This Crown of Comfort

This Crown of Comfort

Author Eva Leaf
Publisher BRF £9.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781800392083

This book is written about women and primarily (but not exclusively) for women. It takes us chapter by chapter through the seven double imperatives (e.g., ‘comfort, comfort my people’) that God issues to a broken Jerusalem in the book of Isaiah. There is a progression through these calls: Comfort; Awake, rise up; Awake, get dressed; Depart; Build up; Pass through; Build up. Each chapter contains reflections on the Bible verses, alongside illustrations from the author’s personal experience and that of many others. We are blessed by being allowed to share in such powerful experiences and insights; and there is much practical advice about moving on. This is a book that addresses deep distress and needs and promises even deeper solutions and hope. In the reflections at the end of each chapter it becomes ‘close and personal’. We are encouraged to look deeply into our troubles and ourselves, to write our thoughts and reflect through the day. Whether we are hurting ourselves or seeking to share comfort with those around, there is plenty here to touch our hearts – as God touched Jerusalem.

Reviewed by LIZ PACEY

Biblical analysis


Women Remembered: Jesus’ Female Disciples

Women Remembered:
Jesus’ Female Disciples

Author Joan Taylor & Helen Bond
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton £16.99
Format hbk
ISBN 9781529372595

This is an exciting read. Bringing together a wealth of scholarship, the authors give fresh insights into the lives of biblical women, and the roles they played as disciples. There was much I didn’t know about first century Jewish society – for example that polygamy was still acceptable. The authors make the point that the masculine pronoun is always used in Greek for any group, no matter how large, in which even a single male is present. Centuries of translation without taking this linguistic quirk into account have simply erased women from the record. Many of the conclusions seem obvious when the original language and context are examined. The only one by which I was not entirely convinced was the idea that ‘the twelve’ disciples sent out by Jesus consisted of twelve men each accompanied by a female co-worker. I would have liked to have seen more evidence. These authors have the gift of communicating in a manner that engages everyone. The book was written to accompany a television series. I hope its success will lead to the series being repeated

Reviewed by NANCY MAY

Biblical analysis, Feminism


Comfort in uncertain times

Comfort in
uncertain times

Author Rachel Turner 
Publisher BRF £8.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780857466280

Subtitled ‘Helping children draw close to God through Biblical stories of anxiety, loss and transition’, never has a book been more needed in a post-Covid world where lockdown caused massive rises in mental health issues among young and old alike. The author rightly says it is the job of parents to help their children deal with the problems of change and bereavement. Her approach is to re-tell key biblical stories by putting the emphasis on our involvement in the narrative. There are sections on how to connect with God by prayer and by spiritual practices. As with many things designed to help children, this will also be a rich resource for churches tackling these issues with older members of the congregation. This is a book that enables us to see that being human will involve feelings of uncertainty and that although we have an unchangeable God, He is not immune to the pain and the confusion of His children. A valuable resource.

Reviewed by CAVAN WOOD

Biblical analysis, pastoral care


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