The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury ~ A Biblical Fiction and Bible Study Review and Giveaway

Heart of the Story, Book 1
Biblical Fiction/ Bible Study

Back of the book:

Meet the family closest to Jesus . . .

his stepfather: the protector of Jesus
                his uncle: a priest who waited on God
                his aunt: a woman who faithfully believed in the impossible
John the Baptist,
                his cousin: a man whose whole life meant dying for Jesus
                his brother: a man whose regret turned to joy
                his mother: a woman desperate to save her son from the one mission she couldn’t stop

These are their stories.

Each has a compelling tale to tell. Based on the Bible and interspersed with emotionally gripping fictional details as well as historical and theological insights, the stories of Jesus’s family will shed new light on God’s word.

Read and imagine the Bible like never before.

My thoughts:

With The Family of Jesus, Karen Kingsbury uses her talent to take her fans in a new direction. She has embarked on a storytelling journey into the realm of Biblical fiction. In my opinion it is some of the best work I have seen from her in a long time. That is not to say I haven't enjoyed her recent works, it is just that this book feels like her original writing. It is very engaging in its simply told stories. 

I'm a very picky reader when it comes to Biblical fiction. I think there is a fine line that shouldn't be crossed and I'm happy to say that Karen stayed on the correct side of that line. In fact at the very beginning of the book she explained the parameters that she stuck to in telling the stories.
"From the beginning as I undertook this project, I felt compelled by my love of the Bible to stick to some hard-and-fast ground rules. The most important was this: The stories had to be anchored in Scripture. In a way, I took the Bible verses on these real-life characters and stuck them like tent stakes in the desert sand. Nothing could ever violate those truths.
Then I researched the cultural and geographical accuracy and made absolutely sure the tent of the stories didn't billow beyond that.
But otherwise, I let the tent blow in the wind a little."
So with that in mind I'm pleased to say that this was a wonderful journey through the life of Christ as seen through the eyes of those closest to Him. The story begins with Joseph and winds through Zechariah, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, James and then ends with His mother Mary.

The stories are so well told that I found myself contemplating things that I had never really considered before. Such as how did Mary and Joseph's families feel about the situation. What kind of shame would be heaped upon Zachariah for remaining childless all those years? After all he is a priest and his offspring is expected to carry on that priestly line. What would John the Baptist be like as a child? The Scripture says he was filled with the Spirit from birth. How would that affect his actions and decisions? As you can see there is lots and lots to ponder during the telling of this line of stories.

The second half of the book is made up of a six week Bible study that takes each of the characters presented and spends five days delving deeper into the background of that person. Each week then ends with a Group Discussion session. This book would make an excellent small-group study or even an extended Book Club read and discussion.


Connect with the author:

The Giveaway:

We have partnered with Family Christian to offer two of our readers a copy of the book The Family of Jesus. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional.

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  1. Love to read Karen Kingsbury books! This one looks great. I'm partial to all the books that include the Baxter family.

    1. I loved the Baxter family books too! This one has the same feel. The story line is about family and the storytelling is just like her original style.

  2. I've never read a Karen Kingsbury book! Totally interested, though.

    1. What??? Oh Dede you really must grab one and treat yourself! Hope you get to soon!

  3. I've never considered Biblical fiction before! I love learning through book like this and will add this one to my list for sure!

    1. I really enjoy Biblical fiction if it is done well and stays accurate to the original text. This was a very interesting take on the family of Jesus. Hope you get to read it soon.

  4. I would really like to read this book.

    1. Naomi I hope you get to. I really think you'll enjoy it!


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