Recommended Books for "The Week that Changed Everything" Sermon Series

As part of our current worship series, The Week that Changed Everything, we are recommending the following books. They have all been used as resources for the messages presented.


From the Publisher:


Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward.


Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.


In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.


Brian's Review: This book provides an excellent blend of academic research and devotional insight. Theologically, it is toward the center of the spectrum and will speak to a broad audience.


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From the Publisher:


Top Jesus scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join together to reveal a radical and little-known Jesus. As both authors reacted to and responded to questions about Mel Gibson's blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, they discovered that many Christians are unclear on the details of events during the week leading up to Jesus's crucifixion.


Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus's final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, that of Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey. The Jesus introduced by Borg and Crossan is this new moral hero, a more dangerous Jesus than the one enshrined in the church's traditional teachings.


The Last Week depicts Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor. In this vein, at the end of the week, Jesus marches up Calvary, offering himself as a model for others to do the same when they are confronted by similar issues. Informed, challenged, and inspired, we not only meet the historical Jesus but meet a new Jesus who engages us and invites us to follow him.


Brian's Review: The most academically focused of our suggestions, this book offers outstanding biblical scholarship as well as the most historical insights. Theologically, it leans progressive but will invite all readers to consider the story of Jesus' final week in new ways.


For more information or to purchase, click here




From the Publisher:


On March 29, AD 33, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem and boldly predicted that he would soon be put to death―executed on a cross, like a common criminal. So began the most important week of the most important person who ever lived.


Nearly 2,000 years later, the events that took place during Jesus’s last days still reverberate through the ages. Designed as a day-by-day guide to Passion Week, The Final Days of Jesus leads us to reexamine and meditate on the history-making, earth-shaking significance of Jesus’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, and empty tomb.


Combining a chronological arrangement of the Gospel accounts with insightful commentary, charts, and maps, this book will help you better understand what actually happened all those years ago―and why it matters today.


Brian's Review: This book's focus is more on the devotional side of the spectrum. It includes a lot of guided scripture readings and spiritual commentary. It is the most conservative of our suggested resources and is intentional in its evangelical approach.


For more information or to purchase, click here




From the Publisher:


Ever since the gospels were written there have been questions about the momentous events that occurred during the final days of Jesus. Renowned archaeologist Shimon Gibson breaks new ground examining the critical last days of the life of Jesus using his extraordinary access to firsthand archaeological findings as principal evidence. Gibson explains: “The purpose of this book is to unravel once and for all the mystery surrounding the final days of Jesus in Jerusalem: why he went there; how he came to be arrested, tried, and crucified; and where his place of burial was located. There is no doubt that some of my conclusions regarding Jesus and Jerusalem may be controversial.”


Brian's Review: This book is neither faith-based or devotional, but provides excellent archeological research. It is primarily for those who want to explore the historical setting of the events of Jesus' final week on earth or are interested in archeology.


For more information or to purchase, click here

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