We love getting a chance to review these audios from Heirloom Audio for you. They are so well done and really draw you into time and place. Read on to find out more about what we learned on this adventure.
About For the Temple
For the Temple is a story surrounding the historic Fall of the Temple in Jerusalem. We are hearing the story through the events happening to the fictional character named John of Gamala. The setting is around 67 A.D and Emperor Nero is on the throne.
Zealot Jews at this time were rebelling agains the Romans. The Zealots were a branch of Jews who sought to rebel against the Romans. Not all Jews agreed with the Zealot's methods which included violence. As a result Emperor Nero sends General Vespasian to deal with the situation bring the Jews under control.
Meanwhile John of Gamala, who is betrothed to a young lady name Mary, captures the attention of General Josephus with his bravery during an outing gone wrong. He is persuaded to join the fight against the Romans. After discussing this with his family he agrees and joins General Josephus.
In John's first battle, although they were successful at a city named Jotaparta, another Jewish city named Gadara is left undefended and ultimately destroyed by the Romans.
Back at Jolapata the Romans also breech the walls of the city and plunder it while John and his new friend Jonas escape to a hidden place on top of the walls of Jolapata. They hide out there for 3 days listening to the massacre and pillage. And finally flee leaving a gruesome sight behind.
Safely back home with his family John discovers that General Josephus has been captured. He also discovers that the Romans are rallying to attack the city of Gamala and John and Jonas cannot sit idly by. They gather some men and train to attack the Romans. John assumes the leadership role for this since he has seen more war than the other men and learned many skills from General Josephus who the many think is now a traitor since he has been captured.
By this time Emperor Nero has died and General Vespasian has taken his place. He has also put his son, General Titus, in charge of dealing with the Jews.
Back near Gamala John and his band spend some time “harassing” the Romans. And it is during what was to be a quiet walk that he runs into Titus, General Vespasian's son. Hand to hand combat ensues and when John has the upper hand he extracts a promise from General Titus to Save the Temple at all costs.
A wounded John accompanied by Jonas stumble upon a small village of Yeshua (Jesus) believers. And there John begins to learn of Jesus.
Throughout the adventure John's kindness, compassion, and wisdom earn him favor wherever he goes. This is not to say life is a breeze but his actions do open doors that otherwise might have been closed.
The temple in Jerusalem does eventually fall (that's not a spoiler because it is a fact that has happened) despite General Titus's promise but the adventure for John does not end there. In a scene that slightly reminds one of Joseph in Genesis he is captured into slavery and ends up reuniting with General Titus. They are now buddies.
There is much more in the story of Save the Temple and it wraps up very nicely. It's almost a “to be continued” when it turns to talk of the new Christians. Historical figures are cleverly intertwined with fictional characters and background effects really bring this story to life.
True to form this adventure was as exciting to listen to as all of the other great adventures we're listening to from Heirloom Audio. We also didn't just listen one time. We listened as a family one evening after dinner. Then my daughter and I listened again while relaxing and doing some decluttering.
This also inspired us to re-listen to some of our other Heirloom Audio Adventures and we currently have Under Drake's Flag in the CD Drive.
If I were to have one tiny bit of criticism (for nothing is perfect) I would have wished for the Jewish characters not to have had British accents. The first time I listened I actually found that kind of distracting. When listening (for the third time) it did not register as much but that extra touch would have been nice.
Behind the Scenes
The story comes from the author G.A. Henty who was a 19th Century English author who wrote adventure stories for young readers. His stories were written to showcase morals, courage, and faith in his young main characters. I appreciate that Heirloom Audio does not water down these aspects.
Heirloom Audio uses an impressive cast of actors to bring this story to life featuring Brian Blessed giving us narrative details in his role as the G.A. Henty.
For the Temple clocks in at 2 and 1/2 hours worth of listening pleasure. The adventure is split into chapters which really helps when not only trying to keep up with the high adventure but also when working through the Study Guide (more about that later).
We received this latest offering from Heirloom Audio as a package of 2 CDs along with a full color insert. We received the CD copy of this audio adventure but on the website you can also order a digital audio download.
The Study Guide
We also received an accompanying Study Guide to go with For the Temple. This was a great way to review what is happening in the story and work on critical thinking skills. The Study Guide features three sections for each chapter: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words.
There is also a Bible Study to use along with the audio, as well as a nice background of the historical facts surrounding this tale. I recommend reading that to get the full idea of what is happening while you are listening.
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