Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled

Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled

by Paula Parker

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780780979
Publisher: Authentic Publishers
Publication date: 09/10/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 995,179
File size: 565 KB

About the Author

Paula K. Parker is a nationally recognized playwright, author, and freelance writer. She is highly respected in the Christian entertainment industry and is frequently called upon to write about it. She has contributed more than 1000 articles, personality profiles, and CD, book, and theatrical reviews to such national publications as Christian Single Magazine, Profile Magazine, ParentLife Magazine, and Clarity Magazine.When she is not writing, Paula whiles away the hours with her writer/actor husband Mike, visiting with their five grown children, playing in their gardens, restoring their vintage home, cooking, baking (especially anything chocolatey) and playing the harp.

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Sisters Of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved stories from antiquity. The Iliad and the Odyssey, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, stories of Romulus and Remus, Thor and Loki and the frost giants, Athens and Sparta – they were my favs. I think one of the reasons I loved those tales was, they didn’t pull any punches. Helen and Paris were portrayed as flesh and blood lovers, Menelaus was a raging cuckolded husband, Odysseus was a crafty and cunning warrior. To my young mind they were real. Contrast that with the flannel board Bible stories I heard in Sunday School. Noah and the ark were made of felt. David might have slain Goliath, but I don’t remember any blood being spilled. Adam and Eve were always strategically placed to cover their unmentionables. In short, those magnificent tales from the ancient middle east were reduced to two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs, devoid of passion, emotion, danger or suspense. No wonder it was more fun to read about the 300 Spartans than the 12 Disciples. Perhaps that is one reason I enjoyed Sister of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled so much. Author Paula K. Parker took the familiar Biblical characters of Lazarus, the man Jesus raised from the dead, along with his two sisters Mary and Martha, off the flannel board and dressed them in flesh and bone. She set them in a real world of sweat and dust and political unrest and religious zeal. And she didn’t try to preach. Instead, she simply told a story of what might have been. Even though Lazarus and his sisters are among the most prominent New Testament characters after Jesus and his disciples, there really isn’t that much detail about their lives recorded in scripture. And even though I have a bachelor’s degree in Bible, I can’t say I’m all that familiar with everyday life in Judea during the time of the Caesars. That’s where Ms. Parker’s narrative really shines. She talks about the marketplace, the daily routine, the customs and fashions and local gossip of the day as if she actually experienced it. And the family dynamics of this First Century Jewish family are as real and intricate as any modern family. Martha is a natural manager but she is nothing to look at, and she knows it. Mary is a natural beauty, but she can’t boil water without burning it, and she knows it. Sparks fly between the two more often than not, and poor Lazarus is stuck in the middle with the job of peacemaker, and he knows it. They are a functional, if somewhat dysfunctional, family – just like most modern families – that pull together during the hard times, rejoice together doing the good times and fuss and feud the rest of the time. Contemporary sermons tend to focus on the event of Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet while Martha served, getting her nose bent out of shape in the process. Those sermons typically end with the question: “Are you a Mary, or a Martha?” with the obvious indication that being Martha is bad while being Mary is good. Ms. Parker’s tale sets that notion on its head, although I won’t spoil the scene for you. It’s too much fun to read for yourself. Bottom line: Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled is classic Biblical fiction, right up there with The Robe, Quo Vadis, Two From Galilee and Ben-Hur.
Read-by-Glowlight More than 1 year ago
The Bible is written with such succinct brevity, it leaves room for imagination. We might wonder what was said in an entire conversation, what people looked like, and what customs and traditions were behind certain actions. In Sisters of Lazarus, Paula K. Parker turns her imagination into a story about the lives of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, the man Jesus raised from the dead. We know from Scripture that Jesus was friends with this family and that He stopped in to visit and dine with them. We also know there was a conflict on one occasion between the two sisters, because Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was leaving all the dinner preparations to her while she sat leisurely enjoying listening to Jesus’ teaching. (Luke 10:38-42) The first chapter of Sisters of Lazarus opens with a major conflict between Mary and Martha. Mary returns home from the market with a mirror. This sets off an argument that ends when Martha slaps Mary so hard across the face, she knocks her to the floor and gives her a bruise. At this point, older brother Lazarus comes home and commands Mary to apologize to Martha for “making” her lash out in anger. It seems Mary has quite a reputation for being a little prima donna and the two older siblings have had enough of it. Personally, I never envisioned Mary as the spoiled baby of the family, especially since Jesus praised her for giving priority to spiritual desires over the mundane. I also never envisioned Mary as petite and pretty, and Martha as large and homely. But then, who’s to say? This is fiction, so the character development is author’s choice. My favorite part of the book is the authentic customs that are woven into the story. For example, in Chapter 5 “Consecrated”: “Since his childhood Lazarus had known that most marriages were nothing more than a business contract between families or a treaty between kingdoms. The marriages were arranged by parents—with the bride and groom often not meeting until their betrothal—such as his uncle’s marriage to Naomi the daughter of a member of the Sanhedrin. Occasionally, however, a young man might be allowed to express his desire for a particular woman… “Ahhh, Lazarus thought, suppressing a smile, now I understand his (the uncle’s) excitement. If I couldn’t marry his daughter, this marriage is equally acceptable. Through my marriage, he will be related to Rabbi Nicodemus. Joktan fetched a wooden box with his writing implements and several blank sheets of parchment and the two men spent the afternoon discussing the mohar, the gift given to the bride’s father.” Ultimately, this is a story about two women who struggle with self-worth, a timeless and timely issue. The author hopes that in reading, each woman will discover her own beauty in the eyes of the Lord. Recommended for those who enjoy biblical fiction.
debforb56 More than 1 year ago
The book Sisters Of Lazarus by Paula Parker is a look at Martha and Mary in a way that shows the struggles of life they might have had. This is an interesting look into the lives of Martha, Mary, Lazarus and also the Jewish traditions and life. It gives the authors idea on what Martha and Mary might have been like. She takes what we know from the Bible and takes it a step further to make both of the sisters more real. They have some of the same struggles and concerns that we have in being accepted. Martha is the one who struggles with how she looks, but she is dependable and the one who is the caregiver for her brother and sister. Mary is the free spirit, who is beautiful and knows it. She is carefree and the one who is more likely to do something on a whim. Paula Parker tries through her fiction account to explain why each sister is the way they are and you can understand more why when Mary uses the expensive perfume and pours it on Jesus' head, how this might be misunderstood by the practical Martha. Or why Martha would be upset with Mary for not helping her prepare the meal for Jesus and the disciples. I think that this book is a way to get to know the sisters through fiction but also it helps to look at the Mary and Martha in the Bible differently with more understanding. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and enjoyed reading it and while reading this book I read about the Sisters from the Bible too which was fantastic. The book is worth taking time to read. I was given an ebook from NetGallery to read and give an honest review. The opinion's are all mine
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MRTCNGC More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading The Sisters of Lazarus because I always like possible additional information about the characters mentioned in the Gospels!
KitMH More than 1 year ago
This story gives the reader a better understanding regarding the Bible's mention of Lazarus. It could have actually happened the way this story is told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed the account, based on biblical accounts of the times and people of the period, of Lazarus sisters, Mary and Martha. It was moving and beautiful and never strayed from the truth of the bible.