Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Review: A Year with Jesus by R. P. Nettelhorst

I have to say upfront that I generally hate devotionals. Really hate devotionals. Really, really hate devotionals.

That is why I find A Year with Jesus by R. P. Nettelhorst such a phenomenal book. This 365 day devotional focuses strictly on the words of Jesus. Each day has a substantial chunk of scripture followed by equal part commentary. The days are grouped into ten different themes, so that one can focus on a particular topic for several days in a row. To me, that makes the devotionals all the more meaningful so you can really spend time contemplating each topic. What I love especially about this devotional is Nettelhorst kept the personal and cultural examples to a minimum and instead focused on fleshing out what it was that Jesus was talking about. That not only gave this devotional some substance, but also served as an informational book about the life and circumstances of Jesus.

My only complaint about the book is that each day, Nettelhorst takes the scripture passage from a different Bible translation. I understand there are reasons that some authors do this. Sometimes it's done to not infringe on copyrights. Sometimes it's done to not alienate different traditions that use different Bible translations. I'm not opposed to reading different translations, but I'm always suspicious of an author picking a translation that reads one way when all the others read differently (something I've found a number of times in Rick Warren's writing). I generally rely on the NIV or NLT, so if he gives a different translation than those two, I usually refer to my NIV Bible just to be sure it reads the same. A minor complaint, but it's an annoyance to me.

I highly recommend this devotional. It is a devotional of substance and I think its focus being strictly on Jesus helps us keep our eyes on what we should be keeping our eyes on. This may be the only devotional I ever own!

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.

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