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A Tale of Two

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Christian Focus

The story of redemption is studded with men and women who had a direct and personal relationship with God, so many studies of biblical characters tend to be of individuals. But no man is an island. Many of these individuals also had relationships with other individuals which were important and even crucial to their success or failure. 

In 40 short chapters Donald MacKay explores pairs of characters in the Bible. Some have obvious connections like Martha and Mary or David and Jonathan, but other relationships may be less clear, such as Timothy and Titus or Ahab and Jehoshaphat, but there is something to be learned from all of them. 

These helpful stories will encourage readers to reflect on the lives and choices on these biblical characters, and also on the impact they have on the people around them and vice versa.


Originally from Dundee, Donald Mackay served in the Scottish Office for 35 years, including as secretary to two Royal Commissions. He was also session clerk of Buccleuch Free Church for 23 years and has been involved in youth evangelism at school and university level. He enjoys walking, photography and listening to music, and he takes pride in his five grandchildren.


"This is a quiet book introducing us to a host of Bible people, some who are familiar to us, others not so. Donald Mackay has set these people in pairs to show how their lives impact one another, and on the Bible story, something we don’t often think about. The author takes us with him on a journey through the Bible visiting these characters as they appear in the context of the Scripture narrative. "

Billy Graham, Author of the online devotional ‘Walk with Me’

"With refreshing frankness, Donald Mackay succinctly summarises the experiences, successes and failings of some of the Bible’s main characters, presenting them in pairs so as to draw out helpful comparisons along the way."

Paul Gibson, Minister, Knox Church (Free Church of Scotland), Perth, Scotland

"This is a strikingly original work shedding light on various Biblical characters. … a thought–provoking book. The only criticism is that the chapters are too short – we are left asking for more!"

Alex MacDonald, Minister of Buccleuch & Greyfriars Free Church of Scotland, Edinburgh

"Can you guess who the ‘two rogues might be, or the ‘two traitors’ or the ‘two cheats’?  You will find yourself wondering, ‘Who will be next?’ and, driven by curiosity, you will turn page after page."

Donald Macleod, Retired Principal of Free Church College, Edinburgh, Scotland

"… a novel approach to biblical character studies, focussing on pairs of contemporaneous individuals and exploring their experience of God. Using this approach can give a fresh look at some familiar biblical stories as a primer for further spiritual reflection."

Graham Nicholls, Director, Affinity, Cambridge, UK