ABOUT THE BOOK:
Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story by Frank Ball (WinePress Publishing)
Eyewitness reaches people who seldom go to church or read their Bibles.
Of the millions of Americans who don’t go to church, 56 percent consider themselves Christian. If they knew what Jesus said and did, they would know the importance of networking and reaching out to help others. While Bibles sit on coffee tables and bookshelves at home, gathering dust, people pick up Eyewitness and don’t want to put it down. Not only does it use language that is easily understood, it pulls readers into the story, almost like walking with Jesus in the first century.
The Bible has sold more copies than any other book and continues to sell year after year. Continuing in its footsteps is the Eyewitness series written for the average person.
Flash back to first century AD. One man appeared who shook up the world. Four men testified to what they saw and heard. The details of Jesus life were recorded by four of his closest followers. Each account is written from a different perspective and only one of the four tells the events in chronological order. Therefore, for centuries, the accounts have been told in out-of-sequence fragments.
Eyewitness compiles the information from the Gospels and hundreds of other Bible verses into one chronological story laid out like a story without reference or verse. The result is a seamless combination of the four gospel books that will appeal to customers across the board, even those who would not normally purchase a Bible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Frank Ball was the Pastor of Biblical Research and Writing at Anchor Church in Keller, Texas, for three years. After thirty years of research and teaching the life of Christ, he began a twelve-year project to analyze every gospel story about Christ and put the events into chronological order. Ball meticulously considered almost twenty resources, including the Greek and Hebrew texts, the opinions of other Bible writers, and different translations, to make sure his translation was correct. Using the gospel of John as the chronological backbone, he determined an appropriate time setting for every event.
Ball believes there is no greater role model than Jesus. The better we know him, the more we can be like him. “It’s impossible,” he says, “to love someone you don’t know. The Scripture arranged in this easy-to-understand order helps us to know Jesus. It allows us to be more of an ‘eyewitness’ to the events of Christ’s life, and in doing so, to be more like him.”
Ball has always been a great student, especially in math and the sciences, but hated English. He excelled in high school; however, because his family was impoverished, he was unable to attend college. After high school he took a menial job that supported his parents and siblings. In 1968 he married Kay and they had three sons. Kay passed away in 2005. Ball currently lives with his family in Fort Worth, Texas.
When personal computers became available, Ball embraced systems analysis and business administration. He devoured reading material on the high-tech industry and was a successful business executive until he made a commitment to full-time ministry in 2002.
In 1995, despite his dislike of English, Ball believed God was redirecting his life, and he devoted himself to writing—which has, ironically, become his passion. Knowing the challenges he faced without a secondary education, Ball became self-taught by voraciously reading books as if they were college texts. He studied as if he were preparing for tests.
Ball says that this project wasn’t his idea at all. He just had an unexplainable desire to do this chronology, and along the way he realized that God had a plan. Using his Eyewitness Stories version of the Gospels as a foundation, Ball assembled the gospel information, as well as more than two hundred other Bible verses from the Old and New Testaments, to create what he believes is the accurate order of events. Ball believes the combined stories resolve some of the discrepancies that some say exist in the Gospels.
A book that takes the four gospels and arranges the events from them in chronological order is a brilliant idea. It will be a great help to those who desire to see an overview of Christ’s life as it happened or to those who are unfamiliar with the gospels. I liked the way Mr. Ball also inserted pertinent scriptures from both Old Testament prophesy and other books of the New Testament into the proper places which fleshed out the narrative with a more complete explanation. As written Eyewitness serves the purpose intended and I believe the author accomplished his ambitious goal.
On the other hand, as one who has spent fifty plus years hearing and reading the gospels, I found that Eyewitness lost much of the beauty of the original text. At times it seemed almost clinical and reminded me of a Cliff’s Notes version of the gospels. I do not say this to complain. I feel that this project is perfectly suited to its target audience; however purists could possibly be disappointed.