Loading

Book Reivew: 'Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes'

Annette K. Tenny

Image courtesy of Annette K. Tenny

"Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes"
Author: Barbara Hosbach
Publisher: Franciscan Media, 2012

I freely admit it. I loved this title from the moment I saw it.

Moreover, the title of Barbara Hosbach’s book did exactly what a title should. It grabbed my attention and made me curious about what exactly, might lie between the covers.

After all, the Bible is full of stories about human beings interacting with God. Feckless, broken, confused human beings. The beginning of the title is apt for sure and we can relate to it even now, thousands of years later. Who among us, brothers and sisters, couldn’t use "Fools, Liars and Cheaters" as the title of a family memoir maybe with ourselves in the staring role?

It’s the second half of the title that gave me pause – Bible heroes? That’s not to say there aren’t heroes in the Bible – Moses, David, and Joshua ... They had their faults but not in the same league as fools, liars and cheaters.

One look at the Table of Contents however, made clear Hosbach didn’t go near the "usual suspects." Several of the names were known to me, but not necessarily well known. Some didn’t ring a bell at all. While some of the people Hosbach chose for her book were movers and shakers of the ancient world, many more were average folks trying to live their lives as best they could. Another satisfying surprise, revealed in the Table of Contents – nearly half of the stories are about women. Yes, I counted. Yes, it matters.

Barbara Hosbach has worked with Catechumens and Candidates for nearly twenty years. This book is aimed squarely towards adults in RCIA formation however; Catholic school and Faith Formation teens and young adults are a great fit for this book as well.

Hosbach divides the book into stories from the Old and New Testaments. The stories from the Old Testament are culled from the books in the order they are found in the Bible. This gives the reader a general time frame and historical perspective. In both sections of the book she gives scriptural references as she tells the stories rather than as notes at the end of each chapter. Hosbach chooses her references well teaching the reader without them realizing they’re being taught. For example, in the story of Leah, Hosbach writes:

“After all, it was not through Jacob’s favorite wife or favorite sons that the promised Messiah came: It was through Leah’s son Judah. The book of Revelation refers to Jesus as ”the Lion of the tribes of Judah” (5.5). God also chose the tribe of Leah’s son Levi in lieu of the firstborn sons of Israel. Members of the tribe of Levi were appointed by God to serve in the tent of God’s presence (see Numbers 3:5-13).

Within each of her stories, Hosbach weaves these references, these scriptural threads, into the tapestry that is Salvation History.

At the end of each chapter, Hosbach gives the reader four questions for reflection and/or discussion. When I first received "Fools, Liars and Cheaters and Other Bible Heroes", I read some of these questions before starting the book and found the few I read, disappointing. They seemed too obvious, too simple, really. After reading the first story however, I found out how wrong my first impression was.

If I asked you, out of nowhere, so to speak, what skills or abilities do you have that you could share to further God’s kingdom you might be stumped. If I asked a teenager, I might be rewarded with a sigh, a roll of the eyes, a shrug of the shoulders and a barely audible, “I dunno”. Furthering God’s kingdom seems like a job for… somebody else.

But! Read Tabitha’s story as told by Hosbach first then ask yourself or your class that question and I guarantee the question will not disappoint. Now you have someone to think about, someone to talk about who relates to the question and just as importantly, someone you or your class can relate to as well. Tabitha wasn’t a queen; she wasn’t a ruler or leader or someone who had wealth and power. She was a seamstress. She looked out for her neighbors, she did what she could. After reading her story in Hosbach’s book, now you or your students or your kids can see that furthering God’s kingdom is something anyone can do.

At 137 pages, Hosbach’s book easily fits into a classroom or bedtime reading schedule.

Barbara Hosbach, member of the Catholic Writers Guild, speaker, and retreat facilitator belongs to the Diocese of Trenton New Jersey. She can be found on the web here.

Her book "Fools, Liars, Cheaters and Other Bible Heroes" can be found here.

Topics: Books , Church history , Scripture

Annette K. Tenny is a free-lance writer, member of the Catholic Writers Guild and regular contributor to the Catholic News Herald, the Charlotte, N.C. diocesan newspaper. She is finishing her second year of Lay Ministry studies and working on her first non-fiction book. The Catholic Writers Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing a community of faithful Catholic writers, artists and editors. We offer books that are exciting, thought provoking, funny, spiritually uplifting and always, in word and spirit, authentically Catholic.


View all articles by Annette K. Tenny

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (48)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (3)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (17)  Church teaching (32)  Contraception (26)  Culture (123)  Current Events (95)  Dating (15)  Death (6)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (14)  Eucharist (4)  Exercise (3)  Faith (224)  Family (89)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (14)  Fertility (2)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (18)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (14)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (13)  Liturgical Year (11)  Marian devotion (9)  Marriage (36)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (3)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (5)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (58)  Movies (2)  Music (5)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (44)  Personal Growth (106)  Politics (4)  Pope Francis (3)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (34)  Pro-Life (27)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (7)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (11)  Religious Vocation (1)  Saints (15)  Scripture (7)  Service (8)  Sexuality (19)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (15)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  United Nations (1)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (6)  Women's Health (20)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (10)  Young Women (40) 

Sep
19

Liturgical Calendar

September 19, 2014

Friday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:1-3

Gospel
Date
09/19/14
09/18/14
09/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 15: 12-20
Gospel:: Lk 8: 1-3

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/19/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:1-3

Homily
Date
09/19/14
09/18/14
09/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: