There are many great thinkers and scholars in the Church that keep a relatively low profile and avoid the public debates that attract so many people. These great Christians influence people in quiet and subtle ways, and their influence is enormous. In 1970, I was taking class work at Montana State University and heard Stephen Eckstein speak on the Jewish connections to the New Testament, showing how understanding the culture could greatly help one's understanding of the New Testament teachings of Jesus Christ. Over the years, I have followed the work of both Stephen and his father, who was an orthodox Jewish scholar at one time. I always learn from these great scholarly men, and this series of little booklets is a new opportunity to do that.
This book is a series of six 14-page booklets titled From a Nobody to a Somebody. Using his extensive background and understanding of Jewish conditions and actions in the first century, Mr. Eckstein takes biblical stories and renarrates them with attention to what the culture would have thought about the things taking place, and why certain things were said and done. The stories presented are:
|The Woman at the Well|
|The Woman with the Bent Back||Luke 13:10-21|
|The Harlot at the Feet of Jesus||Luke 7:36-50|
|The Gadarene Demoniac||Mark 5:1-20|
|The Ten Lepers||Luke 17:11-19|
|The Story of Azan||John 9|
There is some license in the way the stories are told, but that makes them alive and understandable and does no violence to the biblical account. We think that any reader who wants a better understanding of these stories will find this a useful and informative series of studies.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun04.