God's Favorite Place on Earth
Viola, Frank. God's Favorite Place on Earth. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2013.
Author Frank Viola argues that Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Simon the Leper, was God's favorite place on earth because it is where Jesus went to relax and where He ascended into heaven. He examines the scenes throughout the life of Christ set in this village near Jerusalem. He embellishes the narrative with additional source material taken from first century sources so that the modern reader gets a feel for the material. This part is written from the viewpoint of Lazarus. I did not really think that part was all that effective. It felt like I was reading fiction. He then includes the actual Scripture which in my opinion could have stood alone without the earlier embellishment. The third and longest part of each chapter is a discussion and Bible study of the verses. It's not really a formal commentary although in places he approaches the study in that manner. In other places it is more of a discussion of the narrative. This book would be a good personal Bible study book or perhaps a book that could be used in a small group Bible study setting in a church. This review is based on an advance e-galley received by the publisher through NetGalley for review.