Book Review – A Carpenter’s View of the Bible

You can’t read the Bible without seeing clear references to carpentry and building.  Jesus, who was most likely a carpenter during his earthly life, is said to be building his church.  We as believers are “living stones.”  We are given very specific details of the construction of both the wilderness tabernacle and Solomon’s temple.  To appreciate the construction narrative, it often takes someone who is well versed in building and design.  Charlie March provides such a perspective in his new book, A Carpenter’s View of the Bible.

In this book, March takes us on a somewhat chronological journey through Scripture, highlighting various passages and stories that speak of constructions of different kinds.  These include the Genesis account of creation, Noah’s ark, the Tower of Babel, Jericho, and the Tabernacle.  He also talks about the New Testament church and the “City of Heaven” still “under construction.”  In each, he makes a Biblical application of key construction points, such as pointing out God’s tent/tabernacle can be seen as a “tent of refuge from the storms life throws at us, the place where we may meet God and find a balm that soothes the painful things that always seem to plague us.” (p.93)

In several chapters, he covers some archeological information uncovered that sheds light on the Biblical narrative.  Most interesting to me was the chapter on the Jericho walls.  He spends some time on the issue of accurately dating the Jericho archeological site as well as describing the city’s setup and how the walls played a key part in its defenses.

Although the book is interesting, it is not light reading.  Often the writing style is disjointed and March wanders down unrelated rabbit trails that don’t seem to fit.  He also tries to make an attempt at light-heartedness with remarks that only succeed in coming across as flippant.  However, although the material is scholarly in nature, March does his best to make it accessible for the average reader.

Overall, A Carpenter’s View of the Bible is a fascinating book uncovering details about the archeological aspects of Scripture and how many of those aspects apply to the Christian life.

Thank you to Pleasant Word/WinePress Publishing for providing a review copy of this book.(4/5 stars)

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