Review: A year with Jesus

R. Gustason, 27 Nov 2011

A year with Jesus by R.P. Nettelhorst is a devotional designed to take you through Jesus' words in one year's time with a one to two paragraph devotional to reflect upon.  It is a paperback edition that I am reviewing, and it feels very flimsy and the paper appears to be low quality and will more than likely yellow after a short time.  I am not at all impressed by the physical quality of the book, binding included.  I have seen paperback or softcover books that were of much higher quality than this edition printed by Thomas Nelson.
As to the actual content, the book is divided into several sectional / topical headings which divide the 365 day journey thematically.  They are as follows:

  1. Love and Hate
  2. Truths and Lies
  3. Arrogance and Humility
  4. Friends and Enemies
  5. Belief and Disbelief
  6. Patience and Impatience
  7. Deserved and Undeserved
  8. Good and Evil
  9. Fidelity and Treachery
  10. Life and Death
Following this table of contents, a one page introduction to the devotional is presented stating the author's desire to get the reader involved with a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  After this short introduction, the devotional series begins using Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and so on to Day 365.
A pericope of scripture is written, displaying verses which contain Jesus' words.  These selections are taken from various translations such as HCSB, NKJV, CEV, NRSV, MSG et.al.  The typeset is easy enough to read but the low quality of the paper makes this devotional feel cheap.  Following that is a few paragraphs explaining the verses and how you can apply it to your life.  Pretty standard devotional stuff here.
The one plus I found in this devotional is the research into various terms.  For example, Day 3 describes the Latin phrase "lex talionis" or law of the tooth which describes some of the social customs that Semitic peoples practiced during the time of Abram and others continuing in the Law of Moses to Jesus' time.
A short biography of the author is found here. The author's website www.nettelhorst.com is a blog containing some interesting articles.
All-in-all I would not recommend this devotional.  Save your money and buy something a little higher quality.  Again, I am very disappointed in Thomas Nelson Publishers for putting a product out that is this low quality.  I expected better from them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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