Thou Shouldst Buy This Book

Today’s post will focus on a new book by my good friend, Bob Hostetler. Bob is an award-winning Christian author who has also co-written several books with Josh McDowell. As an avid lover of both t…

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Thou Shouldst Buy This Book

Bard and the BibleToday’s post will focus on a new book by my good friend, Bob Hostetler. Bob is an award-winning Christian author who has also co-written several books with Josh McDowell. As an avid lover of both the Bible and Shakespeare, Bob had a brainstorm, an “aha” moment, that resulted in this literary and readable devotional. Below is a review I wrote for Amazon and Goodreads. As Bob (and Shakespeare) would say, “Thou shouldst buy this book!” And I say it as well.

 

REVIEW:The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional by Bob Hostetler

The Bard and the Bible is a wonderful and creative way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This new devotional works on a number of levels. One of the first and most obvious is the language. The King James Version of the Bible is still one of the most used and best-loved. It’s a natural to combine the insight of scripture to the insight of many of Shakespeare’s characters, and in fact, is clear that this version of the Bible influenced much of Shakespeare’s writing.

Each entry in this 365-day devotional follows a format that begins with a quote from one of the Bard’s plays (as well as sometimes from one of his sonnets or other poems), followed by a verse of scripture that aligns with the quote. Next comes the devotion text which gives background into the play and/or character from which the first quote is taken and its context. It segues into the Bible verse and how it not only relates to the Shakespeare quote, but how it relates to and is relevant to one’s daily life. The devotion ends with a thought-provoking question dealing with the issue at the heart of the devotion. Then comes what I consider to be a bonus; a short section of facts and trivia about Shakespeare himself, word trivia, modern incarnations of his plays, and more. A prayer as such is not included but the question at the end of each devotional entry leads the reader into reflection, self-examination, and prayer.

There is much to like about The Bard and the Bible. While still following the basic form of a devotional, Hostetler’s approach is fresh, unique, and interesting. He pulls the Bard’s quotes from each play in order of appearance so there is continuity within Shakespeare’s works rather than random quotes from random plays. It provides another layer that will delight fans of the Bard. A third layer within The Bard and the Bible is the depth of Biblical truth and its applications. Christians will be challenged to daily obedience to Jesus and to lovingly act out their faith by using the godly principles Hostetler brings to remembrance. This book also gives a slice of insight into Shakespeare’s faith and his great familiarity with scripture. It will resonate with any Christian who is a lover of literature and words. But more than that, The Bard and the Bible is a book that can be gifted to anyone interested in literature as a way to introduce them to God’s truth and love.

(In case you missed it, click on this link, The Bard and the Bible to buy a  copy of Bob’s book!)

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