I have never read a book like this before – an enhanced ebook. I think what I just experienced is the future of book publishing.
First, the format of the book. I read this book on my iPad, as it was an iTunes book. There are videos embedded in the text. Tap the arrow and a short video by Dr. Young runs. There are also highlighted words, words in color. Tap on one of them and I was immediately taken to an article or some other resource on that topic. You would have to be reading the book in a wi-fi environment for those links to work.
This format was amazing. If I didn't know a technical word, tap, and there was a Wikipedia article.
Second, the content of the book. The full title of this book is Crushed: A Physician Analyzes the Agony of Jesus. I have never read such a complete study on the Passion of Jesus. First he lays the historical and biblical background. He relates a great deal of the Old Testament to the Passion. He includes the stories and ceremonies, not just the prophecies.
Then he investigates the actual Passion of Christ. The amount of information in this book is incredible. I have never read anything so detailed as to the physical experiences of Jesus during His Passion. He suggests Jesus' torture was much worse than those crucified with Him as they could carry their crosses while Jesus could not.
I had never read about the lictors before nor the game the Roman soldiers played called Basalinda. Young included insight into the shape of the crown of thorns and has a very moving section on Jesus' experience of hematidrosis, sweating blood. This condition made His skin hyper-sensitized so that the beating He experienced was all the more excruciating.
Young began studying the Passion of Jesus as a teenager. For the next three decades, he read hundreds of articles and books written from almost every possible perspective about the crucifixion of Christ and fulfillment of messianic prophecies. His research shows as there are some 40 pages of bibliography.
There was only one tiny aspect of the book I did not like and that was the inclusion of some fictional accounts at the beginning of a new section of the book. For example, he supposes the scene when Abraham is holding the knife over Isaac: “Sweat poured from his body... His hands trembled... His stomach churned...” That is conjecture as it is not in the biblical account. He also explored Aesop's fable of The Hare and the Tortoise. Although short, that section seemed irrelevant to me.
However, those accounts were a minor distraction for me. This enhanced ebook is so valuable for the information it contains, I highly recommend it. It would be a great book to get now so you can read it during Lent next year.
Dr. J. Shan Young holds a BA in History and an MD degree from Emory University, where he then served as Chief Administrative Resident. He's been named as a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and has been in private practice for over 20 years. He is a popular speaker at churches and conferences. Dr. Young and his wife have six children and three grandchildren. Find out more about him at www.jshanyoung.com.
Glass Road Media, 384 pages. It is available at the iBooks Store, Amazon, and bn.com.
I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from GlassRoad for the purpose of this review.