Top critical review
Very factual, objective & unbiased; good read, but not for academia
on September 18, 2014
I ordered this for an undergrad religion class. Though the book is rather well-written and easy to follow, and it seems mostly unbiased, the structuring of the book and the introductory questions for each chapter (which were part of our weekly assignments) were very poorly constructed. We would read the chapter first, then answer the questions. It's frustrating that some of the questions asked were not discussed in the chapter they introduced. At one point, one chapter question asked about what we had learned so far about Jesus in the previous chapter, but they didn't discuss Jesus in that previous chapter.
And another question was asking about Jesus' "Transfiguration", which was not mentioned AT ALL in the book,
I figured, since it was part of a question, maybe it was defined in the glossary. I tried to look it up in the index to find the exact page number where it was mentioned rather than skimming all 20 pages again, but it wasn't listed there either. No such luck. Never found it; not in the index, glossary, or chapter images on the companion site. I had to do my own research to answer the question since it seemed that it was not mentioned ANYWHERE in the book, except in that question. Ridiculous. You would think that the importance of the Scriptures/holy words provided at the beginning of each chapter would guarantee their mentioning in the index, or at least who/where they came from. Wrong. Not listed.
The companion website to accompany the book was a joke. It is so poorly formatted! Some of the questions would ask about images provided on their website; but chapter 3 didn't have ANYTHING on their website & half those questions were about the pictures! It's like they published the book, started making the companion site, & then just abandoned it. It is, however, very informative, factual & unbiased, & it IS a really good read if it is intended for that purpose only. Otherwise, on an academic level, it falls short in my opinion.