My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Review: The Transforming Word Series, Volume 5: Letters to Early Churches: From Romans to Revelation

The Transforming Word Series, Volume 5: Letters to Early Churches: From Romans to Revelation The Transforming Word Series, Volume 5: Letters to Early Churches: From Romans to Revelation by Mark W. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the last book of a five (5) volume set with a basic commentary on the Books of the Holy Bible. Organized the same way as the previous four (4) books, this volume introduces the Letters of the New Testament following the Gospels and Acts. The first three (3) chapters give an overview, with chapter three (3) being the odd man out covering the intersection of Religion and Science in a rather confusing mashup (this is the weakest chapter of the book). After then, the work dives into each of the individual letters, starting with Romans. Much like the third volume covering the Prophets were the biblical books are also fairly short, each chapter is also very short with only a general overview of the context and theology of the book examined. 

As with the entire set, these are all from the specific point of view represented by the Stone/Campbell Restorationist tradition with little treatment of any opposing views. It is in short a good place to start, but I continue to recommend using a more detailed commentary with (or after) this work. Some of the individual chapters are a tad repetitive, which was not too surprising given that some of the contributors write about multiple letters. The standard chapter organization of Context, Commentary/Exegesis, Theological Reflections, For Further Study ad Works Cited was not as effective because of how small some of the letters were. As something of a completionist I was very happy with the series as a whole and while not the strongest in the series, this was still very satisfactory.

~ Letters to Early Churches
~ Greco-Roman New Testament Backgrounds
~ Religion & Science
~ Romans
~ 1 Corinthians
~ 2 Corinthians
~ Galatians
~ Ephesians
~ Philippians
~ Colossians
~ 1 Thessalonians
~ 2 Thessalonians
~ 1 Timothy
~ 2 Timothy
~ Titus
~ Philemon
~ Hebrews
~ James
~ 1 Peter
~ 2 Peter
~ 1 John
~ 2 John
~ 3 John
~ Jude
~ Revelation

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#LettersToEarlyChurches #TheTransformingWordSeries #NetGalley.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.