God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life

by Eric D. Huntsman

God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life
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"So much more than a simple book full of stories, songs and pictures; it can be used all year long whenever we want a way to revisit the power and majesty of the Savior fulfilling his mission and ponder our place in it as well."
—Beth W. Roach for the Association for Mormon Letters

"There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter," taught President Gordon B. Hinckley. "The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection."

With this deeper understanding given by a modern prophet, Latter-day Saints have an increased opportunity during the period from Palm Sunday to Easter morning to reflect upon the last days of our Lord's earthly ministry.

In God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life, author Eric D. Huntsman takes us on a scriptural journey through the last week of our Savior's mortal life, culminating in His atoning sacrifice and joyous resurrection. The author, by drawing on his wide knowledge of historical context, cultural background, and biblical insights, increases our understanding of these momentous events and helps us draw closer to the Savior. Full-color fine-art paintings, photographs, maps, music, and topics for personal reflection are included to enhance our commemoration of Easter week.

Brother Huntsman writes, "Each year has its rhythms with the passage of summer to fall, winter, and at last, again, spring. Holidays are part of that rhythm, helping us remember realities greater than mere seasons, and Easter, together with Christmas, can anchor each year securely in the promises of Jesus Christ."

This beautiful volume suggests meaningful ways for Latter-day Saints to refocus their Easter celebrations on the culminating events of the Savior's ministry. Whether used as a personal or family study guide or as a model for a devotional celebration of Easter week, God So Loved the World is a must-have addition to the library of every Latter-day Saint.

    Rediscovering Easter
  • Palm Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Saturday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Choosing Easter
    Appendix: The Gospels as Sources, a Chronology, and Symbolism
  • Jesus in the Four Gospels
  • Jesus during His Last Week
  • Jesus as the Anointed One
  • Notes

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based upon 7 reviews
Just in time for Easter!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Eric Huntsman’s timely volume, “God So Loved the World,” is a stunning example of the way that faith and scholarship can come together to produce a book that will both add to your testimony of the Savior’s atoning mission as well as enrich and deepen your understanding of the scriptures.

Each chapter of the book examines one day of “Holy Week,” the final week of Jesus’ life. In addition to detailed commentary on the events and teachings of each day, there are photographs, artwork, sidebars, and text boxes that are designed to supplement and enrich your study of the scriptural accounts.

The book is visually very impressive, and is particularly noteworthy for the liberal use of artwork drawn from the rich body of Christian religious art. Though some selections are the familiar works of LDS artists, most of the art will be new to many readers. Each work of art has been carefully chosen and is used not just to illustrate specific scriptural events but often even to evoke the mood appropriate to the events of that day (see “Grey Day at Golgotha,” pg 70). Photographs of important locations in and around Jerusalem have also been included to help the reader better understand the geographical and archaeological setting of the gospels.

From a devotional perspective, this book is designed in such a way that any family or individual can use it to guide their study and reflection of the events of Jesus’ final days. The text boxes are often filled with explanation that brings in unique LDS insight and restoration scripture. Musical suggestions that resonate with the themes and events of each day are also included with each chapter to be incorporated into one’s Easter worship. As with the artwork, the musical selections are drawn not just from the familiar hymns of the church but from some of the great works of classical music (such as Handel’s “Messiah” or Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion”).

This book will be equally rewarding for the serious student of the scriptures. The text itself is replete with historical, linguistic, and cultural commentary that help to illuminate the unique perspectives, themes, and emphases of each gospel author. Several of the text boxes delve deeper into various historical or linguistic matters and introduce the reader to important issues of biblical scholarship. A glance at the ample footnotes demonstrates the breadth of scholarship that is represented, and an impressive bibliography will allow those desiring additional study several avenues for further inquiry. As such, this is an excellent resource for preparing talks, lessons for Sunday School or family home evening, or for simply deepening one’s understanding of the scriptures.

Huntsman’s masterful combination of both a scholarly and devotional approach to scripture study makes this a book that will appeal to a broad audience. At a time when it is all too easy to get caught up in the cultural trappings of Easter, this book will help our worship of the savior to become more focused, and give us a greater understanding of the meaning and significance of his atoning sacrifice.

This book is a great resource for families to deepen the meaningfulness of their Easter Celebration.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I loved this book! It walks day by day through the Savior's last week, starting with Palm Sunday. I had studied these events numerous times independently, but never understood the richness of the symbolism - or how the events all fit together to testify of Jesus' divinity. Brother Huntsman seamlessly weaves his knowledge of ancient languages and history with his faithful understanding of the purpose of the Atonement and Resurrection. We are using this as our FHE text for the month. We are all learning from it! I highly recommend it as a wonderful tool to enrich your family Easter celebrations and traditions.

Perfect for Easter celebration
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This is an excellent book if you're looking for real ways to actually celebrate Easter. There are so many books that help us celebrate Christmas, but none for Easter...until now! Love this book! Getting it for friends and family.

About the Author

Eric D. Huntsman

ERIC D. HUNTSMAN is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, where he serves as the coordinator of the Ancient Near Eastern Studies program in the Kennedy Center for International Studies and is affiliated with the Classics program. After graduating from BYU in classical Greek and Latin, he earned a Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the BYU faculty in 1994. The author of the acclaimed God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life and Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior's Birth, both from Deseret Book, Dr. Huntsman has also published numerous articles on the New Testament and the writings of John. He served as a full-time missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as a bishop in Provo, Utah. Brother Huntsman is an ordinance worker in the Provo Utah Temple and sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He and his wife, Elaine Scott Huntsman, are the parents of two children.

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