on the timeless truths found in the Scriptures and in Shakespeares works, but also for their practical application in our lives.
Those of us who grew up reading the KJV had no difficulty deciphering Shakespeare, and we grew up to be lovers of the language. But you dont have to be familiar with either the Bard or the KJV to get a lot out this devotional. Each days reading is short and pithy, just the right length for busy readers. And Hostetlers lucid, engaging style makes the commentary easy to grasp for minds overloaded with the day to day. He reveals depths in the paired passages that arent always apparent at first but that point to godly principles we can apply to issues we face in our everyday lives. A question at the end of the commentary then challenges the reader to take action on the insights gained. I also found the short section of information about Shakespeare and his works included at the end of each devotional to be interesting and fun. I highly recommend The Bard and the Bible as a fresh new resource for daily Bible study!
I must admit, I went into this book a bit skeptical that there could be much of a connection between Shakespeare and the King James Bible, aside from the thees and thous. I was going to need some convincing.
But once I got started, I found both the organization and the insights/connections fascinating. I found I was not only reading a devotional; I was also learning about Shakespeare's works through Bob's factoids at the end of each devotional.
You don't have to have read all of Shakespeare -- or even very much of Shakespeare -- to benefit from this devotional. I have only two devotional books where I've found myself reading ahead because each entry was so fascinating or inspiring that I wanted to keep reading. One is Voices From the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings. This is the other one.