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What He Said: The Words of Christ in the Four Gospels Paperback – October 26, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"What He Said is very well done and very useful. The Gospels are so deeply radical that we tend to encrust them in all kinds of tradition to avoid having to deal with those very deep commands to love your God and neighbor." --Bill McKibben

"What He Said will help people focus on Jesus' words, yet do so in narrative context. That's important for everybody--for committed Christians, for folks turned off to the dogma/politics of Christianity, and for seekers." --Brian McLaren

"What He Said is just a brilliant concept. It is such a handy reference tool, and I really don't know what I ever did without it. It makes studying easier and gives you new insight into our Lord and Savior." --Amy Bayliss

Gold Medal Winner in the National:Religion Category --2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards

I'm pleased to see someone clarify what we are TOLD Jesus said, as it is recorded in the Gospels. This book helps readers get to the core of Jesus' teachings and sifts through all the rest to create a readable and valuable tool. --Dr. Steve McSwain

From the Author

Peter Massarelli

Before attending Dartmouth College, I graduated from an all-male Catholic high school in central Massachusetts run by the Xaverian Brothers. I was taught by some of the finest men I have ever known there, and I frequently marveled at their example of self-sacrifice and service. The freshmen year curriculum focused on the Catholic Catechism. But, we began to read the New Testament during our Sophomore year. It was then that I first wished to have a book similar to What He Said.

Thirty years have passed since Sophomore religion class. I am not a member of a church. But, as we prepared this book, I was frequently reminded of the lessons I learned in High School and the men who lived by them daily. Throughout my life, I have encountered many men and women whose actions are proof to me that Jesus' message can serve as a timeless solution to peace. Many of them are not Christians, but their behaviors are consistent with the lessons Christ taught.

I think this book is for anyone interested in one path to creating a more peaceful world.

Jim Leightheiser

Before Breviloquent, I spent a number of years designing, building, and marketing digital solutions to real-world challenges. The companies I worked for were pioneers in personalized news, social media, and e-learning, among others. The common thread running through all of them was thinking up entirely new design models to better inform and connect people.

I'm happy to say that this thread continues at Breviloquent. Our clients come to us looking for better ways to tell their unique story and reach their target audience. And we look for the same things in our own projects.

What He Said originated with Peter's idea to make the teachings of Christ easier to access, digest--and follow. Having always been intimidated by the sheer size and density of the Bible, I thought it was an awesome and worthwhile pursuit and I've learned a great deal in our journey to create this book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Breviloquent, LLC (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615314996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615314990
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,271,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Pongratz on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
As one more accustomed to picking up a novel than a Bible, the intent of What He Said is new to me. It invites a kind of literary reflection that my Catholic tradition has not fostered so I find it challenging. It challenges my perspective as a disciple, my intellect as a reader, and my comfort and indignation as a middle-class American in 2009. This format, emphasizing Christ's words but keeping them in context, makes these challenges more personal, as though He's speaking to me. The read is more compelling as a result.

Like everything designed by Breviloquent, the outcome is simple, elegant and effective. That I see my own reflection in the graceful, polished cover is one of many subtle ways the book invites introspection. The accessible fonts, the intuitive three-columned format, and the uncluttered use of space quickly melt into the background but encourage the reader to contemplation and bring content to the fore.

My only criticism relates to the binding; I expect the stiff spine to slowly give way with the regular reference this volume invites.
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Format: Paperback
I never set out to read the Bible before. Perhaps the only extended passages I ever read were the Christmas and Easter stories (and, OK, those were read to me). But I've always been curious about the essence of Christianity -- what did Jesus do and say? Well, that's only addressed in the New Testament and there only in bits and pieces.

I'd heard of other presentations of Jesus' words called out from the rest of the Bible's text and had even asked for the King James Bible for my birthday once, where Jesus' words are in color. But WHAT HE SAID is so much better -- it's just the four Gospels and keeps Jesus' quotes in order and context. I am enjoying it very much and recommend it to others curious about the faith.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who studies the Bible, and is also interested in layout and design, What He Said pleases on both accounts. The cover is beautiful, with the words of the Beatitudes forming the shape of a cross. What He Said contains the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (in the World English Bible translation). The layout of the text is the strength of this book: each page has a three column design, with the words of Christ in the middle column in a larger darker type than the rest of the Gospel text, which is in the adjacent column. The third column contains the verse numbers. This layout is ingenious. It is such an improvement over red-letter Bibles; no hunting for where the words of Jesus start or flipping pages. It's all right there in the middle of the page. Reading the Gospels this way is a pleasure. It's instructive to be able to quickly see the proportion of the quantity of Jesus' words in comparison to the other text. I was surprised at the long passages of continuous text.

What is more important is that the layout makes What He Said a great Bible tool. It won't replace my copy of the Gospels (mostly because that contains notes and cross-references), but it has encouraged me to sit down and just read the words of Jesus. This makes for a good meditative exercise. At some points, you do want to understand the larger context ... and that is easily available, with the surrounding text in the adjacent column. This is useful without being distracting. You can also easily compare how similar sayings and parables of Jesus are treated in the different Gospels, without losing your place.

An excellent book that I hope will help draw people into reading Jesus' words, taking them seriously ... and maybe even cracking open the whole Bible sitting on their shelf! I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this book after a friend suggested it to me. Having several bibles, I didn't expect to be as excited about it as I have become after just a few readings!

Since other reviewers have already explained the lay-out, I won't say more about it here; other than that it works very well.

Being able to read the words of Christ in such an uninterrupted fashion creates more of an impact when I read them. It feels like having a personal conversation - me being the listener and Jesus the speaker. I sometimes close the book and say "Wow!"

A most recent example of this was at the beginning of the Lenten season. Our priest suggested (I'm paraphrasing here) that if we really wanted to know how Jesus wants us to live, we only needed to read the Sermon on the Mount. I decided to read it from this book. Reading Chapters 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew laid out in this manner was a deeply moving experience for me, and I've returned to it many times during these weeks.

I also greatly appreciate that this book is not just a compilation of the words attributed to Jesus grouped by topic, etc. Instead, the four Gospels are presented in order and in context, from the World English Bible translation.
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