We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
- ISBN: 978-1845504144
- Pages: 192
- Price: £7.76
It is always a joy to read the stories of those who have come to faith in Christ as their personal Saviour, and in this book we have the testimonies of twenty-five such people – the ‘unusual suspects’ of the title.
They are ‘unusual’ in that, as they were all born Jews, they seemed unlikely to ever acknowledge Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. Because of their upbringing there would be this feeling that if a Jew did somehow become a Christian he or she would lose their Jewish identity.
These are stories of ordinary men and women. In childhood some were called ‘Christ-killers’ once it was realised that they were Jews. One was sent out of the house for mentioning the name of Jesus and told never to say ‘that name’ again.
Each testimony is an honest and down-to-earth record of the trials and mental struggles they experienced before coming to the realisation that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. With that realisation came the understanding that becoming a follower of Christ didn’t make them any less Jewish.
For some of these people it took many years to work through misunderstandings and misconceptions of Christians and the Christian faith. Conversion often brought alienation from families and, in common with all other Christians, they continue to experience difficulties and hardships. But now they have peace through Jesus, the Messiah, and their Jewish identities have extra meaning for them.
The testimonies are brief and easy to read – and also informative for those who know little of the Jewish people. Richard Gibson’s introduction is very helpful and I found the glossary especially useful as I read through the book.
Several years ago, when Richard Gibson gave an early manuscript of this book to a Jewish friend to ‘road test’, he was stunned when it became instrumental in this friend making a profession of faith in Jesus as his Messiah. What a recommendation for the book as an evangelistic tool amongst Jewish people – and maybe Gentiles too! But do read it and be encouraged before you pass it on.