Barnes, Ian & Josephine Bacon

Recommendation:  4/5

Description of author:   Dr. Ian Barnes is Head of the Department of History at the University of Derby, England.  Josephine Bacon is a writer and journalist, a former researcher and translator for the Encyclopedia Judaica.

Comments:  As one who earnestly believes, along with the Apostle Paul, that God still loves the Jewish people even in their unbelief  (Romans 11:28), I try to make it a point to read books from time to time about the history of the Jewish people and/or the modern state of Israel.  I found this book in the bargain section at Barnes and Nobles for $12.98.  It is an attractive volume with glossy pages and lots of pictures, colorful maps, charts and diagrams.  It is divided into very short, 2-6 page, chapters.  The book traces the history of the Jewish people from Abraham through the early 21st century, including a section on 9-11.  For about the first third of the book, the authors follow the Old Testament, then they explain the Jewish situation under Greece and Rome and then their dispersion and persecution throughout the world, particularly Europe.  They, of course, review Zionism, the Holocaust, the founding of the modern state of Israel and the Arab-Israel conflict.  I found this to be an extremely helpful volume and very interesting to read.  As I read of the unbearable plight of the Jews over the centuries, I was reminded of all that God had said about the Jewish people in Leviticus 26 (especially v. 38-39).  But I was also reminded of the promise of their future restoration to glory.  It brough new profound significance to the words of Deuteronomy 30:1-10.  I love the Jewish people and look forward to the day when they will believe on their Messiah, the Lord Jesus and Christ (Isaiah 53), and God shall fulfill all His promises to them (Ezekiel 36).  Of course if you read this volume, you must remember the authors are coming from the perspective of Judaism not from the perspective of a Christian.  I should also point out that the typos in this book are voluminous.  This is by far the worst book I have read for a long time in that regard . . . I think they forgot to proof read it!