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Saints and Scoundrels of the Bible: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Dastardly

Overview

Discover a new approach to Scripture with this imaginative way of looking at things that are right in front of us, all while delving deep into biblical truths.

There are many ways to learn about the Bible, even if it seems to be totally familiar to us. It is, in fact, full of so many little known, interesting stories like the ones that rivet today's audiences — full of intrigue and surprising changes of character.

Broken up into individual ...

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Saints & Scoundrels of the Bible: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Dastardly

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Overview

Discover a new approach to Scripture with this imaginative way of looking at things that are right in front of us, all while delving deep into biblical truths.

There are many ways to learn about the Bible, even if it seems to be totally familiar to us. It is, in fact, full of so many little known, interesting stories like the ones that rivet today's audiences — full of intrigue and surprising changes of character.

Broken up into individual sections, such as "Freaks and Geeks," "Dashers and Vixens," "Big Shots and Mug Shots," "Leaders and Laborers," and "Prophets and Losses," it can be read a bit at a time. Saints & Scoundrels of the Bible reveals many of the little-known facts about Scripture in an entertaining and informative manner, so the reader will be fascinated and constantly saying, "I didn't know that!"

With chapters such as "The Trickster Trailed," "The Perils of Paul," "Tempting Tamar," "A Greedy Grandmother," and "The Deadly Dance," readers will turn each page to find out what happens next in these captivating tales. This clever new way of reading Scripture puts a light-hearted twist on old stories, all while drawing the reader closer to God's truth. There is nothing old or boring in this creative approach to learning about the Bible.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416566779
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 8/19/2008
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 633,709
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Books publishes adult trade fiction and non-fiction books. Our goal is to inspire readers one word at a time. With a reach into both the Christian and general markets, we are the primary imprint at Simon & Schuster for faith-based books. Howard is also home to numerous bestselling authors including Karen Kingsbury, Debbie Macomber, Dave Ramsey, Frank Peretti, Brad Paisley, and more.

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Read an Excerpt

Enoch Is Taken by God

Factoids: Enoch
• Date: Prediluvian era
• Occupation: Prophet, walker with God
• Family Ties: Father, Jared; son, Methuselah; great-greatgreat-great-great grandfather, Adam
• Mentioned in the Bible: Genesis 5:18-19, 21-24; 1 Chronicles 1:3; Luke 3:37; Hebrews 11:5; Jude 1:14

The long lists of names are somewhat yawn-inducing. "Adam became the father of Seth, and Seth became the father of Enosh" — yawn — "and Enosh became the father of..."

Keep reading this list of names in Genesis 5 and you find this eye-opening yawn stopper: "When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him" (Genesis 5:21-24 NLT).

Talk about an extreme exit! What in the world happened? And then, even though we want to know more, the list goes on: "Methuselah became the father of Lamech..."

Now, fast-forward to the New Testament book of Hebrews. The unknown writer of Hebrews saw Enoch as more than just a name on a list, for he wrote, "It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying — 'he disappeared, because God took him.' For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). Following that explanation of Enoch's character is the Bible's well-known definition of faith: "It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).

In his 365 years on this planet, Enoch carved out a reputation as a person who pleased God. The secret? Walking in close fellowship with God. Enoch was literally a walking definition of faith.

The Genesis passage tells us that Enoch had sons and daughters. He was a family man — presumably with some kind of occupation, a home, a wife and children, and probably grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. He lived a life not much different from his contemporaries (and not much different from ours in some respects); yet he did it all while walking in close fellowship with God. In fact, God enjoyed it so much that he simply took Enoch to heaven. Enoch didn't have to endure illness or death. Instead, God brought Enoch into his presence. (Only one other person had that privilege — Elijah. You can read about him in "Extreme Exit — Part 2," page 21.)

What does it take to have that kind of enduring fellowship with God? The clue seems to be in the word walking. Walking is a step-by-step process toward a destination. Each step matters. Each step moves us forward. Each step is intentional. Each step is a choice. If we want to have close fellowship with God, we must take each "step" in our lives — each action, each choice, each decision, each thought — with the constant desire to please God. Enoch did it for 365 years. What would it take for us to do it today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives?

Enoch's story is told in Genesis 5:21-24. © 2007 The Livingstone Corporation

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part One: Winners and Whiners Extreme Exit — Part 1: Enoch Is Taken by God (Genesis 5:21-24)
Sibling Rivalry: Miriam and Aaron Whine About Moses's Leadership (Numbers 12)
Learning the Hard Way: The Israelites Whine About Entering the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14)
Grim Results of Grumbling: Korah, Dathan, and Abiram Whine About Moses's Leadership (Numbers 16)
A Wanton Woman Wins: Rahab, the Prostitute, Chooses the Hebrews' God (Joshua 2)
Finding Faith: Ruth Stays with Naomi and Chooses Loyalty and Faith (Ruth 1-4)
A Fool and His Honey Are Soon Parted: Abigail Defuses a Bad Situation and Gets Rid of a Bad Husband (1 Samuel 25)
Whining over a Winery: Ahab Whines About Wanting Naboth's Vineyard (1 Kings 21)
Extreme Exit — Part 2: Elijah Is Taken to Heaven in a Chariot of Fire (2 Kings 2:1-18)
For Such a Time as This: Esther Risks Her Life for Her People (Esther 4-5)
Woman on the Edge: Job's Wife Whines About Her Pain (Job 2:9)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight: Daniel's Faithfulness to God Earns Him a Place in a Den of Lions (Daniel 6)
An Unjust Jonah: Jonah Whines When the Plant Wilts and Nineveh Isn't Destroyed (Jonah 4)
Hunt for the Magi: The Magi Escape Herod's Clutches (Matthew 2:1-12)
The Whole Truth: Apollos Learns the Full Gospel Message (Acts 18:24-28)

Part Two: Big Shots and Mug Shots The First Fratricide: Cain Murders His Brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-17)
Achin' Achan: Achan's Greed Causes Him to Lose Everything (Joshua 7)
Quest for Fire: Nadab and Abihu Die After Offering Unauthorized Fire to God (Leviticus 9:1-10:7)
She Nailed It: Jael Kills Sisera and Fulfills Deborah's Prophecy (Judges 4:17-24)
Curse for a King: Shimei Curses King David (2 Samuel 16:5-14; 19:9-23)
North versus South: The Two King "Boam's" (Reho- and Jero-) Ruin Their Respective Nations (1 Kings 11-12)
The Siege: King Hezekiah of the Tiny Nation of Judah Versus King Sennacherib of the Assyrian Empire (Place Your Bets) (2 Kings 18-19; 2 Chronicles 32; Isaiah 36-37)
A Taxing Situation: Zacchaeus, a Tax Collector, Finds All He Needs in Jesus (Luke 19:1-10)
Nick at Night: Nicodemus, a Religious Leader, Comes to Jesus at Night (John 3:1-21, 7:50, and 19:39)
We Three Kings — and Paul: Paul Pleads His Case before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa (Acts 24-26)
Divisive Diotrephes: Diotrephes's Pride Causes Problems (3 John 9-11)

Part Three: Leaders and Laborers An Ark in the Park: Noah Builds an Ark on Dry Land (Genesis 6:9-22)
Tower of Trouble: Some People Try to Build a Tower to Heaven (Genesis 11:1-9)
Say Uncle! Abram (Abraham) Amasses an Army to Pursue His Captured Nephew Lot (Genesis 14:1-16)
Death on the Nile: Midwives Labor Against a Bad Leader — and Save the Hebrew Boys (Exodus 1)
The Burden of Bricks: The Hebrew People Slave Away in Egypt (Exodus 1-6)
The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Bezalel and Oholiab Use Their Gifts (Exodus 31:1-11)
Only the Lonely: Caleb and Joshua Stand Alone Against the Crowd (Numbers 13-14)
Just Do It: Joshua Steps into Really Big Shoes (Joshua 1:1-9)
A Monumental Task: As They Enter the Promised Land, the Israelites Celebrate with Twelve Stones (Joshua 3-4)
Under Construction: Solomon Drafts Workers to Build Israel's First Temple (2 Chronicles 2-3)
Extreme Makeover: Interior Edition: Zerubbabel and Jeshua Start from the Inside Out While Renovating the Temple (Ezra 3)
Extreme Makeover: Exterior Edition: The People Rebuild the Wall of Jerusalem in Fifty-two Days (Nehemiah 3)
The Man Who Stunned Jesus: A Roman Centurion Amazes Jesus with His Faith (Matthew 8:1-10)
An Equal Share: Jesus Tells the Parable of the Laborers and Their Wages (Matthew 20:1-16)
Pilate Procrastinates: Pontius Pilate Can't Make Up His Mind About Jesus (Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16)
A Labor of Love: Friends of a Paralyzed Man Lower Him Through a Roof (Mark 2:1-12)
A Brother in Arms: Jesus' Brother James Becomes a Leader of the Church (John 7:1-10; Acts 15:13-21; the book of James)
A Pearl Among the Poor: Dorcas, aka Tabitha, Leads the Field in Kindness (Acts 9:32-42)
A Voice to the Gentiles: Peter Changes His Tune in Regard to the Gentiles (Acts 10)

Part Four: Prophets and Losses The Prophet and the Pharaoh: Moses Takes On the Mighty Pharaoh (Exodus 5-14)
A Royal Pain: Samuel Anoints — and Rebukes — Israel's First King (1 Samuel 3, 7, and 12-15)
A "Tear"-ible Thing: Ahijah Tears Up His Cloak to Signify the End of the United Kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 11:26-40)
A Thorn in Their Side: Elijah Confronts the Wrongs of Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 16:29-21:28)
The Bearer of Bad News: Micaiah's No in the Face of Four Hundred Yeses Angers King Ahab (1 Kings 22:1-39)
The Glamour of Greed: Elisha's Godly Example Shows Up Gehazi's Greed (2 Kings 5:1-27)
Good News, Bad News: Jehu Has News for King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:1-3)
Ready to Go: Isaiah Sees an Unexpected Sight — God (Isaiah 6)
A True Book Burning: Jeremiah's Scroll Is Destroyed by the King (Jeremiah 36)
A Tough Task: Ezekiel Is Told to Speak, Even Though No One Will Listen (Ezekiel 1-2)
Talk to the Hand: Daniel Interprets What the Hand Writes (Daniel 5)
Weird Wedding: Hosea Marries a Prostitute Named Gomer (Hosea 1-3)
Facing the Swarm: Joel Prophesies About the Coming of Locusts (Joel 2)
Amos, the Assyrians, and Almighty God: Amos Speaks God's Message Against Social Injustice. (Amos 1-9)
Over and Out: Obadiah Sees a Vision About the Country of Edom (the book of Obadiah)
A Fish Tale: Jonah Avoids Going to Nineveh and Finds a Fish Instead (Jonah 1-3)
Big News for Bethlehem: Micah Prophesies the Birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2)
Nahum and Nineveh: Nahum Prophesies About God's Judgment on the Capital of the Assyrian Empire (Nahum 1-3)
A Heavenly Q & A: Habakkuk Complains to God (Habakkuk 1-3)
A Royal Prophet: Zephaniah Doesn't Let His Pedigree Stop Him from Prophesying Against Judah (Zephaniah 1-3)
If You Build It, He Will Come: God Promises to Show Up if the People Rebuild the Temple (Haggai 1-2)
The King Comes: Zechariah Prophesies About the Coming Messiah (Zechariah 9)
Don't Hold Back: Malachi Warns the People of Israel to Stop Robbing God (Malachi 3)
Lunching on Locusts: John the Baptist Is an Unusual Prophet for an Unusual Time (Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3; and John 1)

Part Five: Freaks and Greeks King-Sized King: A Fat King Is Tricked by a Left-Handed Judge (Judges 3:12-30)
A Strong Man's Weakness: Samson's Strength Becomes His Achilles' Heel (Judges 13-16)
A Giant Problem: Goliath the Giant Is Cut Down to Size by Pint-Sized David (1 Samuel 17)
Animal Attraction: Nebuchadnezzar Goes Mad and Becomes like an Animal (Daniel 4)
Waiting on Widows: The Greek Widows in the Early Church Gain Assistance (Acts 6:1-6)
Timothy Takes a Trip: Timothy Leaves All to Follow Paul (Acts 16:1-3)
My Big Fat Greek Adventure: Paul Makes His Way Through Macedonia (Acts 16:6-20:38)
Not for Profit Prophet: Paul Is Arrested for Healing a Demon-Possessed Girl (Acts 16:16-18)
Let the Areopagus Games Begin: Dionysius and Damaris Become Believers (Acts 17:15-34)
A Gentile in the Synagogue: Titius Justus, a Gentile, Adds to the Diversity of the Church (Acts 18:1-17)
The Dynamic Duo: Priscilla and Aquila Join Paul's Missionary Entourage (Acts 18:1-3 and 18-26)
All for One and One for All: Paul Urges a Friend to Help Euodia and Syntyche Repair Their Broken Friendship (Philippians 4:2-3)
The Twelve Tasks of Titus: Titus Has a Lengthy To-do List as the Leader of the Church in Crete (Titus 1-3)

Part Six: Dashers and Vixens
"Esau" His Blessing Disappear: Esau Loses His Birthright and Blessing to His Younger Brother (Genesis 27)
The Trickster Trailed: Jacob Is on the Run from His Uncle Laban (Genesis 28-31)
Tempting Tamar: Tamar Dresses as a Prostitute to Tempt Her Father-in-Law (Genesis 38)
Dash from Danger: Joseph Runs from Potiphar's Wife to Avoid Committing Adultery (Genesis 39)
Moses, Murder, and Mayhem: Moses Runs from Pharaoh after Murdering an Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-25)
Delilah's Deception: Delilah Deceives Samson (Judges 16)
Only Fools Rush In: Saul Hurriedly Offers a Sacrifice and Loses His Crown over It (1 Samuel 13)
Band on the Run: David Amasses a Group of Fighting Men and Spends Years Running from Saul (1 Samuel 19-29)
A Hairy Situation: Absalom Winds Up on the Run after Trying to Take His Father's Kingdom (2 Samuel 13-18)
Led Astray: Solomon's Wives Lead Him Away from God (1 Kings 11)
Dashing from the Vixen: Elijah Dashes Past Ahab's Chariot — and from the Vixen Jezebel (1 Kings 18:44-19:3)
A Not-So-Great Grandma: Joash Barely Survives the Death Plot of His Grandmother, Athaliah (2 Kings 11:1-16)
The Dance of Death: Two Vixens, a Dance, and a Grisly Death (Matthew 14:1-12)
The First Streaker: Mark Runs Naked Through the Garden after Jesus Is Arrested (Mark 14:51-52)
A Loose Woman: A Samaritan Woman Meets the Savior (John 4)
Caught in the Act: A Woman Is Arrested for Committing Adultery (John 8:1-11)
A Runaway Slave: Onesimus Runs Away and Then Must Return (Philemon 1-25)

Topical Index Scripture Reference Index Index to the Charts

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