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The Jesus I Never Knew Study Guide Paperback – June 3, 1997
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church,Bible Classes, college courses, and daily reading of the Bible and myriad magazine, tracts etc. But never have I experienced a deeper mind shaking treatise on faith and understanding of what Jesus was doing and intended while he taught his disciples and listeners/observers during his time on earth as described in the 4 gospels. My understanding of passages I never could comprehend before is wonderfully satisfying and truly exhilerating. I haven't stopped thinking about it, and doubt I ever will.
Reviewed by A. C. Gray, PhD
This book came to me as a surprise gift from my brother and sister-in-law. It arrived in my mail just as I was intensely studying Paul's two letters to the Thessalonians. Philip Yancey had informed me earlier in his books about the work and faith of Dr. Paul Brand, co-written with him, about his research and healing ministry of leprosy patients. The titles of those books alone are a Christian witness to the world: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, and its sequel, In His Image. Brand's miracle working discoveries about leprosy and testimony of his Christian faith made reading him more of a blessing because a personal friend had labored alongside him as a missionary. So I eagerly welcomed Yancey's new perspective on Jesus. On the back cover, I was encouraged more with this quote from Billy Graham: "There is no writer in the evangelical world that I admire and appreciate more." Wow!
The chapter titles in Yancey's new book alone would whet my appetite for each adventure in his research to get to know Jesus better. Jesus Himself, praying in the "real" Lord's prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane would petition the Father, "that they may know You", and Paul, crying in his letter to the Thessalonians, would echo those words for himself: "that I may know Him...and the power of His resurrection!' Part I is entitled "Who He Was"; part II is entitled, "Why He Came"; part III: "What He Left Behind". In all that follows in each chapter of the book, the reader senses Yancey's hungering and thirsting to know Jesus better, and in the process, reading him carefully, finishes the book with a richly rewarding better understanding of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
With only one statement in his book would I take exception. Yancey makes the mistake of many who claim that "Jesus never wrote a book." It is none other than Jesus Himself who dictated to John the book of Revelation. In a wider sense, in an understanding of the Trinity and the existence of the Son at the time of Creation, the entire Bible can be understood to have been edited and supervised as forty authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the sixty-six books. This observation is not original with me; others, too, agree that Jesus' imprimatur is on every page of the Bible.
Yancey's book does enrich any who read him carefully because the Jesus he writes about encompasses all the true riches of all who claim to be a joint heir with Christ Himself. Chuck Missler marvels first that God would send His Son to this "visited planet, but marvels more that Jesus is a man sitting on the right hand of God in heaven, bearing those same scars He had when He made the post resurrection appearances to His disciples, so disfigured by them that the disciples did not at first recognize who He was.