Thursday, March 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: A great addition to your Bible reading and study ...

When people discuss or debate significant issues, it's not uncommon for someone to say, "Well Jesus said ..." or "Jesus never said anything about ..."

What Jesus did say during His time on earth is very important. Considering the fact that Jesus is God, it could be said that what Jesus had to say were the greatest words ever spoken.

And that's the entire focus of a new book I'm happy to recommend to you, and encourage you to buy.

"The Greatest Words Ever Spoken," introduced and compiled by Steven K. Scott (published by WaterBrook Press) is a compilation of every word spoken by Jesus as recorded in the New Testament. The book is arranged into nine chapters covering broad categories, and further divided through those chapters into 200 different topics, making easy most topical searches you may want to conduct. Additionally, you will find a scripture index in the back of the book.

By compiling the words of Jesus by topic, "This will enable you to read everything Jesus said without the interruption of commentary, transitional scenes, and details about the activities of the people who surrounded Him. As you read this book, you can immerse yourself in Jesus' words. You can reflect on every statement He made about things that are important to you. You'll see everything the Lord said on such subjects as prayer, faith, eternal life, fear, your life priorities, His incredible promises, and the claims He made about Himself," Scott explains in the introduction.

While "The Greatest Words Ever Spoken" makes for a great companion to your Bible reading and study, this book isn't a Bible, and isn't a replacement for one. Because the only thing contained in this book are just the words of Jesus, the reader has limited context. At times, the reader can clearly understand what Jesus is saying without further contextual study, but at other times readers will want to pause and look into their Bibles to have a full understanding of the context within which Jesus is speaking. Further, the words of Jesus are not the entirety of what God has to communicate to us, or all that He has revealed about Himself to us. That can be found in the Bible, and we need to maintain our primary commitment to the whole of scripture. Because of these issues of context and the words of Jesus being just a part of the Bible, I think this book can best be enjoyed by more mature Christians who have a greater familiarity with the Bible.

But with that said, it is remarkably enlightening and insightful to spend time reading only the words of Jesus. By digging into a particular topic, you can go deep into what Jesus, Himself, had to say regarding the issue; and since the words of Jesus are grouped by topic, reading everything He was recorded to say on a subject can bring times of rich contemplation distinct from having to jump around to different books in the New Testament.

The copy of this book that I received for review was a paperback, and the only other option I know of is a hardback. I think it would be benefcial for the publisher to print an edition in a leather or leather-like cover to provide for greater endurance. Because "The Greatest Words Ever Spoken" is such a valuable companion to Bible reading and study, I don't think the paperback edition will long weather the use many readers will likely want to give it.

Scotty

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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