Jesus - a serious beginner's guide
Cook’s for converts
A serious beginner’s guide
By David P. Gates
Athena Press. 440 pages. £10.99
The rather prosaic title tells it all. This comprehensive book is for the beginner, very basic history and theology.
It also demands serious application with its careful detail. At times the order of events is not too clear. We jump around the Bible and occasionally there is too much authority given to tradition and imagination. The author is clearly fascinated by the Holy Land and the reader is given quite a Cook’s tour. There is a considerable appendix section for the serious reader, making it a compendium of very useful biblical information.
The test of any new Christian book on a well-worn theme is not whether it produces something new and exciting, but whether it exalts Jesus and has genuine integrity. David Gates has certainly passed that test. In an age that produces The Da Vinci Code, this could be a book to give to the genuine enquirer who is serious enough to study the real evidence for the historic Jesus. There is no cringe factor here and it all makes for a good read.
Philip H. Hacking,
retired Anglican clergyman and itinerant preacher