Friday, December 23, 2016

Three Kings Ten Mysteries (Ignatius Press)

Grzegorz Gorny has made a career of publishing beautiful books that cover the mysteries of the Church. The first one I discovered was Witnesses to Mystery, which investigated the relics of Christ. The second one was Trust and talked about St. Faustina. The third one was Guadalupe Mysteries, and the most recent one is Three Kings Ten Mysteries, which discusses Christmas and Epiphany. The book begins with a brief, one page prologue, which asks if the story of the Magi is fact or fiction. We then immediately dive into the ten mysteries:

1. The Phantom Apostle
2. The Gospel's Veracity
3. Messianic Prophecies
4. Magi or Kings?
5. The Magi's Homeland
6. Jesus' Birth Date
7. Signs in the Sky
8. Bethlehem's Secrets
9. The Case of King Herod
10. The Oldest Feast

The first chapter sets the stage for this book by telling us that the story of the Magi is only found in Matthew's Gospel. It then gives us background on who Matthew was. The second chapter focuses on the reliability of the Gospels. The third chapter deals with the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and how many references modern day scholars have discovered. Chapter Four is a juicy chapter for me, because it tries to get to the historical root of who these three men were. Were they magi or kings? How many were there really? What was their significance? The chapter on Herod also proved to be fascinating in a tragic sense. In this chapter, I learned that Herod not only was responsible for the murder of the Holy Innocents, but he committed many other murders and atrocities due to his extreme paranoia.

Gorny's books never fail to disappoint in terms of presentation and information. It really is like having a pilgrimage at the tip of your fingers. Simply turn the pages and you are transported to these place, and when you walk away you are all the richer. The only complaint I have about this book is that it is significantly smaller in dimensions than the rest of his works. I believe that if it wasn't, this 166 page book would probably be significantly thinner and all the images would feel compressed, so I'm sure they made the right decision. It's just an idiosyncrasy of mine. If you are looking for a fascinating read the rest of this Christmas season, this is the book for you!

This book was provided to me for free by Ignatius Press in exchange for an honest review.