Reading. Writing. Simply being.
My minister gave me this book to read as a starting point for learning about Jesus’ life. I was so interested in the facts, the historical aspects of the time, that I highlighted something in each chapter. For those who want to grow in their faith, learn about a new culture, or just learn about Jesus as a real person, I highly suggest this book. The last part of the 3 sections, called “What He Left Behind,” is mostly opinion, but he analytically delivers it by looking at the Bible (specifically the Gospels) and the history. He throws in some random facts like, “It was Augustus, in fact, who first borrowed the Greek word for ‘Gospel’ or ‘Good News’ and applied it as a label for the new world order represented by his reign” (33). And, “the first person to whom he openly revealed himself as Messiah was a Samaritan woman who had a history of five failed marriages and was currently living with yet another man” (259). But, for those who want a deeper level of thinking he offers more profound opinions such as “I view with amazement Jesus’ uncompromising blend of graciousness toward sinners and hostility toward sin, because in much of church history I see virtually the opposite…Nowadays many of the same Christians who hotly condemn homosexuality, which Jesus did not mention, disregard his straightforward commands against divorce. We keep redefining sin and changing the emphasis” (259).
I won’t give anything else away (even though we know how the story ends); but, whether you agree with Yancey’s commentary or not, this book is an excellent introduction to not just the life of Jesus, but also the time in which he lived.