A Great Cloud of Witnesses Review

Book Review: 

The Hall of Faith is a famous passage in the book of Hebrews. But how well do we really know these saints of old? In A Great Cloud of Witnesses, Trillia Newbell shows us Hebrews 11 to study those who lived by faith.

A Personal Guide and Friend

Newbell acts as a personal guide and friend to walk us through the Hall of Faith. Each reading begins with a brief introduction, often with a personal story from Newbell’s life. The book invites you to explore the passage by cross-referencing texts. And Newbell provides questions to respond to and reflect on.

Newbell offers a 6-week or 8-week plan for completing the study. Those who aren’t as familiar with the Old Testament will definitely appreciate the extra time to dwell with these saints.

Important Lives

Spending time in the Old Testament with these heroes of the faith made me remember the importance of their lives. Newbell does a great job to summarize their stories, while also leaving room for you to learn more. Most revealing to me were the stories of Sarah and Rahab - the two women featured in Hebrews 11 by name. Newbell speaks personally about her previous miscarriages and history of long, serious relationships. I appreciated the perspective she had to offer when introducing these stories.

The end of the book focuses on modern examples of those who have kept the faith. Stephen (the first recorded martyr after the death of Jesus), Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, and Jim and Elisabeth Elliot are remembered. I especially appreciated the mention of Pastor Wang Yi and Early Rain Covenant Church in China. Seeing these saints as a succession of the Old Testament heroes encouraged me to run my race well.

Run to the Savior

And after spending much time in the Old Testament, I find myself still looking forward to Christ. I want to run to my Savior in faith. I am motivated by their stories, and I am encouraged by their examples.

I received a media copy of A Great Cloud of Witnesses and this is my honest review.