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Few figures in history have been as controversial or as influential as Jesus of Nazareth. Considered by some to be a fairy tale, by others to be an influential leader, and by others to be nothing short of God himself, it is hard to deny that his teachings had a major impact on our world with nearly a third of the world's population claiming Christianity as their religion of choice.(1)
December's book of the month is taken from the Bible, and contains the story of Jesus's birth which is widely celebrated as Christmas, along with many of his teachings.
In case you aren't familiar with the Bible, it is a collection of books by various authors that outline the history of the church along with teachings passed down from generation to generation. This library of books forms the basis for many of the major religions in the world.
|The Bible – A Library in a Book|
Our book of the month is Matthew, the first of five Gospels which chronical the life and teachings of Jesus as reported by different authors. The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testament (think before and after Jesus), and the Old Testament is much larger than the New Testament. Matthew is the first book in the New Testament, so you'll find it about two thirds of the way through the Bible if you're looking at a hard copy (see the bookshelf picture above).
This book contains many of the life lessons taught by Jesus to his followers. These lesssons have been studied and practiced by many for a lifetime, and in my opinion are well worth learning.
I've personally read this book many times. Like many good children's movies today written with both the child and adult in mind, there are ideas here which have taken on a completely different meaning for me when I have read them at different stages of my life, so even if you've read it before, I encourage you to break this back out and read it again.
You can download a copy for free on most smartphones, just search for Bible in your app store. There are many translations available, I'm partial to NIV which is easy to read and is a relatively modern English translation. Click here for a nice study Bible from Amazon in case you prefer a hard copy. Enjoy!