I received a pdf file as a review copy. Because I am interested in the Bible and Israel both in the time of Jesus and the present time I was interested in reading it. I have not visited Israel myself, but have heard accounts from friends, who have.
Each chapter begins with a quotation from the Bible. The whole book is extremely well-written. It includes the author’s personal stories, the experiences of others, descriptions of the countryside and towns and how they relate to the life of Jesus, the differences between various religious groups and attitudes of officials. The whole book hangs together without seeming in any way disjointed. The insights of Cole, who was raised as a Jew in England and spent a few years in Israel, shed fresh light on several Bible stories. Reading between the lines of the Bible to discover information, which would not have had to be explained to its early readers, is interesting.
One story, which had not been explained to me previously in so much detail, concerned the events around the crucifixion of Jesus. The events in the life of Jesus are discussed in the context of Jewish festivals and other important days. This was interesting. For example, the crucifixion was at Passover and parallel events, not elaborated on in the Bible are mentioned in Love Triangles.
The attitude of various groups to Messianic Jews in Israel is illustrated with stories.
I found the book fascinating. There is a glossary of Hebrew words at the end. Being unaware of the glossary’s existence, I found that words and phrases were explained well in the body of the text. It is a useful resource for reference, however. There are also references for further reading.
I recommend this book, which is available as a paperback or an e-book. I intend to read it again as there is so much there to reflect on.