Top critical review
29 people found this helpful
Exactly what I was looking for ... I thought
on February 4, 2010
[NOTE: I edited my review and changed the rating after getting further into the book and realizing it wasn't organized the way I expected.]
As are many people, I am familiar with the stories in the four gospels. However, at times I want to focus on Jesus sayings and teachings -- just His words. The first part of the book arranges Jesus' sayings in chronological order while taking the quote from the gospel that provides the most complete version. Each quote is accompanied by a short phrase indicating the context. The chapter & verse are also shown and the translation used is easily readable.
This should be good for a complete review of Jesus' word from birth to resurrection. However, as I read through the book, I began noticing missing verses. John 5:19-47 was not where I expected to find it (immediately after John 5:17).
I wrote the editor. He replied that one of the verses I believed to be missing (Luke 4:24 - "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.") did appear to be an oversight. He said he would notify the publisher. (I also can't locate Matthew 12:13.) The editor also said that the verses from John I thought were missing are in the second part of the book -- "The Teachings".
I now realize that Christ's words are split between the two parts of the book. I thought that the first part would contain ALL the verses in chronological order and the second part would REPEAT the verses grouped by theme. This is not the case.
For example, there is no mention of the Sermon on the Mount in the first part of the book and no indication of where it would occur. It is found in the second part and is rearranged thematically. You must find each portion of the sermon and jump back and forth from page to page if you want to read it in the order it was given.
I'm confused by the way some verses are grouped in the "Teachings" part of the book. For example, the section titled "Kingdom and Creed: Essence" is where you find Matthew 6:25-33 which begins "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life...". Matthew 6:34 -- which begins "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow..." -- is found twelve pages later in a section titled "Instructions and Examples: Substance".
Also, Matthew 6:24 is located immediately BEFORE 6:19-21 in the section titled "Service and Stewardship: Call". I can understand grouping by theme, but I don't understand why connected verses would be rearranged. I couldn't find 6:22 or 6:23, but then realized that they were replaced by similar verses from Luke. It is difficult to tell that replacements like this were made.
I believe that most people who want to live a good life -- regardless of their faith -- would find it hard to disagree with what Jesus had to say. I hoped this book -- especially the second part -- would help me review and reinforce His teachings for myself and give me a concise & ready reference to quote His teaching on various topics to others. However, I am finding the splitting up and rearranging of passages a bit confusing.