Title: Rose Guide to the Temple
Author: Dr. Randall Price
Major Themes: Jewish History, Bible Lands, Bible Times
Synopsis: An overview of the Biblical temple throughout the thousands of years of Jewish history, right up through to the history of the Dome of the Rock today.
Several years ago, I picked up Rose Guide to the Temple when at a friend’s house—and got distracted reading it when I should have been paying more attention to my job there. Oops. Seeing that it looked quite fascinating, I borrowed it and brought it home—but for many months, it languished on the top of my desk, just within view, where I’d wipe the dust off periodically and wish I’d finally be able to sit down and just read it. That never happened. Somehow, there’s never enough time to really sit down and focus on a book that while interesting, isn’t as gripping as a novel. Recently, I discovered that occasionally throughout my day, I have ten-minute slots of time to spend on something other than screen time—and I was able to put some of that time toward reading this book. And voila—before I knew it, I had finished the book!
Starting with the tabernacle, and how God instructed Moses to build, furnish, and use it, this book follows the temple’s history through to modern times. There’s a lot of information packed into these pages—many full-color, large-scale images, and several fold-out pages that help illustrate different points better. The copy I read was spiral bound, which I thought was a bit of a shame—it would make it easier to tear pages out accidentally. But the content itself is excellent. I never realized before that the tabernacle and temple had to face east, for example—and this book explains why. And though I’d heard that Mt. Moriah was significant in both Abraham and David’s lives—and that the temple was built on it—I’d never really put all the pieces together about that. So the mentions of how the temple was built upon (and around) the mountaintop were quite interesting.
It’s hard to know how to quantify this book; it tells the story of the temple, but it also tells the story of the histories surrounding the temple throughout the ages. There are multiple, detailed timelines telling about Jewish history. Charts showing comparisons of the Old and New Testaments, multiple illustrations showing all the different parts of the temple in its different stages . . . the list goes on and on. From the stones used to build the temple, through to the different rooms in it and their various uses, and an explanation of the different offerings that would have been offered there—this is a complex, well-researched book (and well-documented in the bibliography). One thing I particularly loved was that though this is focused primarily on the temple, what it was, and what it meant to the people worshiping there, this also has a strong focus on Jesus, and how many elements were foreshadowing His coming.
I found Rose Guide to the Temple fascinating. It’s well worth the time spent on it. I could easily see it being used as a textbook for a high school student’s Biblical curriculum one year—for example, there are multiple opportunities a seeking student could use to dig into the parallel Biblical passages more. Or perhaps the archeological discoveries would be of interest, so they could use this book as a catalyst to research into those more. This book gives an excellent overview, but I’m sure there is plenty more that could be learned on this topic. Overall, if you or someone you know is interested to learn more about the Bible and the Holy Lands, this would be an excellent book to invest in.
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults