I have the utmost respect for all things published by Memoria Press and appreciate that they offer quality resources to help parents provide a classical CHRISTIAN education for their children. The Wars of the Jews is a high school curriculum in the Christian Studies program of Memoria Press and serves as an excellent introduction to Christianity as a whole. Based upon the book The Fall of Jerusalem, written originally by Josephus, a Jew and Roman citizen in the first century A.D., and translated for modern study by William Whiston, The Wars of the Jews offers personal insight into the destruction of Jerusalem and the subsequent spread of Christianity.
Although it is considered a "short course" that can be completed in only a few months of study, it is not one to be taken lightly. The amount of history discovered and discussed is amazingly in-depth as it comes from actual eyewitness account. Reading through the pages of The Fall of Jerusalem is like taking a peek into a series of personal journals. You can see, hear, and feel the battles raging around you. How cool is that?
The Wars of the Jews set consists of the following three parts:
- The Wars of the Jews Student Guide (26-pages) serves as a workbook to make sure that students understand what they read in the text. It gives the breakdown of chapters and offers a space to fill-in-the-blank as you read and study.
- The Wars of the Jews Teacher Guide (35-pages) is a replica of the Student Guide with the answers for all of the lessons included. The pages are numbered exactly the same for easy reference. Additionally, it includes a 30-question Josephus Test and Answer Key. This comprehensive test has students fill in vocabulary words, identify imporant people, places, and things from the book, recall specific quotes and who said what, complete short answer discussion, and label and draw on a map. There is even an opportunity for Extra Credit.
- The Wars of the Jews text (141-pages) begins in Book V, Chapter 6 of The Fall of Jerusalem. The text is illustrated throughout with black and white pictures and contains endnotes for further clarification. It ends with Book VI, Chapter 10. Each paragraph within a chapter is numbered for ease of translation.
All three books are softcover. The Student Guide has a glossy finish for durability. There are no designated lesson plans so students are able to work at their own pace through the set. There are 10 lessons, a comprehensive review, and a final test included in this curriculum. The lessons specify which chapter(s) are to be read in order to complete the corresponding pages. Each lesson contains a Facts to Know section (pictured below) and 5 - 10 short answer Comprehension Questions. Several lessons also include a short Vocabulary section.
The translated text was not a difficult read once we became accustomed to the writing style. Since the translated text begins with Chapter V of the original text, there is a bit of a learning curve to reading it, but once you have begun you will step easily into the story and have no problem following along as the action transpires in the Roman/Jewish war. An earlier study of this portion of history whetted our appetite for more information, so we were enthralled from the very beginning of the text. I think that you will find it just as interesting as we do. The constant reminder that GOD takes care of mankind offers encouragement to us as we walk through the day-to-day that is our crazy life.
As always, Memoria Press has given us well thought out resources that encourage a Kingdom focus. The early history of Christianity is one that we should all be more familiar with and reading about the early struggles help us to better appreciate our freedom to worship. I am using this set as a personal study so that I can help the middle schoolers in my ministry to better understand GOD's Word for themselves. Knowing that GOD was right with HIS people through the darkest of times helps us to hold onto the faith that HE is with us always today.
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I was given the opportunity to review the The Wars of the Jews: The Fall of Jerusalem from Memoria Press as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew. Make sure that you visit the Crew Review to see what other members of the Crew thought of this Christian Study resource (and others), too. You can click on the picture below to jump right over there.