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Bringing Jesus to the Desert (Ancient Context, Ancient Faith) Paperback – February 19, 2012
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About the Author
Gary M. Burge (PhD, King's College, Aberdeen University) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois. Gary has authored a number of books, including Who Are God’s People in the Middle East? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians; John and Letters of John in the NIV Application Commentary series; The New Testament in Antiquity (coauthored with Lynn Cohick and Gene Green); and the first three volumes in the Ancient Context, Ancient Faith series, The Bible and the Land and Jesus, the Middle Eastern Storyteller, and Encounters with Jesus. Gary specializes in the Middle East, its churches, and its history in the Hellenistic period.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author started by mentioning places in the Bible where people lived in the desert and how it impacted them, and then he moved into a description of the early monastic movement. He described what drew people to the monk lifestyle in early centuries, what they believed, and what their goals were in going to deserted places and living in certain ways (such as a hermit, in a communal monastery, and even on a pillar).
He then described the lives of several monks, their teachings, how their experiences in the desert helps us better understand Biblical narratives & teachings, how their lives and teachings influenced early Christianity, and what we can learn from them. He covered the lives of Anthony of Egypt (chapter 2), Makarios of Egypt (chapter 3), Pachomius (chapter 4), Melania the Younger (chapter 5), John the Little, Moses the Ethiopian, and Simeon the Stylite (chapter 6).
I found this brief overview of these people's lives interesting, and it made me curious to learn more about them. I gained some insights about the early monastic movement and what they believed. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in learning more about early church history.
I received this book as an eGalley from the publisher through netGalley.
Beginning with the Anthony of Egypt, also called the Patriarch of the Desert, Nassif gives a brief biography of this humble man, and tells of how one life can impact thousands of people, even today. Both the Western and Eastern flavours of Church look to Anthony with much respect. Then there is Makarios of Egypt who is a major player in making Sketis the "Heart Land" of Egypt in the fifth century. Nassif also traces the stories of Pachomius, Simeon the Stylite, and Melania, the only woman in the list.
This book will inspire modern readers that the way forward in the future involves a lot of learning from the past. Not only that, the quality of spirituality is deep and wise. Though the teachings are simple, there are profound. Modern believers who want to grow can take a leaf from the wise experiences and teachings of the desert spirituality. I warmly commend this book to anyone seeking to start a journey through desert spirituality. After all, in our land of technological advancement and scientific progress, there is a deep hunger for something more basic: Food for the heart. The desert is a rich buffet full of wise teachings. Learn from them. Thanks Nassif!Read more ›
Beautifully written and presented in full color, rich with photographs and quotes of the desert Mothers and Fathers.
Suitable for Christians of all backgrounds, young and old, I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides a wonderful introduction to the lives of the great saints of the desert who followed after the Lord wholeheartedly. Read morePublished on October 22, 2014 by Ravina