"We have seen a lot of interest in key events from the life of Christ from the movies that are being released," said a respectable scholar, writer and teacher specialized in the teaching and life of Jesus.
Acknowledging that people are living in an event-driven life today, the author of "A Biography of Jesus – A Brief Guide to Key Events in His Life" Dr. Tom Cowley, believes that "telling stories will be an important way to share the Gospel in the 21st century."
Even though the Four Gospels in the Bible themselves are the biographies of Jesus, and there are also many other scholarly works that based on similar theme, Cowley’s book is one with distinguished purposes.
"The purpose is to provide a simple biography of Jesus to all believes and non-believers to read. The first idea is that this book is an event-driven biography that tells us the major events in the life of Jesus," Cowley said.
He explained what is so special about "event-driven" as saying, "Our goal is to make both believers and non-believers to become story-tellers of the life of Jesus. Not only they can tell people about simple events, but also really tell a complete story about each event."
Compared with the Hollywood’s recent release "The Nativity Story", in a certain extent, Cowley shared the same methodology in presenting the Gospel message.
"The screenwriter is really interested in keeping the accuracy of the Gospel and yet balancing it with related event. And I would say that would be my goal," said Cowley. "I want to ensure the absolute accuracy of the Gospel, at the same time, give the reader an opportunity to read an event and to expand the event in their own way to learn from the event."
The book has uniquely organized the life of Jesus around four base locations of His ministry, and that is also the basic Christian theology of the book. The first location is Nazareth, where Jesus "comes down" from heaven, fulfilling "the word became flesh". At the age of 31, Jesus was rejected in his temple and therefore he moved to the second major base of his life- Capernaum- where he started his 1.5-year Great Galilee Ministry. He called his disciples saying "come follow" and his calling remains unchanged today to people. The most significant event here was the transfiguration, in which the faith of Peter was confirmed and set up as the head of the first church.
Later, Jesus traveled down to Jerusalem. The third base location is therefore set at the Judea/Perea. Then the last location is Jerusalem where Jesus spent the Passion Week experiencing the death of cross and resurrection. Before his ascension, he fulfilled his promise to give the disciples the Holy Spirit.
Throughout the book, Cowley has tried to emphasize both the divinity and the human nature of Christ Jesus, while he said the third aspect being presented was "the trinity and the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus’ disciples became apostles."
"It was really important to realize that Jesus’ disciples were in the training period during his life. But when he left this world, he left with them the Holy Spirit and his disciples became apostles and preachers of the word," said Cowley.
The story of the life of Jesus did not just end 2,000 years ago; it is continuing today among the Christians. Cowley prays that the book will help them deepen their relationship, love and friendship with Him, and that they will also become great story-tellers for Jesus.