The Family of Jesus

The Family of Jesus

by Karen Kingsbury


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476707372
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Series: Life-Changing Bible Study Series , #1
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen books have topped bestseller charts and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. Karen lives in Tennessee with her husband Don and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their actress daughter Kelsey is married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky.

#1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Karen’s last dozen books have topped bestseller charts and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. She desperately wants the world to share her heartfelt view of the characters in the life of Jesus. Karen lives in Tennessee with her husband Don and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their actress daughter Kelsey is married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky.

Table of Contents

Story 1 Joseph-The Protective Stepfather 1

Story 2 Zechariak-The Knowing Uncle 39

Story 3 John the Baptist-The Chosen Cousin 69

Story 4 Elizabeth-The Faithful Aunt 99

Story 5 James-The Doubting Brother 121

Story 6 Mary-The Loving Mother 147

Weekly Application and Group Discussion Guide Introduction 191

Study 1 Joseph 195

Study 2 Zechurich 209

Study 3 John the Baptist 225

Study 4 Elizabeth 239

Study 5 James 255

Study 6 Mary 271

Acknowledgments 287

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The Family of Jesus 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
girlsmama More than 1 year ago
The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury offers a brand new idea- the idea of Biblical Christian fiction paired up with a bible study section to bring together a brand new experience for her readers. This concept is a good one I think, as I know personally when I read good Biblical fiction, it sends me running to my Bible to see if what the writer’s imagination has come up with is “plausible” in terms of matching up with what the Bible says about that particular person in the scripture. This is exactly what Karen Kingsbury set out to do by using Bible scholars to help her in terms of running these stories by them to see if they could be possible. And so, while we do get a look at the relatives of Jesus in a brand new way with the lovely help of Karen Kingsbury, it is refreshing then to spend some time at the back of the book as she provides 5 days of actual study into the character that she wrote about. And in the end, just as she hoped by taking this journey in learning about the “family of Jesus”, it helps you to love Jesus that much more. The book opens with the story of Joseph, described as the protective stepfather and what his journey might have been like, his relationship with Mary, etc. We then move to Zechariah, the knowing Uncle, John the Baptist, the chosen cousin, Elizabeth, the faithful aunt, James, the doubting brother and of course ends, with Mary, the loving Mother. In usual Karen Kingsbury style, the reader can’t help but engage with the characters and be moved as you witness the great love shown in the relationships such as in Mary and Joseph’s relationship at the onset in hearing that Mary is pregnant.  You see great faith in the impossible in Elizabeth’s life and heart as the impossible came to pass and great sacrifice in the life of John the Baptist as his whole life was preparing for Jesus and then dying as well. And as a mother, my heart was moved, of course, by Mary’s story, a mother just wanting to save her son, but helpless to do so. Love, sacrifice, and faith and of course the tears were flowing- grab your Kleenex box as you fully engage with this story.  I greatly enjoyed the journey. As always when you are reading something like this where there is a fictional component, it’s wise to keep the two separate in terms of what we know scripturally versus what can be possible. But I think the beauty and value in this is remembering that they were real people with real emotions, struggles and joys and heartbreak. In taking this journey, it helps to bring these character’s alive in a new and precious way. I am glad that I took this journey and hope that you take it as well, and fully engage in both parts- the story section on the character as well as the bible study section as it makes for a very moving experience and one that makes you dig into these character’s lives through the Bible as well.   4 stars. I was given a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Read-by-Glowlight More than 1 year ago
In the Bible, stories are told with such brevity that a person can’t help but wonder about the details. For example, we know so little about Joseph, the man married to the mother of Jesus. There is not one quotation by him in the gospels. It leaves a lot to the imagination. Karen Kingsbury, New York Times bestselling novelist with over 20 million award-winning copies of her books in print, is up for the challenge. In this beautifully produced book, she has filled in the details and dialogue for scenes from six people who were close to Jesus. The result is biblical fiction at its best. The first chapter opens with a scenes that shows Joseph distracted from his carpentry work by the wild orchids. He picks a bouquet to take to his fiancée Mary when he goes to visit her at her parents’ house. The orchids become a symbol for his love. Later, after he learns of Mary’s pregnancy and he thinks she has been unfaithful, he “walks past a field of fading orchids.” At the end of the chapter when Joseph is dying, he wishes he could have one more day to pick orchids for Mary. What beautiful story telling! Reading the chapter sent me straight to the gospels to read again exactly what the Scriptures do and don’t say. Did Mary really disappear without a word to her fiancé Joseph when she traveled a five-day journey to visit Elizabeth? It seems odd and out of character to me, for her to abandon the man she’s in love with, leaving him wondering and worrying for three whole months. But who’s to say? The Bible doesn’t reveal the details. I respect the fact that Karen Kingsbury had her pastor check the stories to make sure there were no contradictions with the Scriptures. As I read on, other questions arose. Did Mary and Joseph know one another since they were kids? Were they lifelong friends who fell in love? For me, that doesn’t seem as romantic as meeting at the market and feeling the spark of attraction from the first moment their eyes met, with Joseph looking a little too long and inquiring among friends as to who the beauty is, and Mary secretly hoping to run into him again. But who can say how they met and fell in love? Maybe Kingsbury is right, and they were childhood friends. Other chapters are about Zechariah, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, James, and Mary. For each chapter there is a corresponding Bible study with historic facts, Scriptures, and thought-provoking questions. This is my favorite part of the book. This is where I felt like I got to know the real Joseph as the loving husband, stepfather, and follower of God. I recommend this book for those who enjoy biblical fiction. I am grateful to the publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book in exchange for my candid review.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories about the family of Jesus. Karen Kingsbury brought these stories from the Bible to a more vivid reality. It starts out with Joseph—and as we know, very little is written about him in the Bible. He is a perfect example of how Kingsbury has brought his extraordinary story to life. She also did this with Zechariah, Elizabeth, and James. The most powerful story is that of Mary, and again, Kingsbury brought the love and joy in her life as well as her heartbreak to intense realism. Although much literary license has been taken in the telling of these stories, they will only help the reader cherish these Bible stories even more. We grow to understand His family and imagine the life and times they lived in, and more than anything else, to understand the love that Jesus had for His family and all mankind.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE FAMILY OF JESUS by Karen Kingsbury is a spiritual Bible Study & Reference/New Testament/Biography. #1 in the "Life-Changing Bible Study Series/Heart of the Collection" series. An interesting take of Jesus' relative. "In The Family of Jesus, Karen offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, all anchored by Scriptural truth, creating a life-changing and unprecedented emotional connection to the Bible." A collection of short stories. It will give you a connection to Jesus' family you never thought to gain though reading the Bible. Some of the characters are said to be the closest to Jesus...Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, Zechariah, Jesus' brother James, and Elizabeth, each has a compelling tale to tell itself. Although, I had a difficult time understanding or getting into the story. I believe, it is more of a fictional telling of Jesus' family, therefore, it was hard to wrap your mind around it and separate facts from fiction. It was difficult to embrace the concept. I love Ms. Kingsbury's books but this one I had difficulty reading. I do plan to try to re-read at a later date. I understand it is a fictional tale of Jesus' and his family that is to help the reader connect on a personal level with the Bible. Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 3 HEAT RATING: NONE REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
VicG More than 1 year ago
Karen Kingsbury in her new book, “The Family Of Jesus” Book One in the Life-Changing Bible Study Series published by Howard Books gives us America’s favorite inspirational storyteller brings the family of Jesus to life. From the back cover:  Meet the family closest to Jesus… Joseph, His stepfather: the protector of Jesus Zechariah, His uncle: a priest who waited on God Elizabeth, His aunt:  A woman who faithfully believed in the impossible John the Baptist, His cousin:  a man whose whole life meant dying for Jesus James, His brother:  a man whose regret turned to joy Mary, His mother:  a woman desperate to save her son from the one mission she couldn’t stop These are their stories. Each has a compelling tale to tell.  Based on The Bible and interspersed with emotionally gripping fictional details as well as historical and theological insights, the stories of Jesus’ family will shed new light on God’s Word. Read and imagine The Bible like never before. Karen Kingsbury brings her incredible talent as an author to write this wonderful insight into six members of Jesus’ family.  In six chapters Ms. Kingsbury shows us the individuals we have read about all our lives in a brand new manner.  Then after we have been drawn into their lives we are given the six weekly application and group discussion guides for each person. You probably never looked at these people like this before but the insights you will get from their humanity and their willingness to serve God will move your spirit.  This is a life-changing read.  It will make a great gift for family and friends. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books for this review.   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.”
Flats33 More than 1 year ago
This is a phenomenal book! Karen writes in such a way that it feels as though you are actually a part of the book. It's like you're walking down the road right next to Jesus and his family members, experiencing what they are experiencing. It truly helped the Bible stories that I've known from childhood come alive in a vibrant way. I also loved the Bible study at the end of the book. The questions were so thought-provoking and really challenged me to dig deeper into the stories and my own personal relationship with Jesus. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the Bible and loves to read fiction and/or Karen's books. It's a perfect mix of both. It expands on the Bible stories in a thoughtful way but it doesn't alter God's word in any way. You'll love it - I promise!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope this series continues for years to come! I have learned more about these characters of the Bible from this book and study more than any book or study on the Bible. Karen Kingsbury's detailed interactions with each of the members of "The Family of Jesus" brought to light what each member was experiencing. I have not seen this kind of detail even in Bible commentaries. I come away from the study more knowledgeable about "The Family of Jesus."
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Family of Jesus is a collection of short stories of the relatives to Jesus. The story of Joseph is about the earthly father of Jesus. It tells how Mary and him met and became betrothed. I loved to read about Joseph’s love he had for Mary. Then I could just feel the turmoil and anger he felt when Mary told him that she was pregnant. Then the feelings turned to belief and joy. The story continues to the glorious birth and beyond. The story Zechariah is about the husband of Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth. It discusses his and Elizabeth’s struggles with infertility issues. Then she becomes pregnant with John (the Baptist). The story of John the Baptist is about the cousin of Jesus and the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah. It tells of John’s life as the preacher and baptizer of the people. The story of Elizabeth is about Mary’s cousin and mother of John the Baptist. It shows an inspiring way how she worked through her grief with faith. The story of James is about the brother of Jesus. It tells of how life was like living with Jesus growing up and how James struggles with his faith. The story of Mary is about the mother of Jesus. This is the most powerful and glorious story of them all. I really could feel the love she had for her son and Savior. The last part of the book is a five day discussion and study guide for each of the stories. Which also includes a section about each of these family members and what the scripture in the Bible says about them. I really enjoyed this section. My thoughts of this book is that it is really good. It brings life to those who lived with and knew Jesus. It is an inspiring, powerful, and enlightening read. I highly recommend this book! I think it would be great to use for book clubs and Bible study groups. 5 stars. I received this book for free from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review which was given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
swimreadbreathe4JC More than 1 year ago
The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury is a unique book. I have not read much from Karen Kingsbury (gasp! I know! My mom and several of my friends have read her works, but for some reason, they usually don't hold my interest), but what I have read from her is contemporary works, so to read a biblical fiction/Bible study was interesting. Ms. Kingsbury wove in fictional details about Biblical characters lives with the intent of making Bible study and characters more interesting and relatable to us. This was tastefully and creatively done, and I think it is a neat idea. This would be a great conversation starter in a book club, or a neat study for a Sunday school group. There are correlating study guides and DVDs that can be purchased in addition to the book also. Thank you so much to Net Galley and Howard Books publishers for providing me with an electronic copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive, nor were they affected by anything other than the book itself. I was not compensated beyond receiving the book itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChasRay0 More than 1 year ago
I don't know what I was expecting when I purchased this book but I can definitely tell you what I got. I got a heartwarming and sometimes wrenching story that took the Bible off the black and white pages and brought it to life. I cried in every story. My heart broke along with Mary as she's watching Jesus being crucified on the cross. I smiled as Joseph brought Mary orchids. I felt John the Baptist's doubts as he's in prison wondering "what is God's plan?". I can go on and on. You can tell Karen put a lot of thought and prayer into this book and was exceptionally careful not to taint the facts but to enhance the story and characters with fictional details. I will definitely be sharing this book with my friends! It is also a great way to share the life of Jesus and witness to someone.
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Another beautifully written story. Thank God for you and your amazing gift of Christian storytelling. LA-TXN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully written. For me it made Mary more real. The blessings and struggles they endured more emotional. I would highly recommend this book! Karen has an amazing gift of storytelling.
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cp68 More than 1 year ago
I found this book a very good read. It is divided up into informative chapters, each about a person in Jesus family and shows how each life was woven into His beautiful story. In the back there are questions which help one explore the relationships in Jesus life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I don't know what more that can be said that has not been said. Thank you Karen Kingsbury!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
With The Family of Jesus, Karen Kingsbury uses her talent to take her fans in a new direction. She has embarked on a storytelling journey into the realm of Biblical fiction. In my opinion it is some of the best work I have seen from her in a long time. That is not to say I haven't enjoyed her recent works, it is just that this book feels like her original writing. It is very engaging in its simply told stories.  I'm a very picky reader when it comes to Biblical fiction. I think there is a fine line that shouldn't be crossed and I'm happy to say that Karen stayed on the correct side of that line. In fact at the very beginning of the book she explained the parameters that she stuck to in telling the stories. "From the beginning as I undertook this project, I felt compelled by my love of the Bible to stick to some hard-and-fast ground rules. The most important was this: The stories had to be anchored in Scripture. In a way, I took the Bible verses on these real-life characters and stuck them like tent stakes in the desert sand. Nothing could ever violate those truths. Then I researched the cultural and geographical accuracy and made absolutely sure the tent of the stories didn't billow beyond that. But otherwise, I let the tent blow in the wind a little." So with that in mind I'm pleased to say that this was a wonderful journey through the life of Christ as seen through the eyes of those closest to Him. The story begins with Joseph and winds through Zechariah, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, James and then ends with His mother Mary. The stories are so well told that I found myself contemplating things that I had never really considered before. Such as how did Mary and Joseph's families feel about the situation. What kind of shame would be heaped upon Zachariah for remaining childless all those years? After all he is a priest and his offspring is expected to carry on that priestly line. What would John the Baptist be like as a child? The Scripture says he was filled with the Spirit from birth. How would that affect his actions and decisions? As you can see there is lots and lots to ponder during the telling of this line of stories. The second half of the book is made up of a six week Bible study that takes each of the characters presented and spends five days delving deeper into the background of that person. Each week then ends with a Group Discussion session. This book would make an excellent small-group study or even an extended Book Club read and discussion. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.