Book review: John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened
by Lee Harmon
Today is publication day! I’m celebrating for now by sharing a five-star review that blew me away. It’s by Vicki Liston, author of Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal. Thanks for the kind words, Vicki!
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Author and Bible scholar Lee Harmon releases his second book and sequel to his “Revelation: The Way It Happened”. This time deciphering the fourth New Testament book, “John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened” offers a fresh, enlightening, and downright surprising look at these scriptures while explaining why our traditional translation simply does not make sense.
While “Revelation” concluded with the protagonist, Matthew, as a Jewish-Christian boy reaching the ‘manhood’ age of 13, “John’s Gospel” picks up with a more grown-up, discouraged Matthew during his 28th year. As the story begins, the apostle John, aware that his life is coming to an end, is compelled to pen his last letter. A stubborn Matthew refuses but a Gentile woman now living in Matthew’s boyhood home agrees to transcribe John’s words. The trio discusses and debates the text as John explains why the customary idealism of a ‘conquering warlord Messiah’ who comes to wipe out and destroy all ‘bad’ in the world is way off the mark. Matthew’s obstinacy provides the platform Harmon needs to delve into his explanations, which are structured and clearly detailed. Not only does he make his points, he makes them exceptionally well and with plenty of source material to back them up.
“John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened” embodies the same brilliant organization and style of its preceding volume, “Revelation: The Way It Happened” – with a fictional story woven in and out of Harmon’s interpretation of the biblical gospel. And like his first book, he ensures that Bible scripture, his interpretations, and the fictional story stand out as discernible sections by using separate fonts and utilizing appropriate spacing. The organization is imperative in being able to follow Harmon’s train of thought and he provides that and much more in this skillfully organized format.
As with “Revelation”, “John’s Gospel” is easy to follow and enjoyable to read, especially for those less inclined to read a straight forward, biblical analysis (read: dry). Harmon writes with passion grounded in intelligence and a profound background on the subject which not only makes the book educational but entertaining. Its message is one that those frustrated with the rigid legalistic or fundamentalist translations of the Bible will greatly appreciate, identify with, and even happily embrace. The set up of the book works in a relaxed story-reading scenario for families or as prepared Bible study utilizing sections or chapters as starting and stopping points. Regardless of the environment in which it’s used, “John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened” is a must read for any Christian. Once again, very well done!