Sunday, December 28, 2014

Joy to the Word: My Review

About the Book:
What could be more familiar than the Christmas story -- and yet what could be more extraordinary? The cast of characters is strange and exotic: shepherds and magicians, an emperor and a despot, angels, and a baby who is Almighty God. The strangeness calls for an explanation, and this book provides it by examining the characters and the story in light of the biblical and historical context. Bestselling author Scott Hahn who has written extensively on Scripture and the early Church, brings evidence to light, dispelling some of the mystery of the story. Yet Christmas is made familiar all over again by showing it to be a family story. Christmas, as it appears in the New Testament, is the story of a father, a mother, and a child -- their relationships, their interactions, their principles, their individual lives, and their common life. To see the life of this "earthly trinity" is to gaze into heaven.

My Comments:
If you aren't familiar with Scott Hahn, he is a Scripture scholar.  Throughout this book about the very familiar Christmas story, Hahn points out how the story is similar to other stories in the Bible.  The Shepherds to whom the angels appeared Christmas night were not the only shepherds in the Bible, nor the only ones to whom angels appeared and Hahn tells us about many of them.  

One chapter is "Mary:  Cause of Our Joy" and in it Hahn discusses the scriptural and historical support for the Catholic beliefs of the virgin birth (shared by most Christians) and Mary's perpetual virginity (basically a Catholic belief).  In another chapter Hahn looks at the angels and in yet another, the town  of Bethlehem. The Magi get their chapter as well. Hahn ends the book with a look at the Trinity and how it is imaged in the Holy Family, and in our families.  Hahn's thesis is that God became like us (human) so we could be like Him.  

I enjoyed the book and found it to be an engaging read with many facts of which I was unaware.  While the endnotes are extensive, the text itself is approachable and readable.  If you are looking for a good book to end your Christmas season this year I recommend this one--or put it on your list for next year's Advent reading.  Grade B+.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Mega Advent Giveaway and was not obligated to write any review.  


  1. Sounds like one of Hahn's more accessible books; his tend to be very academic.

  2. This is well-pitched to a wide Christmas readership more than the faith-formation crowd. Nice even for non-Cats. Anyone who reads this and wants more might try B16's Infancy Narratives. A bit more demanding, but manageable after JttW.


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