The Bible can be a shocking book. It contains enough stories to keep you busy for months and is full of intriguing and complex characters. Mark Jones new book, Criminals of the Bible, follows 25 such stories and breaks them down into easy to understand formats. Each chapter focuses on a different scenario and follows the following outline (as stated by Jones):
The scriptural reference for the crime,
A short biography of the principle character or characters,
The legal, social, and political definition and context of the crime for that era,
The same crime viewed through a modern legal, social, and political lens, and
The lessons that can be learned from the crime, on a societal or individual level.
The writing is to-the-point and easy to understand. Jones explains legal jargon in laymens language and teaches the reader something about biblical history along the way. Criminals of the Bible looks at the chosen individuals and their accompanying crimes in a way that sheds modern light on each situation. These include Cain for murder, Pharaoh for genocide, Amnon for rape, and Jeremiah for sedition, among 21 others.
This book has been carefully written and researched, but I would recommend using discretion for any readers under the age of 17. Although Jones does not glorify the crimes committed, nor does he describe them in too much detail, the modern day comparisons are not light reading. His book will make a wonderful aide for students seeking a degree in law or criminal justice or for any young adult who desires a deeper understanding of these accounts. Considering the serious content, this book must be taken as a reference tool and used as such. Lauren Steigerwald, Christian Book Previews.com