"Unseen realm" review
In Dr Michael Heiser's book "The Unseen Realm" He takes you to a place very few have: The ancient Semitic worldview.
Not merely a grammar or a text book on archaeological discovery, but a genuine look into the mind of an ancient Semite.
For someone like me that is significant, let me explain why,
As someone that studied their Bible when I was younger I had questions that no one could answer for me, and it was frustrating!
I remember reading reading 2 Samuel 1:18, because I loved reading about young David, it reminded me of Robin Hood! realizing that I wanted to read the rest of the story I turned to the table of contents to find the book of Jasher, as I was instructed by the Bible to do.
I couldn't find it! The table of contents had to be wrong, it said right there to read it!
I turned and looked for it between the books, maybe they missed it during printing. Nothing.
I asked my mother about it, and she said it was not inspired, so we couldn't read it.
What?! I thought she must be crazy, because the Bible isn't going to tell me to read something I'm not supposed to!
If that wasn't bad enough I found it in the book of Joshua as well!
What the hey!
I started finding more weird things in the Bible; for example it talks about angels doing odd things in the book of Jude and imprisoned spirits under the desert.
What was going on, and why were there no good references to these things?
No one wanted to talk about this stuff, I kept asking, no one was answering.
Sure I would get pat answers, but they were merely deflection, because either they didn't know or didn't want me to know.
My journey eventually (decades later after coming back to my faith) took me into into extra biblical texts.
There was one instant in particular that shocked me.
I was reading through Genesis, and it dawned on me that the timelines were not correct, how could Lucifer be cast out in the garden in chapter three but a rebellion take place in chapter six?
The timelines were not right.
I went to my pastor and asked him "were there two rebellions in heaven?"
He quickly pulled me too the side and said "we have a hard enough time getting people to understand that Jesus is their savior, we can't teach that".
So I repeated the question.
He said "yes, but we can't teach that".
My eyes were opening.
I spent a lot of time in deuterocanonical books after that and searching through ancient writing.
But it was hard because I worked full time and taught martial arts in the weekend (still do) and had three kids to take care of (now five).
Dr Heiser has made this journey easy for us.
He not only has answered my questions through peer reviewed papers and dissertations, but also answered questions that I never thought to ask!
Instead of this journey taking years, just sift through fact from fiction as I had to do, he offers you the chance to make your Bible new again by explaining it the way it was written, in a clear, concise manner that anyone can not only understand, but appreciate.
I wish this was here twenty years ago, my personal journey of faith would have been fuller from it.
However I'm glad it is here now, because it is through these pages that people can come to fully embrace their bibles again, see them as brand knew with eyes of wonder.
You will feel like a kid again, discovering the secrets embedded within the ancient text.