Fr. Dwight Longenecker. The Secret of the Bethlehem Shepherds. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Paperback $12.99. eBook $9.99. 144 pages. Available from the publisher.
Did the child Jesus have to eat porridge? When I was a teenager I remember reading a few beautiful books by Maria von Trapp, inspired by this question from one of her children. She shared the results of her findings about the childhood and life of Christ and related them to the reader through practical examples. It really made the Gospels come alive for me and helped ignite my love for the Scriptures.
In his latest groundbreaking book, The Secret of the Bethlehem Shepherds, Fr. Dwight Longenecker awakened this same wonder and desire to know more about our Lord’s life in my heart again. This gem is the fruit of Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s sabbatical in Jerusalem. He explained its significance, “The more we understand the world of the New Testament the more deeply we will understand the New Testament itself . . . . This little book will shed light on the Bethlehem shepherds, deepen readers’ knowledge and so strengthen their faith in the shepherd/king born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago.”
Fr. Longenecker lays out the true identity and mission of the Bethlehem shepherds. He offers historical and cultural evidence based on his extensive research, drawing from ancient texts, and evaluating oral traditions, archeological discoveries, and the experiences of scholars who have lived in the Holy Land for decades.
As Father unveils the mystery of the Bethlehem shepherds, he breaks open the multiple layers of meaning (moral, theological, and allegorical) that the Gospels contain. Fascinatingly, readers will discover answers to many questions about the Birth of Christ, His family and environment.
Reviewers wrote: “Interesting history that aided my appreciation of actual Christmas events.” “Some of the information from the non-biblical resources was totally new to me.” “This book will foster greater devotion and faith overall.”
Fr. Longenecker has published in numerous religious magazines and papers in the UK, Ireland, and the USA, writing on film and theology, apologetics, Biblical commentary and Catholic culture. Several of his books including Beheading Hydra and Immortal Combat, are available from Sophia Press.
Bestselling author Robert J. Hutchinson’s words about Fr. Longenecker’s book The Mystery of the Magi, also apply to this offering: “[It is] the perfect Christmas gift for anyone interested in the historical background behind the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.”
This book presents the true, never before told story of the Bethlehem shepherds.
Members of the media may send an email to Sophia Institute Press’ Director of Publicity, Sarah Lemieux at slemieux@SophiaInstitute.com to receive a physical or digital copy of The Secret of the Bethlehem Shepherds, and/or to schedule an interview.