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When Jesus Wept

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  • Posted May 20, 2013

    This is the first biblical novel I¿ve read by Brock and Bodie Th

    This is the first biblical novel I’ve read by Brock and Bodie Thoene, and it engaged every element I hope for in a great Bible story. The historical details were masterfully woven into the story, seasoning every character and scene perfectly—not so much that they overwhelmed or so little that they felt like an addendum. 
    The Thoenes presented familiar Bible characters in ways that challenged my long-held assumptions, making me re-think the identity of the woman caught in adultery, Mary Magdalene, and Mary of Bethany. Who were these women, and what was their relationship with Jesus, Lazarus, and Lazarus’ sisters? Scripture gives some detail, but what does Jewish tradition say? What could we imagine to be true—given the cultural information that Brock and Bodie bring to life in such a realistic way?
    I expected to find a quaint story about Lazarus and his two sisters but discovered a truly moving account of a godly, less-than-perfect, hard-working man who dealt with unforgiveness and searched for answers to the same hard questions I’ve asked my Creator. At one point, while helping his hired hand deal with a matter of revenge, Lazarus asks this searching question: “Could it be that [your current] happiness [is] more important than revenge?” 
    Other poignant and challenging themes run through this novel, drawing us to look deeper into ourselves and God’s Word through the eyes of these characters.
    With biblical novels, we always begin reading with some knowledge of the book’s direction and ending, right? I knew When Jesus Wept would detail the scene when Jesus stood before Lazarus’ tomb and wept with Martha over her brother’s death—but I wasn’t ready for the emotions I’d feel when I read those words. 
    After reading this book, I understand the shortest verse in the Bible differently. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) for so much more than Martha’s grief or even His own grief at losing an earthly friend. The Thoenes describe Lazarus’ reaction to hearing Jesus’ weeping from the grave: “…his holy sob ripped me loose from the timeless conversation with the ageless ones.” 
    Have you ever wondered what/who Lazarus saw first when he walked out of that tomb? Brock and Bodie Thoene imagined it this way: “I [Lazarus] spotted Jesus over Mary’s shoulder. Sorrow for me filled his eyes. Of all those who witnessed my return from the vineyards of heaven to fallen earth, only Jesus knew what joy and beauty I had left behind.”
    Beautifully written. Well researched. Spiritually challenging and uplifting. When Jesus Wept is a great addition to your biblical novel collection. Buy it. Read it. And then read it again.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2013

    The man that Jesus raised from the dead, Lazarus, was one of the

    The man that Jesus raised from the dead, Lazarus, was one of the most extraordinary encounters that he'd ever done in the Scriptures.  Lazarus lived Bethany, near Jerusalem, where his still holds interest well beyond that miraculous event.  That moment was the most important moment in Jesus' events during his life and ministry.
    Lazarus devoted his life to caring for vines and fruit and owned a vineyard.  When he encountered Jesus, the vineyard became the world and the fruit was the souls of the living.
    This book offers up a unique comfort and vision into the power and life of Jesus Christ.
    The days of Jesus' ministry work is the most important days in the history of the world.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read and loves Jesus Christ or even to find him in your life.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When Jesus Wept was a masterpiece with every passing word. The

    When Jesus Wept was a masterpiece with every passing word. The story of Lazarus comes alive from the very first words, sending chills through me. The Bible clearly tells us that Lazarus was much loved by Jesus and this book shows that. Yes I understand that this is fiction but it is very believable fiction where a lot of the 'whys' in the Bible are given possible answers. There are pictures that swept through my heart like the part where Jesus turned the water in to wine. The part I loved best was of course where we are given a glimpse of what Lazarus might have exprienced when he died, it was painted in vivid words that made me long for heaven. I look forward to the next book in the series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    When Jesus Wept by Brock and Bodie Thoene This is the first book

    When Jesus Wept by Brock and Bodie Thoene
    This is the first book in the Jerusalem Chronicles. The Thoenes are prolific and accomplished writers and researchers. In this book they cover Jesus’ relationship to Lazarus. Lazarus was a vineyard owner in Bethany. He was quite successful and was well-known in his hometown and Jerusalem. The Thoenes create a scenario where Lazarus nurses the homeless boys in Jerusalem through a deadly plague. He is exposed to the illness and becomes very ill. Jesus delays in coming to him and Lazarus dies. When Jesus does arrive , he brings Lazarus back to life. The interesting part of the story is that it is told from Lazarus’ view point in heaven.
    Of course, the storyline is no surprise because it follows the Biblical narrative. However, the Thoenes enrich it with many probable details to make it flow. I found the details to enhance the story, rather than detract from it. I was captivated by their portrayal of Lazarus and found myself disappointed when the book seemed to end rather abruptly. This is a very enjoyable book and it moves quickly through the plot due to the Thoenes ‘clear prose. I found myself wanting to read the next book. I appreciate receiving a free copy from Booksneeze and this is my honest opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2013

    Well, this is the first book I have read by the Thoenes in y





    Well, this is the first book I have read by the Thoenes in years! My first historical fiction book was from their wonderful WWII series, and I always felt that they had the formula for writing historical fiction, especially in relation to history involving Jews. And they have not lost their touch as they tackle ancient Israel and the time of Christ. I love good Biblical fiction, and this definitely counts as such.




    From the first page, they drew me in. They made me consider portions of the well-known story of Lazarus and his family in a different way, and I was emotionally drawn into the story in a way I never have before. I am glad to know that this is the first in the series, and I can hardly wait to read the rest in the series! If you think that you know all there is to know about Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and Jesus, let me challenge you to give this book a try. You may find that you are pleasantly surprised.




    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Posted May 9, 2013

    Fantastic Book! This book takes you into life in Israel around

    Fantastic Book!

    This book takes you into life in Israel around 30AD. The descriptions of owning and managing a vineyard are wonderful. I loved seeing the ministry of Christ from Lazarus` viewpoint. If you've ever wondered how did Lazarus become ill, they have presented a very plausible explanation. Though we will never know the true story this side of heaven. 

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  • Posted April 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Bodie and Brock Thoene in their new book "When Jesus Wept&q

    Bodie and Brock Thoene in their new book "When Jesus Wept" published by Zondervan takes us into the lives of Lazarus and Jesus.

    From the back cover: LAZARUS--the man Jesus raised from the dead in one of the most extraordinary encounters with The Living Savior in all of Scripture. But the life of Lazarus holds interest well beyond this miraculous event. Living in Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus witnessed many of the most important events of Jesus's life and ministry.

    Lazarus owned a vineyard and devoted his life to caring for its vines and fruit. But he encountered another man--Jesus--whose vineyard was the world, its fruit the eternal souls of men. When Lazarus's story and the story of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection touch in When Jesus Wept, we are offered a unique vision into the power and comfort of Christ's love.

    Brock and Bodie Thoene's most powerful and climactic writing project to date, When Jesus Wept, captures the power and the passion of the men and women who lived through the most important days in the history of the world.

    We pretty much know the story about Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. That is until now. Bodie and Brock Thoene in their new book, "When Jesus Wept" has given us a fictionalized story about Lazarus and his time with Jesus as well as many other encounters that were told us in the Gospels. Obviously it is not the Bible however it sure is a lot of fun and gives us a better picture of what life with Jesus might have been like back then. All the subplots that the Thoene's have worked into this book help the narrative and I liked it a lot. I am certainly looking forward to the next book in this series.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    Two thoughts about this book: How do the Thoenes write the way t

    Two thoughts about this book: How do the Thoenes write the way they do? And: I am sure glad that When Jesus Wept is the first in a new series.

    I may have been sitting on my couch in an April afternoon reading the first chapter of this book, but my mind was with David ben Lazarus in Israel as he rode among the grapevines.

    This book is written so vividly that the heat can be felt, the grapes can be tasted and you want to pet the pleasant faced goats that follow you through the vineyards.

    The scene, Israel under Roman oppression during the time Jesus began to publicly minister, comes to life. As you read you understand a little of the turmoil and pain that being Jewish under Roman rule must have involved.
    Biblical events such as John's Baptizing and The Wedding at Cana are woven into the story and the character's lives, allowing you to read the Scriptures with richer eyes.

    The characters themselves are complex and carefully imagined: David ben Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, and Jesus, as well as the invalid by the pool and the blind beggar that Jesus healed.

    In this novel, Martha and Lazarus's sister Mary is the sensitive young one whom Lazarus married off to an old man in a profitable business deal. Now she is the wealthy widowed Mary of Magdala, who is still seeking love in broken relationships.
    Lazarus is bearing his own pain... the loss of his dear bride and their first child in childbirth, the loss of his best friend in an act of Roman cruelty.
    And Martha, sensible and sturdy, trying to serve her brother and praying for Mary to come home.
    This book is written so that the emotions and spirit of the characters glow.

    These men and women can see the brutality and injustice of the Romans, and the hypocrisy and corruption of the religious leaders, and they want Israel purged of these sins.
    They hope the the Messiah will do so, ushering in God's blessing on the nation.
    Do they realize their own hearts need cleansing and forgiveness, and that God may have another way of bringing His Kingdom?
    All of them are asking the question: Is this Nazarene the Messiah?

    I love the way the Thoene's write about Jesus, with passion and reverence and joy.  You delight in your Savior when you read their books.

    Open this book and experience the days when Jesus walked in Israel though the eyes of David ben Lazarus, vintner of Bethany.

    Thank you for writing a great beginning to a new series, Mr and Mrs. Thoene! And thank you Litfuse for sending me a copy of When Jesus Wept.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    You may have read a retelling of the story of Lazarus before¿but

    You may have read a retelling of the story of Lazarus before…but I guarantee that it didn’t hold a candle to this particular version. Because this one? Is from Lazarus’s point of view. Before I give a few more details about that, let me mention that the amount of historical detail and accuracy in general relation to the time period in this book is simply stunning. I have been very impressed with all the research that the Thoenes have poured into all their books, including the A. D. Chronicles and the Zion Chronicles (two of my favorite series by them, especially the latter). But the detail isn’t boring at all – it’s just there, making the story realistic and enjoyable.
    Now, on to the other things I noticed. I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the beginning, I picked up some of the story of Ben-Hur! If you aren’t very familiar with the book/movie, you probably won’t notice – but I’ve read and watched it enough that I caught it. And it totally made me happy because it was worked in so well! Another thing that was described in fascinating detail and with great (though reasonable) imagination included the Cana wedding, where Jesus performed his first recorded miracle. I was delighted to again meet Peniel, who we originally came across in the A. D. Chronicles (I think…but it’s been a while since I read them). One interesting writer’s liberty that the authors took was making Lazarus’s sister, Mary (the woman we remember as being sweet and worshipping Jesus and washing His feet with her hair) into the same woman as Mary Magdalene (who came to Jesus’ grave later on) and also making her be the woman who was caught in adultery. Remember her? The one where the leaders accused her, and demanded that she be stoned – Jesus said that the one among them who was without sin should cast the first stone. I rather doubt that Lazarus’s sister was ALL of these women, but it certainly made for an interesting concept. One other liberty that the authors took was to make Lazarus into one of the disciples who was sent to fetch a donkey colt for Jesus to ride in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. I can’t recall if the disciples who are sent are specifically named or not, but I’m not sure if this is accurate.
    Other than that last thing mentioned, the entire book is amazingly accurate to the Bible and very believable. Much of the dialogue with Jesus is taken straight from the Bible (perhaps with slight editing to make it read more smoothly). The Thoenes are still writing strong, and I look forward to more books in this series!
    **Litfuse sent me a copy of this book in return for my honest review. I received no other compensation. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I was not required to post a positive review.**

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    When Jesus Wept is the first book of the Jerusalem Chronicles by

    When Jesus Wept is the first book of the Jerusalem Chronicles by Bodie and Brock Thoene.  Bodie and Brock Thoene are best-selling authors of over 65 works of historical fiction and I have been privileged to read the Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles.  I really need to read the other series of books they have written as well but for some reason I just have not gotten to them.  However, when I found out I would be able to read and review the first book of the Jerusalem Chronicles, I could hardly wait for the book to arrive.  This couple is well known to research history thoroughly to provide accurate timelines and historical data in the stories they write.




    The beginning of this book has me looking at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in a new light.  I didn’t realize the strictness of the Roman rule and it definitely made me pay attention to the details as I read my Bible.  The Thoene’s introduce Lazarus and the first part is about Lazarus before he and his sisters met Jesus.  The whole account of Lazarus owning a vineyard and making wine was fascinating to me.  The story goes on to the Wedding of Cana.  Again, just interesting to see someone tell about this and give me different perspective on it.




    The book is divided into 4 parts and tells different parts of Jesus' ministry from Lazarus' perspective.  The way the authors describe Mary was intriguing and again, gave me fresh perspective into her life and Martha's as well.  It is hard to review a fiction book without giving away the story line.  But I will say that I would recommend this book to anyone who has a mind for the creative and desires to see the Bible story come alive from another Christian perspective.




    I received this book from Booksneeze, a blogger program from Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my book review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

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