Work Title: Criminals of the Bible: Twenty-Five Case Studies of Biblical Crimes and Outlaws
Work Author(s): Mark Jones
228 pages, Softcover $14.99
Reviewer: Joe Taylor
How could it be that Moses, the man who brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, committed the crimes of homicide, concealing a homicide, and fleeing from justice? Moses, as the author points out, is one more case of many Biblical heroes' capacity for wrongdoing. This book is an illuminating study of some of the Good Book's most significant transgressions. Jones includes such infamous evildoers as Cain, Jezebel, and the highwaymen who robbed the Good Samaritan, yet he also brings in such Old Testament icons as Moses and David. In addition, he profiles the cases of some, like John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, who were falsely accused or who broke an unjust law or one superseded by God's law.
Jones's exposition is enriched by his research of Biblical scholarship and by his expertise as a professor of criminal justice at East Carolina University. His previous books include Criminal Justice Pioneers in U.S. History and Community Corrections.
Each of Jones's cases follows roughly the same format. They begin with a quote from Scripture, which may run from a few lines to two pages, followed by background information on the principal characters. Queen Jezebel chastises King Ahab for his inability to terrorize his subjects ("Is this how you act as King over Israel?"), then forces two men to testify that a landowner named Naboth has disavowed God and the King. This results in the stoning of Naboth, which allows Ahab to seize his land. Jones delves into the background for Jezebel's reputation among modern...