This book is targeted at novice to intermediate readers, and as such, does not include sufficient citations for much of the evidence cited, which scholarly readers would require for the purposes of academic research.
Litfin writes skillfully and excitingly, with many times this reader feeling that he had been transported to the ancient world of the disciples. As Church History is not my cup of tea, I appreciated how Litfin did all the heavy lifting research and study, and packaged all of that into a neat little package. I especially appreciated the chapters on Peter and Paul, because I doubt that I would have the dedication to trace their ministry journies and deaths on my own. One feature of the book that was extremely helpful - the report card at the end of each chapter - which allows us to review Litfin's evaluation of the plausibility of the legendary claims/facts about each apostle.
Because of limited space on my bookshelf, I usually only keep the 6 star books (books that are outstanding and punch way above its peers), yet I recognise that this topic - of the lives of the apostles - would be helpful in time to come for bible study lessons on most NT topics, and so this 4.5 starred book shall be spared from the chopping block.
I still struggled to get through the book in a single sitting, though it is no fault of his, given how much church history often is a struggle for me. So what could make this book truly outstanding? Perhaps more pictures and charts/diagrams would help with the grabbing of our attention, and a more extensive endnote section whereby more advanced readers can pursue further reading.
I received this book from the Moody Publishers Newsroom program for the purposes of providing an unbiased review. All views are my own.