Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When The Good News Gets Even Better by Neb Hayden - REVIEWED


Witness the Gospels Through the Eyes of a First-Century Hebrew
New Bible study from David C Cook gives readers a fresh new way to experience the Good News

How is it possible to make the Good News of the Gospel better? How can truth be enhanced? Can Jesus Christ be improved upon? In his new Bible study, author Neb Hayden emphatically answers, “Impossible! The Gospel gets even better only when it’s more clearly understood. The Good News gets even better only when we read the Gospels as they were communicated and in the way they were meant to be seen.”

That’s why in his new study, When the Good News Gets Even Better (David C Cook, June 2009), Hayden gives students of the New Testament the opportunity to walk through the Gospel narratives in Hebrew sandals. This unique Bible study allows readers to see these letters just as their original audience did and provides vital insights into the Jewish culture, customs, and perspectives, giving a fresh and thoroughly relevant context to the life of Christ.

“The Gospels are the foundation of our faith because our faith is built on a Person,” explains Hayden. “He was a Jew, living in a Jewish world, and communicating with Jewish people. This study offers readers the chance to walk the dusty roads with Him, to be there as a participant rather than simply as an observer.”

Using a three-month format, When the Good News Gets Even Better combines all four Gospels into one comprehensive and chronological narrative, allowing readers to focus on the overall themes and truths as they occurred. Among many other subjects, Hayden examines the births and childhoods of Jesus and John the Baptist, Jesus’ public ministry, the training of the twelve disciples, and Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Features also include days sectioned into key points of Jesus’ ministry, suggestions for when to skim or thoroughly read a selection, and interactive questions for individual study and group discussion.

“The Gospels are just the beginning of God’s continuing pursuit of intimacy with mankind,” says Hayden. “These biographies of Jesus are our stories too. Every move Jesus made and every word He spoke has direct implications for our lives in the twenty-first century. I pray that readers will be permanently transformed as they become first-hand witnesses to the Gospels’ miraculous events and times explored in this guide.”


Neb Hayden has done something unique and worthwhile by creating a Bible Study guide that incorporates a historical and Jewish perspective on the events recorded in the New Testament. When The Good News Gets Even Better provides the student tons of Scripture to explore, thought provoking questions to consider, and an explanation of the reasoning that drove the people of the New Testament times to respond as they did to Jesus’ teaching. Truly, this is a very well-rounded study of Scripture, and one that will have you reading and examining the New Testament in an entirely new way.

Hayden gives brief explanations of the different social practices during New Testament times. He also gives good background on major Bible characters and their position and experiences as it relates to their responses to Jesus’ teachings. I am particularly impressed with how many times he has the reader examine Scripture and then write a response to a particular verse. That makes the gospel take on a very personal perspective, because you then begin to see and understand how God was using the people of that time to accomplish great things for His kingdom. You also begin to understand how you can be used of God through the study of His Word to continue to reach others for Christ.

When the Good News Gets Even Better lays some foundational groundwork for believers who genuinely want to understand the people they read about when they read the New Testament. This is a great study tool, and I will continue to work my way through this to gain more knowledge of all that God has done for me through His revealed Word!


Neb Hayden is director of International Student Development at The King’s College in New York City. A former quarterback for “Bear Bryant” at Alabama, Neb has been involved his adult life with the fellowship in Washington, D.C., which works behind the scenes to nurture and encourage the leadership in over 180 nations. The group also works behind the scenes of the National Prayer Breakfast. Neb speaks and teaches extensively at seminars, conferences, and retreats. He and his wife, Susan, live in New York City and are the parents of three grown sons and two daughters-in-law.

No comments: